Midtown Raleigh News

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Council mulls Hillsborough St. land deal

City council members are holding off on selling a tiny plot of land behind a major new development on Hillsborough Street.

Raleigh owns a 0.17-acre lot at the dead end of Ferndell Lane, near the bell tower traffic circle. It was listed for sale last year, and Robert J. Baumgart has offered to buy it for $140,000. Baumgart owns apartments with a parking lot next door.

Mayor Nancy McFarlane said the city needs to know more about what N.C. State is planning nearby. A hotel complex is in the works for the shops around Sadlack’s bar. That might change the circumstances of the sale. “I’m not in favor of selling off this one little piece until we know what the bigger plan is,” she said.

Baumgart explained that the city bought the land for a planned connection to Cameron Village that never happened. “The end result is it feels like it’s part of my property,” he said, adding that he needs the access point for a parking lot on his land. “I’ve been maintaining it.”

Baumgart said any higher bidder would have surfaced by now, but council members weren’t swayed and voted to delay a month. “We just want to make sure there’s not another option out there,” said Councilman Randy Stagner.

Staff writer Colin Campbell

Affordable housing gets OK

Despite outcry from neighbors concerned about an excess of low-income housing in South Raleigh, the Raleigh City Council on Tuesday approved funding for a new affordable housing complex in the area. But the council also agreed to review its guidelines on where the facilities can be built.

DHIC Inc., a nonprofit housing organization, will receive $750,000 from the city’s affordable housing fund to build the 48-unit complex near the intersection of Tryon and Lake Wheeler roads.

Dozens of residents from the neighboring Camden Crossing neighborhood turned out to Tuesday’s council meeting to oppose the funding. They pointed to the city’s scattered-site policy, which guides the placement of affordable housing complexes. That policy aims to “avoid undue concentrations of assisted rental housing in minority and low-income neighborhoods” and encourage projects that renovate existing apartments.

In the coming months, the council plans to review that policy. They’ll consider how priority areas for affordable housing are determined and how neighbors are notified about the projects.

Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin cautioned the council on making policy changes.

“The goal should not be to make it harder for affordable – or as I call it, workforce housing – to move forward,” she said.

Staff writer Colin Campbell

Lacy Elementary to get more parking

The city will offer more on-street parking options to ease a shortage at Lacy Elementary that has prompted countless parking tickets and angry neighbors.

The school on Lake Boone Trail was built with 106 spaces but has 90 employees. So a Raleigh City Council committee recommended a plan Tuesday that allows parking in the right lanes of Lake Boone in front of Lacy. But parking isn’t allowed there during rush hours.

The proposal also converts several no parking zones on Darien Drive behind the school to no stopping, no standing zones.

Pomeroy Smith II, who lives on Darien, had complained that his street had become popular among parents looking to avoid the school’s busy carpool line.

The city won’t turn Darien into a one-way street – one idea that was discussed recently – or allow parking on two cul-de-sacs off Lake Boone.

Police have added more parking enforcement at Lacy in recent months. “I do feel like it’s gotten better on Darien as far as people following the rules,” said Lacy parent Kim Walker.

Staff writer Colin Campbell

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