Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Moore Square Design Competition

The Moore Square Design Competition is now open to all planning, design, preservation, and engineering professionals, and college students who majored in these fields. City, State, and DRA employees and their families are exempt from consideration.

The design competition application and background information are located at

Entry fees: $100 for professionals and $50 for students

Awards: First place-$6,000; second place-$4,000; third place $2,000.


September 10 Registrations due

September 14 Question and inquiries due

September 29 Submissions due

October 5-6 Jury deliberations

October 24 Winners awarded at Raleigh Wide Open

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Environmental Leadership Event

Thanks to the leadership of Bill, Russ and Nancy, the Raleigh City Council is currently addressing the unsustainable consumption based principles of our public utilities systems and making smart investments in green technologies such as LED street lights, hybrid electric buses and plug-in stations. We have also installed solar thermal water heating systems on fire stations and recently approved the development of 1.3 megawatt solar array. Our new convention center is one of the greenest in the nation and will be officially LEED certified by the end of the year. The City Council is also incentivizing water conservation with new tiered water rates and low-flush toilet rebates. We have seen how rapidly increasingly population and growth are straining our infrastructure and causing increased pollution of our lakes and drinking water. Stormwater controls are an important part of preventing this damage, and just this past week Russ & Nancy recommended stricter standards through the Comprehensive Planning Committee. As Raleigh continues to grow these challenges of balancing environmental protection with development interests will only increase. As consistent voices for environmental leadership we hope you will continue to lend your support.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Muddy Water Watch

One of the major issues I worked on during my four year term as President of the Greystone Homeowners Association was the pollution of the three Greystone Lakes. These lakes consistently had problems resulting from upstream development - a combination of stormwater runoff and silt leaving construction sites. This increased water flow erodes the creek beds causing excess silt to end up in the lake. (The picture on the left is a creek running under Sawmill Rd into Greystone Lake.) This not only makes the lake too shallow to use but reduces the ability of the lake to function for flood control. Our lakes were also suffering from algae blooms caused by increased nitrogen, partially from lawn fertilization but mainly from sediment imbalance of the lake. Not only were the lakes becoming nonfunctional and ugly, but we had an additional responsibility to the greater community because the Greystones Lakes are the flood control for the low-lying part of Leadmine below the dam.

As a collective group of concerned citizens, our HOA worked hard to get support from the City to address our problem. Many of the neighbors who live adjacent to the lake were aggressive in their attention to the lake and consistently contacted the City during major fluctuations in muddy runoff. Then it is the responsibility of the City to take appropriate action of tracking down the source and either fining the developer or enforcing proper stormwater controls. After repeated attempts to hold the developers responsible for the damage caused by their construction we learned that even the nominal fines were not available for our (private) use to correct the problem. So the Greystone HOA had pay close to $150,000 to dredge the lake using our HOA dues. This situation continues to inform my position that the City should have stricter stormwater standards which does not place the responsibility for correcting the damage on citizens, but rather on the perpetrators.

Since excessive silt is also a big problem in Falls Lake, we solicited the help of Dean Naujoks, current Neuse Riverkeeper at the time. He was an excellent resource and huge help as we navigated the challenging process of cleaning up the polluted lakes. Dean was very impressed with our neighborhood collective attention to the health of the rivers and lakes, and saw a potential model for citizen watchdogs over local waterways. His years of experience and work with Greystone led to the development of Muddy Water Watch - a program to train citizens as watchdogs for stormwater pollution damaging their lakes. Thanks to Dean for his ongoing support and advocacy for water protection across NC!

“Long before Nancy McFarlane was a city council member, she was a champion (and President) for her community in North Raleigh. She worked tirelessly against development interests that damaged Greystone property values and cost the Greystone community over $100,000 to dredge sediment from the Greystone Lakes coming from upstream development. I was inspired by her work on sediment pollution, which according to EPA is the single largest source of impairment to our nation’s waters. As a result, I created the Muddy Water Watch Project (a spin off of the Get the Dirt Out) in NC—a citizen training program to monitor construction activity-- which was praised by EPA in their July 2008 national news letter. Muddy Water Watch has since been expanded to Riverkeeper programs throughout the country and Nancy has continued to challenge development interests on this critically important issue which is threatening Wake County’s two primary drinking water supplies—Falls and Jordan Lakes.” - Dean Naujoks, Yadkin Riverkeeper (formerly Neuse Riverkeeper)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Falls of Neuse CAC

The Falls of Neuse CAC will meet this Thursday August 13 at 7:30pm.

This group meets regularly on the 2nd Thursday of each month at the Eastgate Park, 4200 Quail Hollow Dr., Raleigh,
NC 27609

To view the newsletter click here.

To view current relevant rezoning cases, please click on the following link:

Monday, August 10, 2009

North Raleigh CompPlan Meeting

The City maintains all current information on the Comprehensive Plan online at

Council has scheduled two more public meetings to continue the discussion with citizens about the details of the CompPlan.
(1) A North Raleigh public meeting will be held on Aug 10th at 6:30pm at the Eastgate Neighborhood Center, 4200 Quail Hollow Drive.
(2) A Southwest Raleigh public meeting is scheduled for Aug 13th at 6:30pm in the council chamber at the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex.

Council will also hold two planning workshops on Aug 24th and Aug 31st at 4pm to review the plan. Both workshops will be held in the council chamber at the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, located at 222 W. Hargett St. All council meetings are open to the public.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Discussing Food at Quail Ridge Books

During the budget hearings a few months ago there was an overwhelming response from Raleigh citizens about the hunger crisis in our community. Many of you wrote me and my fellow Councilors about the importance of the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and maintaining its funding. Through this dialogue I came to learn that thousands of people rely on the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle as a consistent source of meals and fresh produce. While this great organization provides a much needed service, wouldn't it be nice if they weren't needed? In the spirit of continuing the conversation about food in NC I would like to extend this upcoming opportunity at Quail Ridge Books in Ridgewood Shopping Center. This store continues to be a thriving local business with an excellent attention to community. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, August 16
3:00pm at Quail Ridge Books

Author reading and book signing by Aaron Newton, co-author of

The book explores the limits and dangers of our globalized and industrialized food system and argues that the food crisis is a direct result of our current food system. It predicts increasing hunger - the starvation of tens of millions in the poor world and more and more hungry Americans desperately trying to keep fed - unless we radically re-envision and relocalize our food system.

Aaron Newton resides and farms in Concord, NC.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

City Council CompPlan Meetings

The City Council will hold several public meetings to fully discuss the Comprehensive Plan. The following meetings have been scheduled and are open to the public:
  • Aug. 3: Council Retreat at Neuse River Facility, 4 p.m
  • Aug. 10: Northeast Public Meeting at Eastgate Park (4200 Quail Hollow Dr), 6:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 13: Southwest Public Meeting, in City Council Chambers 6:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 24: Council Comp Planning Workshop in Council Chambers, 4 p.m.
  • Aug. 31: Council Comp Planning Workshop in Council Chambers, 4 p.m.