Monday, March 30, 2009

Running and Winning Workshop

On Saturday March 28 the League of Women Voters of Wake County held their second annual "Running and Winning" workshop at St. Marys School. This free workshop was designed to give young women in high school and college the opportunity to explore public service as a career. Nancy participated among an esteemed collection of North Carolina women who hold public office at the state and local level. Young women from various high schools met in small groups with elected officials to discuss their experiences running campaigns and holding public office (see list below). The conversations were dynamic and productive as young women used this unique opportunity to explore the meaning of civic leadership, community networking and public service. During small sessions Nancy enjoyed learning from Anne Hines of the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners about their structure of municipal government, as well as Christine Walczyk from the Wake County District Court about her experience running a strictly non-partisan campaign. Hopefully the dialogues provided some insight for aspiring leaders into the rewards of public service, as well as the realities of the time commitment often required for a cause you believe in. The workshop sought to give a transforming experience that allows young women to do things they haven’t thought they were capable of doing before.

The Running and Winning program was developed by the National League of Women Voters and adapted for local use.

The League of Women Voters of Wake County is a nonpartisan organization whose purpose is to encourage the active participation of all citizens in government, to work to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and to influence public policy through education and advocacy. Nancy has been a League of Women Voters member for 20 years.

Thanks to the following women for participating in the event and especially for their service to our community.
Mary-Ann Baldwin - Raleigh City Council
Gale Adcock - Cary Town Council
Cheri Beasley - NC Court of Appeals
Melanie Goodwin - NC General Assembly Representative
Jane Gray - Wake County District Court
Anne Hines - Wake Forest Board of Commissioners
Liz Johnson - Mayor ProTem of Morrisville
Vivian Jones - Mayor of Wake Forest
Elaine Marshall - [First Female!] NC Secretary of State
Deborah Ross - NC General Assembly Representative
Donna Stroud - NC Court of Appeals
Christine Walczyk - Wake County District Court (picture above)
Beth Wood - State Auditor
Maria F. Spaulding - Deputy Director NC Department Health & Human Services

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Law & Order in Wake County Meeting

Thanks to the Northern Wake Democrats for organizng this monthly speaker series at Miltons. The programs will feature local leaders speaking and answering questions on various issues of concern to the North Raleigh community.

District Attorney Colon Willoughby to Speak
With over 20+ years protecting Wake County, come learn what Colon Willoughby is doing to meeting the Law & Order Needs of our Community

Milton's Pizza and Pasta
8853 Six Forks Road Raleigh, NC
Buffet opens at 6:00PM
$10.99 per person (tax included, but not tip)
Program Begins at 6:30PM

Please try to RSVP by March 26th, 2009 to Joanne Casey at

Comprehensive Planning Committee Agenda 3/25/09

The Comprehensive Planning Committee will meet on Wednesday March 25, 2009 at 9:00am in Room 201, City Council Chambers, 222 West Hargett Street. This committee consists of Councillor McFarlane (chair), Councillor Stephenson and Councillor Baldwin.

I. 07-48 Comprehensive Bicylce Transportation Plan (3/3/09)

The City of Raleigh in collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation developed the citywide bicycle plan to create an integrated, seamless transportation framework to facilitate cycling as a viable transportation alternative throughout the City.

The plan features an analysis of current bicycling conditions, standards and guidelines for the development of bicycle facilities, a prioritized list of strategic improvements, integration of policies into city ordinances, and recommendations for programming, operations and funding. Recommendations include the establishment of a permanent Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission that would advise the City Council. The plan also includes specific recommendations for public education, internal training and methods and events that foster the encouragement of bicycling. It also includes suggestions for establishing the City as a certified Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

To view the entire Comprehensive Bicycle Plan visit the City of Raleigh website at or

II. 07-10 Tree Conservation Ordinance - Proposed Text Change; Tree Survey

Read text here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Raleigh Officials Host "American Civics Lesson" With Iraqi Leaders

The nine visitors from the Anbar province of Iraq are visiting under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. The objective of the tour is to foster dialogue and enhance tolerance of diverse faiths in Iraq, according to the State Department.

The group from Iraq recently established a center to address extremist ideology, public freedom in Islam, the moderate criteria for fatwas, respecting people’s rights and the Muslim role in reform.

Ms. McFarlane and Mr. Stephenson answered questioned posed during the hour-long meeting through two interpreters regarding how North Carolina ’s municipal governments are structured; what the positions of leadership are; how these positions are filled; and budgeting questions.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Your North Raleigh News Update

Check out my latest video.

