September 2010 East CAC meeting draft minutes

East CAC Meeting Minutes Summary
September 2010
Submitted by Secretary Sue Sturgis

The East Citizens Advisory Council held its monthly meeting on Monday, Sept. 20 at the Lions Park Community Center. There were about 45 people in attendance, with about 10 attending for the first time. The meeting was recorded, with video available at

The meeting opened with success reports, which included East Raleigh Community Day on Aug. 14, the first meeting of the Lockwood Neighborhood Watch on Aug. 17, and the Raleigh Neighborhood Exchange on Sept. 17. To join the Lockwood neighborhood watch e-mail list, visit

Henry Ward, property manager for the Food Lion shopping center, is interested in hearing from local residents about changes they would like to see there so merchants can better serve the neighborhood’s needs. The Raleigh Police Department opened its new office at the Food Lion shopping center in August.

INSPECTIONS REPORT: Terry Jones and Dudley Winslow from the city’s Inspections Department reported that the department’s initiative at Raleigh North Apartments continues with management’s cooperation. Most of the problems they have found have been maintenance-related.

In answer to ECAC members’ questions, they reported that landlords and not tenants are held responsible for yard maintenance and that owners have a responsibility to secure vacant properties. They also said they’d check out a report of a slimy liquid discharge coming from Longview School. If you have Inspections-related questions or concerns, call 807-5110.

PARKS AND RECREATION REPORT: Lions Park Director Christie Jones reported that the parking lot at the facility would be getting new LED lights. She also noted that the city launched a new website design in August and is seeking residents’ feedback.

Upcoming city events include Hay Day at the Hills on Oct. 17 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Laurel Hills Park, 3808 Edwards Mill Road. The event will offer hayrides, children’s activities, entertainment and more and benefits the Sassafras All Children’s Playground, a facility for children of all abilities. Admission is free, but there’s a fee for some activities.

Jason Clemons, assistant director at Lions Park, reported on current offerings: weight room memberships, Tae Kwon Do, Friday night cardio fitness, and basketball. He also mentioned that the Community After School Program for K-6 students, offered weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m., is looking for volunteer counselors. For a full listing of offerings at Lions Park and other facilities, check out the latest Leisure Ledger at

In response to concerns about the recent shootings of four teens, one of who died, in the greenway parking lot on Crabtree Boulevard, Officer James Kryskowiak, community police officer for the East CAC area, reported that the incident appears to have been domestic-related and not random.

There have been a lot of larcenies from motor vehicles around Enloe High School. People are leaving items out in plain view. In response to a question about broken glass around Enloe, Officer Krysko said that if the glass is on the school’s property then the school is responsible for cleaning it up. If the glass is in the city street, the sanitation department might come out as a favor to the neighbors, though he suggested that it might be a matter for the PTA and CAC to address together. Someone noted that it would be helpful for the city to send out street sweepers when the streets around the school are not parked up.

ZONING CASE Z-24-10: Builder Danny Coleman returned to discuss a project he first brought to the ECAC in March 2009, involving the redevelopment of the Longview Grocery at 2405 Poole Road. The property does not currently comply with its Residential-6 classification, and owner Heba Issa has been seeking a zoning change.

When Coleman first brought the case before the CAC, he was seeking a change to Shopping Center-Conditional Use. The ECAC voted against his proposal twice after hearing from nearby residents who wanted the property redeveloped to conform to the existing zoning. Concerns were also raised about the plans to continue selling and advertising cigarettes and alcohol at the store, which sits directly across the street from Poe Elementary School. Having changed plans for access to the site and how the property would look in the context of the community, Coleman is now seeking to rezone the property to Neighborhood Business.

The case is scheduled to go before City Council for a public hearing on Oct. 19. Mark noted that the ECAC’s Planning and Zoning Committee would discuss the case in more detail on Oct. 11. Anyone interested is invited to attend.

