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March 3 Meeting:
Council added two community at-large members to its new police advisory board. The members will join five other appointees, to include a mental health professional, a civil rights attorney, a victims advocate, an LGBTQ representative and a police chief appointee.
The council voted 7-1 to install custom-designed, bright red bus shelters at 200 stops across the city over the next four years, at a cost of $5.7 million. (The first phase of the project will see the installation of 30 shelters). The custom design costs $8,300 per shelter versus the $4,700 cost to build a standard design shelter. Council member David Cox voted against building the custom-designed shelters due to the cost difference but other council members argued the custom design provides a better experience for current riders, will attract new riders and will help with branding the GoRaleigh transit system.
The council voted 7-1 to revise the city’s rules on short-term rentals such as Airbnb. Proposed new rules would allow renters to apply for a permit without having to notify their neighbors, would not require them to be physically present on the rented premises, would lower the permit fee to $172, to be renewed annually, and would allow whole houses to be used for short-term rentals. The new rules will go before the city’s Planning Commission and are subject to a public hearing before they can be voted into effect.
March 17 Meeting:
Real estate management firm JLL presented a feasibility study to the council on the proposed Downtown South soccer stadium and entertainment venue. Council members could vote to allocate $13 million per year in hospitality/tourism tax revenues to help fund the stadium. Council took no action today.
The city manager provided an update on the city’s COVID-19 response. The city has cancelled festivals and large events, closed indoor park/recreational facilities, changed city parking regulations to allow for curbside pickup from restaurants and relaxed regulations that impact restocking of goods and materials. The city will suspend water service disconnections for non-payment. Public meetings are cancelled through April 15. Visit raleighnc.gov/news/covid-19-information for more, including a curbside pickup map and food resource locator.
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