Public Engagement - Raleigh Citizen Advisory Councils (CACs)

I would love to see a thread dedicated to public meeting postings. Even though nothing built in downtown directly affects my life, I’d love to go and show my support (and see more about how these meetings work and influence the Council’s decision, as part of my path toward a career in the planning world.)

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There’s a website dedicated to it. As I understand these meetings happen on a regular cadence. It was my first but plan to try to go to more for my CAC in the future. I’ll look for the URL when I get to work.

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In theory, could a strong showing at the public meetings for the News & Observer site drive more height for that block? I know the plans are already in place… but perhaps the vox populi could drive some change

I doubt it. In that case, the property owner isn’t seeking a rezoning for more height, so it’s not really open for public input. The owners of that site seem content to build within current zoning, and that decision is probably based on market analysis and what they think is financially viable.

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https://www.raleighnc.gov/community/content/CommServices/Articles/CitizensAdvisoryCouncil.html

Typically you can join your specific CAC area email chain and they will send out reminders.

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Find your CAC here: https://www.raleighnc.gov/home/content/CommServices/Articles/CitizensAdvisoryCouncil.html

(perhaps this is a good start to a new thread? CAC discussions?)

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OK. Let’s talk public engagement and how CACs work. I’d love to put a primer post at the top of this thread. Will work on that later.

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Some of the CACs make no sense…it’s like they’re mini-gerrymanders… or more likely they didn’t want to create small independent ones so they just jammed them into other ones. So you end up with the Central CAC (to which I belong) where you have urban mashed in with some what suburban at the end of the “tail.”

I think it’s also interesting that notifications for the initial meeting around the Phase 3 rezoning request went out to all residence within 500 feet (yes, feet) of the impacted property (per city legislation). The West is 600 feet so we weren’t included in that. It was mentioned last night that there used to be a 100’ buffer on that rule but perhaps City Council (hearsay) changed it to a black and white 500’ inclusion. Again, this is what was mentioned last night so not sure on the hard facts.

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Now that this is a separate thread, this is as good a time as any to express this opinion. As DT grows, I think that it’s time to create a new CAC for the west side of downtown that’s separate from the HIllsborough-Wade CEC, or the entire west side of DT needs to be included in another DT oriented CAC. To put this in perspective, it makes no sense to me that 510 Glenwood is Hillsborough-Wade while Kane’s new Peace development on the other side of the railroad tracks behind it is in North Central. In my opinion, everything that’s east of St. Mary’s and south of Peace needs to be part of a DT focused CAC.

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I’m surprised that there wasn’t more nimby Oakwood representation at the meeting last night calling for no rezoning. Just from casual conversations with my neighbors, I know that there are concerns around increased traffic on Peace due to this project and the Seaboard project.

The main issue here is that downtown is carved up into multiple CACs. That might be fine but there is no one group that talks downtown engagement in general. The Raleigh Downtown Living Advocates was active in the 2000s and the organizers have moved on. (life happens) I helped out with that group for awhile, still today, but we are missing some organizer power.

Here’s the map to show you how it’s broken up.

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Increased traffic was the only real concern raised. There was a mention that the parking from construction causes some inconveniences but that’s temporary and shouldn’t impact evolving our future downtown IMO. It should be considered and solved for during the construction, but not impact IF the construction happens. As for the increased traffic, it’s expected of course, but Kane says in their traffic studies of areas like North Hills, they’re seeing a significant less impact to the area than projected due to the mixed use nature of the local area (live/work/play).

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The concern always seems to be traffic. It’s the blanket for most objections, and it largely ignores the walking nature of dense, mixed use developments. Certainly in cities like Raleigh, people will still drive their cars. However, when one lives in a mixed use, urban neighborhood, the amount of driving decreases while the length of car-trips generally shortens. While there still may be rush hour commutes and traffic, the ongoing congestion that’s created by off-hour driving diminishes.
Essentially, the more daily options that can be packed into a mixed use, walkable neighborhood, the less driving will be needed. This is hard for some people to understand because they associate all their needs with a car trip. They imagine hundreds of new residents jumping in their car to do everything, because that’s their reality.

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Ditto to this. I would add that I think retail centers have more of an impact to traffic than residential. You also have the morning and afternoon rush to office centers but those are small windows of a 24-hour day, even 16-hour “awake time.” (if you allow me to generalize for a moment)

Even with that said, these urban areas absorb the volume of shoppers so much better so while retail may drive vehicle traffic, it’s the not the same kind of traffic that you see outside of Crabtree mall.

This is something that you don’t feel unless you’ve lived it, IMO.

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I’m pretty sure that the Hillsborough CAC just recently joined the Wade CAC. The motivation that I heard at the one CAC meeting I went to (shame on me for not attending more) was that we were small (next smallest compared to Mordecai) and that joining with Wade would somehow get our voice heard more since the CAC would then represent more people. It also sounded like it had become stale… that’s only my interpretation… it seemed like everyone who spoke at the meeting I attended (where they voted) knew what the other people were going to say.

The City has long said that it doesn’t have enough staff to accommodate a big increase in CACs. Therefore, we live with ridiculous situations such as the Northwest CAC occupying an area the same size as all of ITB Raleigh. And although the issues in Northwest may not be the same as in Mordecai or North Central, there are other issues – not to mention a steady stream of commercial rezoning applications to opine on.

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I’m curious if anyone here attended the Central CAC meeting last night, and how the Warehouse district rezoning requests went with residents.
Also what information was provided regarding the Chavis Park improvement project and their current progress.

I attended and mostly took notes on the rezoning requests but I can add some color on the Chavis Park progress to the best of my recollection. I’ll post my notes to the respective threads once I get some extra time today.

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Thanks, it usually takes them a week or more to post the minutes online, when did they say Chavis park would begin construction?