Produced by - Joanne McVerry and Katie McFarlane
Music by - Blake Williams

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Target Areas for Economic Development in the Comprehensive Plan

An analysis of the City of Raleigh conducted during the Comprehensive Plan Update identified areas that demonstrated the need and opportunity for economic intervention and improvement. The analysis examined the lowest-ranked census tracts according to poverty and unemployment pervasion and identified areas that featured clusters of housing code violations and/or instances of tax arrears, as well as underutilized commercial land (where value of the land exceeded the value of the structure or improvement on the land).

The new Comprehensive Plan presents these parts of the City as areas that warrant catalytic public intervention by the public sector with the intention of leveraging private sector investment. These areas have been targeted because of their economic development potential to improve access to jobs, goods, and services or because they warrant improvement following decades of blight, public safety concerns, or lack of investment.

Target Areas for Economic Development and Revitalization
1. Glenwood Avenue northwest from Pleasant Valley to Ebenezer Church Road
2. Falls of Neuse Road from Lynn Road to Newton Road
3. Mini-City
4. Atlantic Avenue from I-440 to Spring Forest Road
5. Capital Boulevard from I-440 to Mini-City
6. New Bern Avenue / I-440 East
7. Capital Boulevard from Downtown to I-440
8. Saunders North
9. Wilmington Street from Tryon Road to I-440
10. Hillsborough Street/University North
11. Downtown East
12. Poole Road South
13. I-440 Southeast
14. Auburn Church
15. I-440 South from Lake Wheeler Road to S. Saunders Street
16. Oberlin Village
17. University West
18. NC 54/Jones Franklin Road

The City Council will prioritize these and other areas of the City for public intervention. Strategies for each area will be devised from existing resources to inject much needed capital improvement or incentives to improve these areas over the next 20 years.

Quick Guides are handouts that highlight important elements, changes, or insights about the new Comprehensive Plan. They were designed to help the average citizen understand certain things about the new Comprehensive Plan without reading the entire document and every map

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Outcomes of 3/17/09 meeting

1. Rezoning Z-44-08, Colonnade Center Drive & Six Forks Rd, to change from "Office & Industrial 1" to "Shopping Center Conditional Use" was approved. This is what has been referred to as "The Whole Foods Rezoning Project".

2. The vote on raising water rates held until next meeting. The council has already decided to established a tiered water rate system which is projected to start in November. However due to overall budget shortfalls (resulting from extra expenses and decreased revenue) for the Public Utilities system, the City is looking for a more immediate solution. Therefore we held the decision until the next meeting in order to explore the options for funding the water & sewer system without raising overall rates.

3. Trash assistance program - The City has an unsually high number of people requesting backyard pickup which adds significant cost. We want to make sure that people who are physically disabled or elderly and need backyard collection are able to receive it. In order to establish the best procedure for verifying the need for assistance, it is now in Public Works Committee.

4. Rezoning of H6 delayed - The Wake County school system is asking the city to rezone 80 acres on Forestville Road near U.S. 401 for the planned Forest Ridge High School. The issue will be discussed at the City Council meeting April 7.

5.City Council Approves Hillsborough Street Roundabout Phase 1 Project Bid

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

City Council Agenda 3/17/2009

Council will meet at 1pm. There is no 7pm meeting tonight.
For full text of the agenda
click here.