RALEIGH POLICE CRIME PREVENTION UPDATE: Officer Kryskowiak recapped the ECAC meeting held last July, in which the attendees broke into small groups to discuss policing concerns, with the group as a whole then voting on a final list of priorities for the department to address. He reviewed those priorities and reported on the department’s progress.

They included 1. loitering at the Food Lion Shopping Center and Maxway (there’s been improvement); 2. problem businesses (RPD action led to the closing of Messiah Fashions in the Food Lion Shopping Center), 3. community police office (opened) 4. youth programs (many represented at East Raleigh Community Day, 5. gunfire (RPD is looking into purchasing a gunshot recognition system), 6. speeding and littering (RPD has been doing speed enforcement in the area,), 7. Gang activity (this remains an issue but there have been successes), 8. police response time (ECAC members have seen improvements), 9. neighborhood watches (a couple of new ones have been formed in the past year), 10. drugs and prostitution (police have locked up a number of big players in the local drug trade), 11. youth curfew (the City Council is absolutely opposed), and 12. greenway patrols (RPD is hoping to land a government grant to fund these).

Officer Kryskowiak shared some success stories on the policing front at Raleigh North Apartments, where there have been serious crime problems including four homicides in the past four years as well as a high level of gang activity. Illustrating the severity of the gang problem, Officer Krysko reported that police were recently called to a party there and arrived at what turned out to be a gathering of the Bloods gang. Officers saw someone for whom they had an outstanding warrant, but when they attempted to arrest him his girlfriend attacked them and sparked a melee that eventually involved 40 gang members and the RPD’s SWAT unit.

The property came under new management about three months ago, and Officer Krysko said the staff appears committed to enforcing the rules. Since the change, there have been 11 evictions, with some tenants also consequently kicked out of the federal Section 8 housing assistance program. The management has also addressed 21 lease violations and six instances of trespassing, towed 12 unauthorized vehicles, installed video cameras on the property, hired a new maintenance team to address problems including bedbugs and overflowing trashcans, and opened an office where they will offer outreach programs for youth. There are plans to offer lunches for children next summer.

One ECAC meeting attendee said she’s lived and done service work in the local community for 20 years and said she was concerned about the emphasis on locking people up and wanted to know what programs were being offered and what was being done to teach parenting skills.

Officer Kryskowiak noted that there are numerous programs available to Raleigh residents in need of assistance, and that many of those programs were represented at the recent East Raleigh Community Day. He invited the woman to get involved with organizing the next event. Also in attendance was Police Sgt. Naylor, who acknowledged we cannot arrest our way out of the problem. Another effort to create the kind of deeper culture changes needed is the city’s Community-Oriented Government initiative, which works across departments and programs to solve local problems in more holistic ways.

EAST CAC OFFICER ELECTIONS: Re-nominated at the last meeting, the current slate of officers—Chair Mark Turner, Vice Chair Van Alston and Secretary Sue Sturgis—was re-appointed by a unanimous vote.

NEIGHBORHOOD RECOGNITION AWARDS: The ECAC was asked to nominate someone for the award, which is bestowed annually by the Raleigh Citizens Advisory Committee, the CAC umbrella group. Mark nominated Mr. Ronneil Robinson, the manager of the Food Lion at Raleigh Boulevard and Glascock Street, in recognition of the good work he has done including organizing East Raleigh Community Day and founding the nonprofit Give Back Organization, which provides services for at-risk children with developmental disabilities ( The nomination was seconded and approved unanimously.

Mr. Coleman reported that Michael Alves, an education consultant from Massachusetts and proponent of a “controlled choice” school assignment plan, was coming to Raleigh Oct. 21 to speak about the school assignment plan controversy.

The Enloe High School PTA plans to send a representative to ECAC meetings. Mark has been talking with the city about launching an Adopt-a-Street program in the area around the schools since there’s such a big trash problem there.

The ECAC needs a new reporter. Anyone interested in the position should get in touch with Mark at cac-chair at eastraleigh dot org.

The next ECAC meeting will be Monday, Oct. 18, at Lions Park Community Center.

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