Draft East CAC Minutes: October 2010

East CAC Meeting Minutes
October 2010
Submitted by Secretary Sue Sturgis

The East Citizens Advisory Council held its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 18 at the Lions Park Community Center. About 50 people attended, with a handful there for the first time. The September minutes were approved. Chairman Mark Turner recorded the meeting, with video available at www.eastraleigh.org.

INSPECTIONS: Someone asked about an abandoned shopping cart left on the street; Inspector Dudley Winslow said to call him and he’d take care of it. Regarding a burned-out house at Culpepper and Kennington, someone attending the meeting said his family has connections to the property and reported that rebuilding is set to get underway soon.

PARKS AND RECREATION REPORT: Jason Clemons, assistant director at Lions Park, noted that the city has launched a new website and is seeking residents’ feedback via an online survey. He also reported that construction is set to get underway at Pullen Park this month. He announced a number of upcoming Parks and Rec events; for a full listing see the city calendar online at http://raleighnc.gov/calendar.

POLICE REPORT: In response to the morning’s shooting incident at Glascock and Willow, Community Police Officer James Kryskowiak reported that an arrest warrant has been issued, and the department’s fugitive unit is involved. Mark had spoken with RPD’s Southeast District commander, who said that while investigators were still sorting out the details it appears that people came to the neighborhood to shoot a man who lives on Glascock Street and ended up turning on each other.

Among the other serious crimes reported in the past month, there was a robbery on North King Charles, but it was gang-related and not random. There was also a report of rape by force, but it remains unclear what happened in that case. Larcenies from motor vehicles remain a problem, with 10 in the previous month; however, nine involved doors left unlocked and/or stuff left in plain sight. Officer Krysko observed that he’s never taken a larceny report on items left in a car trunk.

Officer Krysko reported that he’s usually at the new police office at the Food Lion Shopping Center on Raleigh Boulevard at Glascock between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. He also reported that York Properties, the company that manages the center, is planning to invest in more lighting and landscaping improvements. There was a homeless camp out back but management cleared it out.

A local resident said she heard from Animal Control that there was an issue with dog fighting in Lockwood Park, though Officer Krysko didn’t know anything about it. In response to a question about dogs pooping in people’s yards, Officer Krysko noted that there is an ordinance that requires owners to pick it up, while letting animals onto someone’s property constitutes trespass. One resident reported that she was successful in getting official action on the problem by taking pictures of offenders.

ZONING CASE Z-24-10: This case involves the redevelopment of the existing Longview Grocery at 2405 Poole Road. Developer Danny Coleman first brought the rezoning request before the CAC in March 2009, seeking a change from its nonconforming Residential-6 classification to Shopping Center-Conditional Use. The CAC voted against that proposal twice last year after hearing concerns from neighbors about alcohol sales and concerns from the nearby Poe elementary school about prominent alcohol and cigarette advertising. Mr. Coleman is continuing with the same basic plan for the property but is now seeking a reclassification to Neighborhood Business.

Mr. Coleman said he was not seeking an immediate vote, as he’s hoping to meet with the school’s PTA and principal to craft conditions for the rezoning. Since neighbors want to see the property be residential, he offered as a potential compromise something like the mixed-use development at Brookside and Glascock, with condos above commercial space.

Keith Emrick, chair of the ECAC’s Economic Development and Planning Committee, reported neighbors have filed a valid statutory protest petition over the proposed rezoning. Mr. Manuel Crockett, a concerned neighbor, noted that the case has been going on for a year and a half and during that time Mr. Coleman has not presented a blueprint or other concrete rendering of his plan for the property. Another neighbor said that Southeast Raleigh has enough convenience stores, and she pointed out that the principal of Poe opposes the rezoning.

Mr. Coleman pointed out that even if people vote against the rezoning request, the existing convenience store would still be there. He also said that redeveloping the property as residential only is not an option he’d consider, nor will the owner consider giving up alcohol sales.

A motion to deny the rezoning request was approved by a vote of 18-0.

RALEIGH DIGITAL CONNECTORS: Linda Graham Jones with Raleigh’s Information Technology office came to talk about the Digital Connectors program. Started with federal stimulus funds, the program offers intensive computer training for youth ages 14 to 21 who will then go on to teach computer skills in their community. Graduates will receive $500, a laptop computer and a flip camera. The program is accepting only 15 students during its initial run from Nov. 2 to June 8 and applications are due Oct. 27, but other programs are planned for the summer and next school year. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/c9ta1e.

RESOURCES FOR SENIORS: Janet Harrison, outreach service coordinator with Resources for Seniors, came to talk about the nonprofit organization, whose mission is to help senior citizens stay as independent as they can for as long as they can. If someone can no longer get up and down stairs, RFS will build a ramp. If a roof is leaking, they will send someone to fix it. Charges are based on people’s ability to pay.

RFS also offers adult daycare services, help with assisted living placements, and case managers and social workers to support people facing catastrophic situations.

In addition, RFS is the Wake County agency in charge of the federal stimulus-funded home weatherization program, which offers free energy efficiency upgrades for low-income people—both homeowners and renters. The program’s annual income limit for a one-person household is $21,660. The program will spend up to $6,500 on upgrades that will lower the resident’s utility bill while making the home more comfortable. The program can also install air conditioning for qualified people in need.

For more information, visit www.resourcesforseniors.com or call 919-872-7933.

ST. AUGUSTINE’S NEWS: Mark Newman, chief development officer for St. Augustine’s College, came to update the CAC on some efforts the school has underway in the community. He reported that St. Aug’s is currently managing four major federal grants approved since the successful redevelopment project on Cooke Street, where they just sold 13 new homes to first-time homebuyers. Among the grants the school has won is a U.S. Housing and Urban Development grant targeted to historically black colleges and universities. That money will enable the school to purchase 10 lots in the surrounding community and redevelop them.

Mr. Newman also reported that the college’s new wellness center is open to the community. Membership costs only $8/month, and the fee includes personal trainers. He also reported that St. Aug’s, which is renowned for its outstanding track and field program, is building a world-class athletic complex that’s scheduled to open in the spring. And the school’s historic St. Agnes Hospital is being re-established as an academic training center called the St. Agnes Health Disparities Institute.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Mr. Ronneil Robinson, the manager of the Food Lion, offered free Food Lion book bags available for anyone interested.

It was noted that there are many senior citizens in the East CAC area who can’t make the meetings or watch them on a computer, so we need to think about ways to include them. One suggestion was to record the meetings on DVDs that we could distribute. Another suggestion was to broadcast the meetings on the Raleigh Television Network.

Someone asked what was going on with the old First Citizens Bank on New Bern, which appears to be turning into a retail outlet. Economic Development and Planning Committee Chair Keith Emrick said he’d look into it.

The next ECAC meeting will be on Monday, Nov. 15, at Lions Park Community Center.

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