All items on the consent agenda are considered to be routine and may be enacted by one motion. If a Councilor requests discussion on an item, the item will be removed from the consent agenda and considered separately. The vote on the consent agenda will be a roll call vote.
1. Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) Conference Donation
Drinking Water Reservoir Protection Act Update
3. Municipal Agreement Z-5105A - Grade Crossing Signal Improvement at Tarheel Drive
Police Rifle Program Expansion
Wake Forest Circulator Transit Service Agreement
6. Nutrient Reduction Fee - Sewer
7. Nutrient Reduction Fee - Water
8. Utility Acreage Fees
9. Acreage Fee Reimbursement
10. Water Meter Installation Charge
11. Sewer Main Extension and Sewer Service Connection Inspection Fees
12. Tap Fee Schedule
13. Parade Routes
13.1 Bicentennial Mall Vicinity - North Carolina Harm Prevention Coalition, requests permission to hold a walk on Tuesday, April 7, 2009, from 2:00
p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
13.2 Halifax Mall Vicinity - Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, requests
permission to hold a fundraising walk on Saturday, October 17, 2009, from
7:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
14. Road Races
500 Block of Centennial Parkway
2000 Block of Clark Ave
15. Temporary Street Closings
15.1 300 Block of West Davie Street
15.2 1100 Block of South Saunders Street
15.3 1400 Block of Doughton Street
15.4 200 Block of East Martin Street and 200 Block of South Person Street
15.5 100 Block of East Cabarrus Street
15.6 00 Block of Edenton Street
Request for Public Hearing - Text Change Public Hearing Authorization Request
17. Grant Award - Wake County Grant - Eat Smart, Move More Program
Easement Request from Progress Energy for Relocation of Electric Utility Service to the Public Utilities Maxwell Drive Pump Station Site
19. Consultant Services
19.1 Williard Ferm Architects-Amendment #2-City of Raleigh Salt Barn at Mt Herman Rd
19.2 Pullen Park Amusement Center
19.3 Lower Neuse Trail Project - Design Services
20. Contract Amendments
20.1 Terracon Consultant, Inc. - Amendment # 10
20.2 Contract Amendment #2 -
Strickland Road Park - Professional Design Services - The City currently has a contract with Little & Little Landscape Architects, PLLC for the Strickland Road Park Master Plan. Contract Amendment #2, in the amount of $146,300, is to extend their services to Phase 1 development of the park. An allowance has been provided for sustainable design additions such as monitoring LEED credits. This contract is contingent on the master plan being approved by City Council at the March 17, 2009, meeting. Funds are available in the project account and a budget transfer will be handled administratively.
20.3 On-Call Contract for Services - Amendment #1
21. Encroachment Requests
22. Budget Amendments
22.1 Administrative Services
22.2 Convention Center/CREE Interior Display
22.3 Public Affairs/Print Services
22.4 Public Utilities
22.5 Public Works/Transit
22.6 Solid Waste Services
Greenway and Temporary Construction Easement Items - (Condemnation Request)
24. Change Orders
24.1 Contract Change Order #5 - Carolina Restoration & Waterproofing City of Raleigh
Parking Deck & Transit Mall Repairs
24.2 Marsh Creek Skate Park - Change Order #2 - Diamond Contracting, Inc. Company
24.3 Green Road Gymnasium Addition Construction Contract Change Order
24.4 Optimist Pool Conversion Change Order
25. Transfers - Public Utilities
26. Traffic - Ordinances adopted by the City Council authorizing the following traffic changes will become effective seven days after Council action unless otherwise indicated.
26.1 Multiway Stop Request- Killarney Hope Drive at O’Neal Road

1. Annexation - Ellis Property - 3503 Page Road
2. Hillsborough Street Business Improvement District
3. School Board - Method of Election
Proposed Percent for Art Ordinance

1. Proposed Changes to the Solid Waste Services “Need Assistance” Program
2. New Planning Department Services
3. PSNC Gas Meter Equipment in Downtown Public Street Rights of Way
4. Bid - Hillsborough Street Roundabouts, Phase I, PW 2009-06 - Hamlett and Associates, Inc.

1. No report
2. No report
2. Horseshoe Farm Recommendations
a. That the development process remain part of the Master Plan document;
b. That staff continue to work with State officials to accurately delineate the Significant Natural Historic Area (SNHA);
c. That any paving in the SNHA is restricted to the greenway only;
d. That no sewer lines are brought into or through the park and staff continues to explore sustainable methods for onsite treatment and reuse of wastewater. If this is not feasible then the phase 1 designer is to present alternatives to the full City Council for approval.
e. Approve the revised Draft Master Plan
Strickland Road Park Master Plan
The Committee recommends approval of the revised master plan with changes as outlined in the memorandum dated March 6, 2009 (included in the agenda packet). Staff is also directed to continue exploring the potential for use of on-site water sources, such as harvested stormwater, a pond, the existing well, and on-site treatment and reuse of wastewater for irrigation and other park uses.

Human Relations Commission, Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board, Planning Commission, Raleigh Transit Authority, Telecommunications Commission

Monday, March 16, 2009

Public Hearing on the Comprehensive Plan

Comp Plan-Public Hearing Draft
Raleigh's 2030 Plan is here!

The Public Hearing Draft of the 2030 Comprehensive Plan is now available for review here. The Plan sets the vision and course of action to move forward to confront Raleigh's growth and development challenges and opportunities. Any and all interested individuals and parties are invited to weigh in on the draft Plan.

Joint meeting of the Raleigh City Council and Planning Commission
Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Council Chambers of the Avery Upchurch Municipal Building
222 W. Hargett Street, Raleigh, NC 27601

The Department of City Planning took public comments from December 1, 2008 through February 28, 2009. All comments were collected and compiled, and a public record has been generated containing every comment received through January 31, 2009 and how it was addressed. The Public Review Draft was revised, and the finalized Public Hearing Draft will begin the City Council adoption process at a public hearing on March 19, 2009.

