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ChiefJoJo

New development in Mordecai neighborhood

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Argh. Put in some speed bumps around the development to force the new neighbors to be mindful of children. Other than that, what's the problem?

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Come sit on my porch of my Mordecai Drive house with me and my baby. There's onstreet parking and there's not a lot of room to get in and out of your car when other people are driving down the street. Mordecai is a residential neighborhood with single family homes. The only entrances/exits for this development of 58 townhomes (and even more cars) are Courtland Drive and Mordecai Drive, both NARROW streets.

I like infill. I love my neighborhood, living near downtown and I enjoy reading this forum. But this project is out of character of the neighborhood. You guys know what I'm talking about. You can walk all around the Mordecai/Oakdale, even parts of Oakwood neighborhoods and see rentals/townhomes that are cheap and out of character with the rest of the older homes(think some of the townhomes nearby on Wake Forest Road). This isn't a "cool" development.

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Argh. Put in some speed bumps around the development to force the new neighbors to be mindful of children. Other than that, what's the problem?

Sounds like an excuse for opposing the development to me.

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the project is out of character with the neighborhood because the neighborhood was developed in the 1920's. it is 80 years later and times change. i live on a street that has the same development company putting in the same type of development proposed for mordecai. it is not my dream development by any means, but it is better than what was there, some falling down 50 year old duplexes. i am not trying to be rude, but there are plenty of options available to people in raleigh who want a street with no traffic. most neighborhoods in north raleigh have culdesacs for this very reason. infill is necessary in raleigh, and hopefully the mordecai neighborhhood can find a way to work with the developer to make this project a little more appropriate for their area without killing it completely.

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I look forward to something there other than the Costin warehouse and am all in favor of good development. Speedbumps wouldn't hurt, either! I have supported the neighborhood opposition to the project mainly because the York people refused to work with the neighbors. The CAC has worked with other developers on infill projects with good results. York doesn't even plan to buy the property if it isn't rezoned to R15 so they can get the most bang for the buck. What they've proposed is not GOOD infill. They make a big deal about front porches and brick, but it is all BS; parking lot all the way to the curb is plain ugly. Good infill would take into consideration the amount of open space on the site and make efforts to mitigate the drastic effect on stormwater management, among other things, this change will have.

The harder the community fights it, the more chance the City Council and Planning Commission will closely review and monitor the planning of this site. Or am I just too trusting?

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Exactly. The CAC has been trying to work with York Properties. The homeowners deserve to be heard because we are the ones who keep the neighborhod desirable for developers in the first place. We've already invested LOTS of our own cash to keep these old houses looking nice and in good shape.

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The harder the community fights it, the more chance the City Council and Planning Commission will closely review and monitor the planning of this site. Or am I just too trusting?

You're too trusting--at least as far as the Planning Commission. There are several developers on the commission... they approve nearly EVERYTHING.

I'll have to take a closer look. I wish developers would work more with communities--seems like it would help them in the long run. Of course they may be banking on a pro-developer PC and city council to rubber stamp their projects.

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You're probably right. I get into trouble for thinking people will do what they "ought to."

I think York definitely expects to get whatever they want; they've been in business here for almost a century and the company president is a former mayor. They've done a lot of good things, but that *shouln't* give them carte blanche.

Lots of thought, consideration and working together would help us all in the long run... but that would cut the profit margin. ;)

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You're probably right. I get into trouble for thinking people will do what they "ought to."

I think York definitely expects to get whatever they want; they've been in business here for almost a century and the company president is a former mayor. They've done a lot of good things, but that *shouln't* give them carte blanche.

Lots of thought, consideration and working together would help us all in the long run... but that would cut the profit margin. ;)

I agree it would help but the opinions of many does not get the process anywhere. There will always be people who want nothing to happen and will step in the way. I do have a hard time understanding some people who will argue the day long on something when it is someone's elses private money looking to build a project. There are just going to be people against anything.

Just like the letter writer from Mordicai who wrote to the N&O about the trains that have been there for what......75-->100 years that make noise? How long has she been there? Not 75 years I bet. I lived near the switching station and I didn't have the right to complain but I had the right to move. The problem with CACs are it is 200 opinions against one and that is a loosing cause from the beginning.

I have said it before and will say it again.....You can not live in the city and enjoy all the benefits and not have some drawbacks. Traffic and dense living is part of the deal. Both exist in a city and if that does not suit the person, there are plenty of other options.

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While I respect neighbor's rights to be concerned and to voice those concerns about how a development might affect their neighborhood, I still think this is NIMBYism. I hope that the planning commission and city council, would consider the opinions of the Mordecai neighbors, but not at the expense of the rest of the city. Dense infill will benefit everyone else in the city.

