- I support responsible, managed growth that is compatible with surroundings, respectful of the environment, and supported by adequate infrastructure. I am not “anti-growth” and I am not a “NIMBY.” I welcome much of the growth I have seen in Raleigh since moving here in 1964. The increased availability of cultural attractions, award-winning restaurants, and other amenities has brought positive growth to Raleigh.
- According to Forbes (America’s Fastest-Growing Cities 2018 by Samantha Sharf, Forbes.com, February 28, 2018.) the Raleigh, NC Metro Area is the 15th fastest growing city in the US. As an elected official, it is my responsibility to help manage this growth in a way that benefits all of our residents. We must all share in the benefits of a vibrant city. And, we must take care to preserve important historical areas as well as our City’s charming older neighborhoods.
- Raleigh’s Unified Development Ordinance states: “The intent of the residential infill compatibility standards is to accommodate and encourage compatible development in existing residential neighborhoods while reinforcing the established character of the neighborhood and mitigating adverse impacts on adjacent homes.”
- In many instances, whether because the regulations aren’t strong enough, because there are loopholes, because the Board of Adjustment has a great deal of leeway to grant variances, and/or because violators aren’t caught (due to lack of resources, reluctance of neighbors to complain, intimidation, mistakes by City staff), many homes have been built that are not compatible with existing residential neighborhoods. That often means a much larger home causes stormwater runoff issues and/or blocks access to light for neighbors.
- When lots are clear-cut to build large homes, the resulting loss of tree canopy is not only an aesthetic concern but also an environmental one. Trees help cleanse the air, cool air temperatures, and absorb stormwater. Not to mention additional environmental issues that result when perfectly good homes are thrown into landfills. And the resulting increase in property values increases property taxes, which often makes it difficult for older residents to stay in their homes.
- While land “inside the beltline” is finite and consequently that drives up the price, I am concerned that if we do nothing to address that issue, pretty soon only the very wealthy will be able to live inside the beltline. Tearing down relatively affordable homes and replacing them with million-dollar-plus homes curtails the availability of workforce housing. Teachers, first responders, service workers, etc., will have to live further out and commute into the city. The resulting sprawl is frustrating to people and is also harmful to the environment when people commute longer distances and sit in traffic.
- I agree that density can help address our growth, but there are some problems with how density currently occurs. Specifically, most of the density seems to be luxury high-rises, which are not addressing the workforce and affordable housing/sprawl issue.
- We need to work to make sure density occurs in city-defined growth centers that have the infrastructure and services, such as transit, to handle the density. The current Council is committed to working harder to make a range of housing options more available across Raleigh.
- We need to make sure there is appropriate infrastructure to support new development – and that those who are profiting from the development are paying their fair share of the infrastructure costs. Again, neighborhood character – and public safety - is threatened when drivers start cutting through neighborhood streets because the main roads cannot handle the increased traffic volume brought about by density.
- We need to make sure that citizens understand how they can participate in rezoning decisions and we need to make it easier for them to engage with the City. Builders and developers know intimately how the system works. They have the time and the resources to meet with City staff, attend hearings and lawyer up as needed. I’d like to see us level the playing field for residents.
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