Quick Guides are handouts that highlight important elements, changes, or insights about the new Comprehensive Plan. They were designed to help the average citizen understand certain things about the new Comprehensive Plan without reading the entire document and every map.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Huck Finn Fishing Derby at Shelly Lake

Want to have a reel good time? Bring your family to Shelly Lake on Saturday March 21 for a day of fun and fishing. In the spirit of Huck Finn, come dressed in your best Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, or Becky Thatcher costume. The day’s activities will include the fishing derby, Huck Finn character look-a-like contest, hayrides, arts and crafts, nature education and more! Prizes will be awarded for the largest fish and most fish caught.

Children 5-12 years can fish; other activities are for kids of all ages. Children can bring their own fishing pole, or one can be provided (while supplies last)! Registration begins at 9:00am, and there is no participant fee. A rain date is scheduled for Sunday, March 22, 2009.

For More Information Contact:
Richard Costello or 919-807-8377

Early morning snapshot of Shelly Lake

Monday, March 9, 2009

How ordinances get passed in Raleigh

Produced by - Joanne McVerry and Katie McFarlane
Music by - Blake Williams
Source for newspaper screen grabs -

Joint CAC Meeting 3/12

Special Joint Meeting of Six Forks & Falls of Neuse CAC's
Thursday March 12, 2009
Easgate Park Community Center
4200 Quail Hollow Drive

The subject is an update on the construction of North Hills East development by a representative of the John Kane development company, along with discussion of the Kane Development company plan to add 5 more acres to the North Hills East project.

Fifty & Fabulous

Nancy was honored in Boom! Magazine

Friday, March 6, 2009

Phonebook Recycling in North Raleigh

If you do not want your recently delivered telephone books, please consider recycling instead of trashing them! However please note that due to the type of paper, telephone books can not be recycled curbside. Please do not put them in the green bins for regular pick up. The City Solid Waste Services Department has set up specific yellow telephone book containers for recylcing which are available now through May 1 2009 at various recycling centers.

In North Raleigh the best place to drop them off is at Brennan Station Shopping Center at the corner of Creedmoor and Strickland roads. The drop off site is behind the shopping center - off Brennan Drive - follow the large white water tower. This is one of the seven City recycling sites and is open 24/7.

This center accepts the following items:
- Corrugated cardboard
- Paperboard and SBS board (i.e. cake, cracker, cereal boxes)*
- White paper (any color print on the paper is ok)
- Magazines and catalogs
- Newspapers and all inserts
- Aluminum beverage cans
- Aluminum foil and trays (MUST be clean)
- All plastic BOTTLES (the neck must be narrower than the base)
- Plastic beverage rings (soft, not rigid type, do not have to cut rings)
- Gable top containers (such as milk or laundry softener cartons)
- Glass food and beverage containers
- Aseptic boxes (drink boxes, remove straw)
- Steel and bimetal food cans
- Ink jet and toner cartridges
- Cell phones (NO accessories)

Information about Wake County Recycling. They take things such as furniture, scrap metal, etc.

Trash Takers - find out how to get recycle or get rid of just about anything!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Outcomes of 3/3/09 Meeting

City Adopts an Ordinance to Regulate the Tethering of Dogs

I am thrilled that the council unanimously voted to support this ordinance after last nights public hearing. Everyone who spoke at the public hearing voiced support of this ordinance for a variety of reasons including the health of the dog and safety of children. Thank you to city staff for responding to my request to investigate the practice of tethering with an effective ordinance which will improve safety and quality of life for animals in Raleigh.

The City ordinance now states that no person shall tether a dog to any stationary object for more than three hours in any twenty four hour period. Any device used to tether must be at least ten feet long and attached in such a manner as to prevent strangulation or other injury to the dog and entanglement with other objects. A cable trolly system may be used to tether as long as the stationary cable is at least ten feet long and the dog can perpendicularly move at least ten feet away from the stationary line. The line should be attached to the dog with a buckle type collar or body harness. The dog must be allowed access to food and water. Violations are subject to civil penalty of $100 per day of each day of violation.

Approval Given To Study For Crabtree Valley Transportation System

The Raleigh City Council voted unanimously today to authorize a transportation study for the Crabtree Valley area. The estimated $250,000 study will attempt to develop a long-range transportation strategy for the area surrounding Crabtree Valley Mall. Traffic along the Glenwood Avenue corridor is expected to grow by as much as 70 percent by 2035.