With that said, this particular development might not be good, but you have got to weigh the benefits to the entire city against the concerns of one neighborhood.

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I still think this is NIMBYism.

The problem is that it's a uselessly broad word.

It's like "sprawl", it doesn't have a clear definition that anyone can agree on. Anyone who dislikes a proposed development near their home is, by definition, a NIMBY. It doesn't mean anything.

The property in question is already zoned O&I-2, it's about 4 acres.... so let's say that the Soleil folks decided they wanted to put a 45 story high-rise on the property. They could, they'd only need a quick City Council vote to approve the height, simple majority. It would be quite easy to get approval.

Would that make it a good infill project? Would that make the neighbors NIMBYs for thinking it's a bad idea to put a building that size on a one-lane street? Or would everyone rally around the developer, happy that a developer was building something, ANYTHING, in the city?

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York projects always leave something to be desired....St Mary's Townhomes(York project similar to the one proposed) for instance could easily have been turned out toward exising Snow, Hargett and St Marys streets but instead they are all turned inward and exclusivise (made that word up) themselves from the rest of the neighborhood and city. The ones up on Bernard St, although I have yet to see them myself, are supposedly similar. Park Deveraux is gated off from the street and is not mixed use, and the Cotton Mill has poor access and was poorly historicly detailed. All York projects that fell short IMO. I will believe the Mordecai residents on this one until I see a site plan for myself. Empire Properties and East/West Partners do much better projects for the ITB area.

Regarding the "good for the city" comment, the Community of Mordecai is good for the city....they persisted downtown when others would not. If Crapital Blvd did not cut a trough between Hayes Barton and Mordecai, you might have a sweet grid of neighborhoods in between (despite the railroads) and subsequently less of an issue with access to this site for a dense set of townhomes, but as is, you are talking about adding several hundreds trips a day to Courtland Ave, which, if you havn't been down it, is probably too much.

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The property in question is already zoned O&I-2, it's about 4 acres.... so let's say that the Soleil folks decided they wanted to put a 45 story high-rise on the property. They could, they'd only need a quick City Council vote to approve the height, simple majority. It would be quite easy to get approval.

If I may be straigtforward (and I will), no city council or planning person would allow Soleil to be built in Mordicai. That comment is so far out, you could not find it with the Hubble telescope. Not sure what city you live in but I live in Raleigh and it would not even get past the first planning document into a committee. It takes much more than a CC vote. This ain't Houston !!!

"It would be quite easy to get approval" Get Real !!!!!!!!!!

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I agree it would help but the opinions of many does not get the process anywhere. There will always be people who want nothing to happen and will step in the way. I do have a hard time understanding some people who will argue the day long on something when it is someone's elses private money looking to build a project. There are just going to be people against anything.... The problem with CACs are it is 200 opinions against one and that is a loosing cause from the beginning.

So by extension, there is a problem with forums like this because there are too many opinions? You say you don't understand why some people will argue something that isn't their concern, but that's exactly what you're doing here. Several actual residents of this neighborhood, including myself, are saying that the proposal by York is BAD. We're not saying that we want nothing to happen, just that what happens should be GOOD... and York doesn't want to play nice. Others have vouched that they see a trend in other York developments so I think it is something worth a little of my time since I have to drive by it every day and see it from my front porch.

As far as voting in something huge like Soleil and that being inappropriate to the site, let's take a step back and think about why. Too big? Too many cars? Not a good way to get in and out to a major thoroughfare? Hmm, sounds like the same issues that make 150 cars pulling in and out of a townhouse development twice a day sound inappropriate.

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If I may be straigtforward (and I will), no city council or planning person would allow Soleil to be built in Mordicai. That comment is so far out, you could not find it with the Hubble telescope.

Actually, it's not at all. According to the folks from Mordecai that met with the York Properties representative, this is basically what York threatened the neighborhood with. The CAC could either accept the rezoning proposal and allow the York townhouse project to go through, or the next proposal would take advantage of the existing zoning on the site, and the CAC wouldn't have a say in how large or "appropriate" it was.

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There definitely should be a role for CACs in the rezoning and site planning process. Ideally, developers would come to the neighborhood early to take their input and develop something that would work for the developer, the community, and the city. Of course, this doesn't happen much. You could say it's the developers fault, but I don't believe that's necessarily true, as neighborhood groups often aren't educated enough to make informed, non-reactionary assessments. On the other hand, if these allegations are true, this case seems to show the opposite. A developer comes in and potentially holds the neighborhood hostage by exploiting the zoning code and the weaknesses in the public involvement process in order to get their project through the PC and CC approval process. Hopefully, the CAC or city officials can work out some sort of compromise with York.

FYI, Jones, I believe the Cotton Mill and Park Devereaux were developed by White Oak Properties, not York.

