Wake County

David Cox, who has opposed Raleigh development plans, files for city council seat

David Cox, a vocal opponent of large commercial development in North Raleigh, arrives to applause at the Wake County Board of Elections office on July 14, 2015. He filed for a seat on the Raleigh City Council and will challenge incumbent John Odom.
David Cox, a vocal opponent of large commercial development in North Raleigh, arrives to applause at the Wake County Board of Elections office on July 14, 2015. He filed for a seat on the Raleigh City Council and will challenge incumbent John Odom. mhankerson@newsobserver.com

David Cox, who has emerged as an outspoken critic of some development plans in North Raleigh, has filed to run for a seat on the city council.

Cox, 57, will run against incumbent John Odom in the Oct. 6 race to represent District B in northeast Raleigh.

Cox is a leader of the North Raleigh Coalition of Homeowners Association, which has become a strong mobilizing force in the community.

The group collected more than 3,700 signatures of people who opposed a plan for a Publix grocery store at Falls of Neuse and Dunn roads. More than 500 people attended a planning commission meeting earlier this year on the project.

In the end, the developer withdrew the request and the city council unanimously voted down the proposal.

Cox said that being able unite residents in the sprawling North Raleigh community isn’t the most important part of his campaign, though.

“I would like to work on city council to provide balance between ... developers and people who live in the city,” he said.

Cox works for ABB, a technology company. In his spare time, he said, he learns the ins and outs of Raleigh’s planning requirements, including the comprehensive plan and unified development ordinance.

He said he is not against development, as long as it fits with the neighborhood and is convenient for residents. Smart growth was one of the reasons Cox said he chose to move to Raleigh 14 years ago.

Back then, it was easier to develop projects without affecting entire neighborhoods, he said. But Raleigh is more built out now, and Cox said development needs to slow down.

“You can’t just have that same go-forward, nonstop attitude,” he said.

As Cox begins his campaign, he continues to fight against what he considers inappropriate development. He recently filed a protest petition against the city’s proposal that would allow mixed-use development at the intersection Falls of Neuse and Dunn roads.

Other candidates file

Other candidates who have filed for seats on city council include:

▪ Corey Branch in District C, Southeast Raleigh

▪ DeAntony Collins in District E, Northwest Raleigh

▪ Craig S. Ralph for an at-large seat

Branch has run against incumbent Eugene Weeks in the past. He has said he wants to strengthen the economy in a way that directly benefits Southeast Raleigh. He currently serves on the Raleigh Transit Authority.

Collins, who will run against incumbent Bonner Gaylord, is an education administrator who has said his focus includes helping the economy, improving public safety and making Raleigh a world-class, modern city.

Ralph will run against incumbents Russ Stephenson and Mary-Ann Baldwin. He is a developer who says Raleigh needs help managing its finances, including its debt. He serves on the Raleigh Transit Authority, as well as the Raleigh Downtown Improvement Commission and a study commission on Hillsborough Street.

He was a founding member of the nonprofit Southeast Raleigh Alliance.

Mechelle Hankerson: 919-829-4802, @mechelleh

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