The transportation study will include a strong public involvement component, soliciting input from residents and business owners in the impacted area. The City Council recently acted to remove the Crabtree Valley Avenue Extension, between Glenwood Avenue and Creedmoor Road, from the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

Berkshire Downs

A little background information first: The annexation of the Berkshire Downs neighborhood was voted down in Comprehensive Planning Committee on December 10, 2008. We did not believe that the available facts at that time warranted support of the annexation, so our recommendation to council was to not annex Brookshire Downs. When the vote came to City Council January 6 more information was presented which indicated that this neighborhood has consistently had septic system problems. This could present a potential environmental risk to the groundwater. However after hearing from residents I believed that the cost of annexation was an undue financial hardship at this time and without notable benefit to the city. The annexation of Brookshire Downs was adopted with myself as the only dissenting vote.

Then last night at the March 2 Public Hearing, 10 people from the neighborhood petitioned the city to ask us to reconsider the annexation. After hearing from neighbors about financial hardship and concerns about the transparency of the process, Mayor Meeker offered to host a community meeting with neighbors and city staff to discuss further the details of annexation. This meeting should take place within the next 4-6 weeks.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Portraits of Raleigh Art Exhibit

Portraits of Raleigh - A City and Her People

Sneak Preview of some of the photography in the show.

The exhibit is composed of over 350 submissions by local photographerswill. It is going to run for 6 months, with one set of photos being featured the first three months, and a second set rotating in for the next 3 months. Therefore, there will be an opening reception on March 6, 2009, and a second opening reception on June 5, 2009 as well.

MUSEUM HOURS: Tuesday-Friday, 10am-4pm | Saturday 1pm to 4pm | Closed Sunday & Monday

DIRECTIONS - Coming from the North
Take Capital Boulevard South toward downtown
Turn left after Nash Square onto Martin Street
Cross over McDowell and Salisbury Streets
Turn left onto Fayetteville Street
The museum will be on the left side in the middle of the block.

PARKING - There are parallel parking spots along Fayetteville Street that are free for two hours. On weekends, you can usually find a spot on Fayetteville Street easily, but during the week they fill up quickly. There are also two nearby parking garages: Alexander Square Deck and Moore Square Deck. Both are accessible from Wilmington Street and are less than a block from the museum. They are free on weekends but charge a small fee during the week.

Monday, March 2, 2009

City Council Agenda 3/3/09

For FULL text of the agenda click here.

1. Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP)
2. I40 Noise Walls and Landscaping
3. Interlocal Agreement with Town of Holy Springs for Emergency Water Service
4. Lake Wheeler - Request to Close Routine Operations - Spring Fishing Tournament
5. Lane Street Mini Park - Property Transfer and Planning Process
6. Lease with Interact for Location of Police Department's Family Violence Unit
7. Municipal Service District Agreement - Downtown Raleigh Alliance
8. RCAC Work Plan
9. Roads Program - Municipal Agreement
10. Storm Drainage Petitions - New Projects
11. Streets Deletion Request to NCDOT - Harrington Grove
12. Parade Route Requests
13. Road Races Requests
13.2 Leesville Rd Vicinity 3/20/09
13.3 Falls of the Neuse Rd 10/31/09
14.Temporary Street Closings
15. Easement Request from Progress Energy for Electric Utility Service to Leesville Branch Library Site
16. Contract Ammendments
17. Budget Ammendments
18. Change Orders
19. Transfers
20. Traffic - Speed limit reductions at Reedham Way, Amber Bluff Crescent, Holly Ridge Farm Rd, Sparkling Brook Dr, Stone Station Dr

Report and Recommendations of the Planning Commission

1. African-American Cultural Festival
2. 715 South Boylan Ave
3. Crabtree Valley Extension
4. Percent for Art - Proposed Ordinance

1. Dr. Annie Louise Wilkerson Nature Preserve Park - In February of 2006 the City of Raleigh received a gift of 157 acres of land along Falls Lake from Dr. Annie Louise Wilkerson.







Planning Commission - One Vacancy
Quince Flemming (West)
Heather Vance (Koopman/McFarlane/Stephenson)

1. Rezoning Z-19-09 - Forestville Road - West

EVENING AGENDA - 7:00 P.M. (or after)

A. Requests and Petitions of Citizens

B. Public Hearings
1. To consider adopting an ordinance to amend the Animal Control regulations of the City of Raleigh by regulating the practice of tethering dogs.
2. Comprehensive Bicycle Transportation Plan.
3. A hearing to consider the permanent closing of right-of-way known as Noble Road north of Hawes Court and all of Hodges Street west of the parcel now or formerly owned by Raleigh Storage Associates.
4. Sidewalk Assesment Rolls