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So by extension, there is a problem with forums like this because there are too many opinions? You say you don't understand why some people will argue something that isn't their concern, but that's exactly what you're doing here. Several actual residents of this neighborhood, including myself, are saying that the proposal by York is BAD. We're not saying that we want nothing to happen, just that what happens should be GOOD... and York doesn't want to play nice. Others have vouched that they see a trend in other York developments so I think it is something worth a little of my time since I have to drive by it every day and see it from my front porch.

As far as voting in something huge like Soleil and that being inappropriate to the site, let's take a step back and think about why. Too big? Too many cars? Not a good way to get in and out to a major thoroughfare? Hmm, sounds like the same issues that make 150 cars pulling in and out of a townhouse development twice a day sound inappropriate.

This is a forum of people with ideas and opinions, not part of an organized group that meets, collects money, makes signs, get in the newspaper and the most obvious, try to make a political career out of a

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I find a hard time believing that a couple of townhouses are going to create a major traffic problem. I think the real issue hear is just the fact that the neighborhood doesn't want to have them built for personal reasons. This is a natural reaction when something is upsetting your harmonious balance.

I'm excited to see how this pans out! Odds are this gets built...

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Actually, it's not at all. According to the folks from Mordecai that met with the York Properties representative, this is basically what York threatened the neighborhood with. The CAC could either accept the rezoning proposal and allow the York townhouse project to go through, or the next proposal would take advantage of the existing zoning on the site, and the CAC wouldn't have a say in how large or "appropriate" it was.

And

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There definitely should be a role for CACs in the rezoning and site planning process. Ideally, developers would come to the neighborhood early to take their input and develop something that would work for the developer, the community, and the city. Of course, this doesn't happen much. You could say it's the developers fault, but I don't believe that's necessarily true, as neighborhood groups often aren't educated enough to make informed, non-reactionary assessments. On the other hand, if these allegations are true, this case seems to show the opposite. A developer comes in and potentially holds the neighborhood hostage by exploiting the zoning code and the weaknesses in the public involvement process in order to get their project through the PC and CC approval process. Hopefully, the CAC or city officials can work out some sort of compromise with York.

FYI, Jones, I believe the Cotton Mill and Park Devereaux were developed by White Oak Properties, not York.

Oops, you're right.....In my mind I have them lumped together as the two groups that miss some great oppurtunities when it comes to downtown. Is it possible that York built them even if White Oak developed them? One sure example of York is the vinyl sided, no bath tub(shower stall only) Byrum Condos on Hargett. I know we need afforable downtown but jeez, those felt ultra cheap when I toured them.

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The neighborhood collectively does not support the R-15 zoning. The adjacent land was recently zoned R-10 with little or no opposition, but R-15, the neighbors feel, is too big of a jump for this location.

If you aren't familiar with the neighborhood, Courtland, Mordecai and Sycamore are really too narrow to support potentially 120 additional cars every day. It might be a different situation if York's plan included direct access to Wake Forest Road.

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I did see a rerun of this particular City Council meeting, so perhaps I'm better informed on the issue than some. I'll say that the CAC presentation was pretty well done. I do recall the presenter stating that the neighborhood *DID* want to see the site developed, but in a manner consistent with the rest of the neighborhood. The posts in this thread by actual residents of the neighborhood were clear that they wanted *better* development, not "no" development.

I realize these are just your opinions, but I think you would be well-served by making a cursory examination of the available information before posting.

The above comment is exactly what you would expect them to say. "they wanted *better* development, not "no" development." What does that mean?

BTW, I have not said I support the project, my conversation was on groups who get together to oppose and the reasons why they get together.

It amazes me that people on an agenda comes in here and post (15 and less posts) and post comments and then when they don't hear what they want to hear, they tell others they would be "well-served" .

I will keep my "well-served" response comment to myself.

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The above comment is exactly what you would expect them to say. "they wanted *better* development, not "no" development." What does that mean?

That's not what they said. That's what I said, paraphrasing their numerous complaints. Again, perhaps your arguments would be well-served by actually reading their complaints and addressing each one in turn. I hesitate to restate their complaints here for fear of misstating them.

BTW, I have not said I support the project, my conversation was on groups who get together to oppose and the reasons why they get together.

This much is clear. You've stated repeatedly that you think that CACs oppose all development, often to their own detriment. You've also stated that you don't know what the Mordecai CAC's arguments specifically are, but that you think they're just being disagreeable for the sake of disagreement. I'm only relating that I have heard many specific, well argued and thoughtfully-considered arguments from members of the CAC, both on this forum and elsewhere.

Their arguments fly in the face of your generalizations. If you spent less time being dismissive, perhaps you could come to understand their concerns and address them more constructively than you have to this point.

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