RALEIGH — The City Council on Tuesday denied a North Raleigh subdivision’s request to install a security gate, saying an approval would have allowed other neighborhoods to expect the same treatment.
“I cannot remember when we have ever gated a public street,” Mayor Nancy McFarlane said before the 4-4 vote. “I understand neighbors’ concerns, but I do worry about this setting a precedent. I see this as a problem.”
Homeowners wanted to put a gate at the entrance to their cul-de-sac in Rosemont, a single street of luxury homes in the Wakefield community. The gate would open for anyone, residents said, but a camera would take photos of vehicles passing through.
Police Chief Harry Dolan will meet with neighbors to talk about alternatives, city officials said. Officers previously offered to help with street lighting and cameras on private property.
Since January 2011, officers have responded to the cul-de-sac, Victoria Park Lane, for a dozen incidents involving break-ins, trespassing cases and sightings of suspicious vehicles.
In September, police charged a man with squatting for at least seven months in a vacant home on the street.
The gate needed five votes for approval. McFarlane and council members Randy Stagner, Thomas Crowder and Russ Stephenson voted no.
In other action Tuesday:
• Martin Marietta won permission to expand its quarry in northwest Raleigh amid opposition from neighbors fearful of noise and unsightly dirt mounds.
The company will expand to the north across Westgate Road, which will be realigned by Martin Marietta as part of the plan.
Blasting would be confined to a fraction of the 97-acre site. Earthen berms of up to 80 feet would shield the activity.
A crowd of 20 neighbors – clad in red shirts as a show of unity – came to City Hall to protest the plan.
Stephenson suggested delaying the vote to allow more time for Martin Marietta officials to work with the neighborhood on compromises. The two sides have met for eight months to talk about buffers and other protections.
“I’m not sure how much further they can go,” said Councilman Randy Stagner before the 5-2 vote in favor of rezoning.
Quarries provide crushed stone, sand and gravel for roads and buildings. By locating near high-growth areas, quarries can offer lower fuel and hauling costs.
• A public hearing this fall will let residents weigh in on a possible switch to four-year council terms.
But the prospects for a change appear shaky. McFarlane, Stephenson and Crowder spoke out against four-year terms Tuesday.
The City Council functions more effectively than other local elected bodies, McFarlane said, in part because voters get to choose more often.
“If they don’t like what we do, they can kick us out every two years,” she said. “It’s the surest way to keep us doing what we’re supposed to do.”