9/15/2020 meeting summary: equitable development around transit, RPD report

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We had a work session and regular Council Meeting, on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. Below is a summary.

1. We received information about and approved selection of the professionals hired to conduct Racial Equity Training for the mayor and city council and Racial Equity Institute Groundwater training for certain city staff. You may recall, earlier this year council approved and allocated funding for the trainings. The training for the mayor and city council will occur over 3 Saturdays and will focus on history of race in Raleigh, research-based data on systemic racism, implicit bias, and understanding oppression and privilege.

2. We took action on the Equitable Development Around Transit study. We sent the issue of Transit Overlay Districts (TODs) to our Transportation and Transit Committee, for final discussion and approval. We will discuss allowing triplexes, fourplexes, and other small-scaled buildings by right in these districts, as well as removing parking requirements. This issue will be discussed at one of the next committee meetings and then promptly referred to full council for vote. We also sent a few issues to our Planning Commission to begin the process of changing our Comprehensive Plan to include growth around transit, including additional zoning tools for buildings around transit stations.

We are on track to begin construction of the first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line, and these changes will help shape what is developed along the BRT lines. The goal is to create a dense, affordable, walkable city, centered around transit.

3. We received the Raleigh Police Department after action report for the period May 30 to June 7. It is a very long report. Rather than attempt to summarize the details, I’ve included the report in full for your review.
 
I’ve struggled with what I want to say about the report. I think it’s very clear that Raleigh would benefit from a true community oversight board, that can provide more transparency and accountability. In July, we sent a letter to our state government requesting that authority. We have also added that issue to our legislative priority agenda for 2021.

We referred this report to our Police Advisory Board, and next we will receive an additional report from the external group the City Manager hired to review RPD response and policies.

4. We approved the process for filling vacancies on our Human Relations Commission. We received 88 applications, and 66 were eligible. We have 5 vacancies. Due to the overwhelming number of applicants, we decided to also add 2 alternates to the commission. Appointments will be made at our next meeting. Thank you to everyone who applied.

5. We approved a lease agreement for retail space at Raleigh Union Station. Mouzone Enterprises (they own Crema Concessions) is a minority and women-owned business that currently operates a location downtown in One City Plaza. They are opening a new cafe at Raleigh Union Station, serving coffee, sandwiches, crepes, pastries, and light concessions. I hope you will support them and consider traveling more frequently by rail!

jonathan.melton@raleighnc.gov

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