Raleigh City Council Roundup: July + August

In Buzz, September 2020 by Jane PorterLeave a Comment

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July 7 Meeting

Note: The council held two special meetings in June and July to address Council member Saige Martin’s resignation in late June and to appoint Council member Stormie Forte to represent District D and serve out the remainder of Martin’s term. August 18 was Forte’s first regular meeting. 

Council voted to allocate $300,000 to the Downtown Raleigh Alliance to assist in efforts to reactivate downtown following the coronavirus shutdown and civil unrest. 

Council approved sending a letter, written by Council member Jonathan Melton, to state lawmakers asking them to grant the city’s police review/advisory board additional oversight authority, including investigatory and disciplinary powers. (Advisory board members were appointed in June and sworn in and trained in August). 

Council voted unanimously to designate June 19, or Juneteenth, an official, paid holiday for city employees.

During its evening meeting, the council voted to authorize an $81 million affordable housing bond to appear on the November ballot. 

Council voted 6-1 to allow residents to build and rent accessory dwelling units (ADUs), or backyard cottages, on their property, following years of debate. Council member David Cox voted against. Council also voted to allow cottage courts (inward-facing smaller homes) in most residential zoning districts citywide and reduced minimum parking requirements downtown, along transit corridors and for multi-unit residential projects. 

August 18 Meeting

The council received an update on downtown’s public safety and economic recovery.

Raleigh police chief Cassandra Deck-Brown presented information on a new unit within the police department to address homelessness and mental health.

Council approved a new definition of micromobility, which covers transit options including electric scooters, in the city code and gave city staff the authority to approve new contracts with micromobility companies. Expect to see more options from electric scooter companies in Raleigh soon. 

Council voted to cancel all city events through the end of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will only consider allowing permits for special events for groups of 25 people or fewer. The council will hold virtual meetings through the end of the year and city staff will explore ways to make large city events, such as the New Year’s Eve celebration, virtual. 

The council announced the Carolina Panthers will donate $150,000 towards building an NFL Play 60 course as part of a new playground and amenities at Barwell Road Park in southeast Raleigh. The total cost of the project is $600,000.

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