Raleigh City Council Roundup: May

In Buzz, June 2020 by Jane Porter

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May 5 Meeting:

Mayor Mary Ann Baldwin requested city staff bring planning proposals for ADUs (backyard cottages) and cottage courts before the council on June 2.

The council voted 7-1 to hire consultant Mickey Fearn, a professor at NC State’s College of Natural Resources, to study ways to engage local communities in place of CACs at a cost of $72,000 from council’s contingency funds. 

The council received a report on the city’s COVID-19 response. City staff is working to ensure PPE is available for city workers and implementing wellness checks at downtown facilities and for some employees.

At its evening meeting, the council voted unanimously to allocate $1.8 million in federal CARES Act funds to provide rent, utility and mortgage assistance, and $1 million in federal emergency solutions grants to assist with homelessness and eviction prevention, to low income households.

May 19 Meeting:

Under its Shared Streets for Social Distancing Accommodations initiative, the council voted unanimously to authorize city staff to start identifying streets across town that could close to car traffic to make more space for bicyclists and pedestrians to use. Council also voted to allow staff to look at ways for restaurants and bars to expand seating options for diners as they begin to reopen at limited capacity. 

Council voted 7-1 to accept new terms governing a partnership between the City and the Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy, the nonprofit tasked with raising private funds for creating the park. The new Memorandum of Agreement governs appointments to the Conservancy board and term lengths, among other considerations. 

The council received a report on the city’s COVID-19 response. The city has aligned its reopening efforts with the state’s three reopening phases and is taking measures to ensure safety of city workers. 

The city manager introduced a $1.01 billion proposed budget for the 2021 fiscal year. The city will hold a public hearing on the budget, and will consider adding an $80 million affordable housing bond to the November ballot, on June 2. The council appointed 15 members to its newly established Commission on Hispanic and Immigrant Affairs.

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