Category: Board of Aldermen

April 20th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Note: Links have been added. Links expire when a new agenda is posted.

 

CITY OF NEW BERN
BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
APRIL 24, 2018 – 6:00 P.M.
CITY HALL COURTROOM
300 POLLOCK STREET

1. Meeting opened by Mayor Dana E. Outlaw.  Prayer Coordinated by Alderman Kinsey.  Pledge of Allegiance.
2. Roll Call.
CONSENT AGENDA
3. Considering Adopting a Resolution Calling for a Public Hearing on the Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19
At this meeting, the City Manager will present the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019.  Budget workshops are scheduled for May 1st and 2nd.  Following those workshops, a public hearing will be held as required by state statute.  The proposed date of the hearing is May 8, 2018.  A memo from J.R. Sabatelli, Director of Finance, is attached.  (See Backup)
4. Consider Adopting a Resolution Calling for a Public Hearing on the Rezoning of 900 Broad Street.
(Ward 1) On behalf of One World Company, LLC, Danny Batten has requested the property located at 900 Broad Street be rezoned from a C-4 Neighborhood Business District to a C-3 Commercial District.  The property is an approximately .44-acre parcel near the intersection of Queen and Broad Streets.  It is further identified as tax parcel ID 8-008-151.  The proposed date of the public hearing is May 8, 2018.  A memo from Morgan Potts, City Planner, is attached.  (See Backup)
5.  Approve Minutes.
Draft minutes from the March 27, 2018 and April 10, 2018 regular meetings are provided for review and approval.
***************
6.  City Manager’s Presentation of Fiscal Year 2018-19 Budget.
Mark Stephens, City Manager, will distribute copies of the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19 and will share a PowerPoint presentation to spotlight significant areas within the budget.
7.  Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving the Installation of Additional Street Lights.
(Ward 6) The Greenbrier Residents Association has requested additional street lighting on Greenbrier Parkway, Pine Valley Drive, and Cubhouse Drive.  City staff evaluated these areas and determined additional street lighting was necessary in order to meet the City’s standard.  The Public Utilities Department has estimated costs associated with the installation of these lights to be $12,194.00.  A monthly cost of $50.64 will be incurred by Public Works for the utility bill.  Please refer to the attached memo from Jordan Hughes, City Engineer and Acting Director of Public Utilities.  (See Backup)
8.  Consider Adopting a Resolution Authorizing the Submission of a Grant Application to the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.
(Ward 5) As the Board is aware, staff desires to submit a grant application for 2018 PARTF funds to be utilized for the development of Martin Marietta Park.  The amount sought is $475,000, which requires a dollar-for-dollar match.  To meet this match, the land donation will be utilized.  The amount to which the land may be used as a match will be dependent upon its appraised value.  A memo from Foster Hughes, Director of Parks and Recreation, is attached.  (See Backup)
9.  Consider Adopting a Budget Ordinance to Establish the Garage Relocation Project Fund.
As discussed at the Board’s March 27, 2018 meeting, the budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19 includes a proposal for moving the city’s garage facilities from its current location to the Water Resources site on Neuse Boulevard.  A project of this nature requires a capital project fund.  The proposed budget ordinance will establish a project fund in the amount of $850,000.  It is requested $30,000 be transferred from the General Fund to cover engineering-related services, and $820,000 be obtained through debt proceeds.  A memo from Mr. Sabatelli with additional information is provided. (See Backup)
10. Consider Adopting a Resolution for a Declaration of Intent to Reimburse the Garage Relocation Project.
As referenced in the previous item, the upcoming budget proposes funds for the relocation of the city’s garage facilities.  In addition to establishing a project fund, a declaration of intent to reimburse needs to be adopted prior to or within 60 days of payment of the expenditures to be reimbursed.  A memo from Mr. Sabatelli is attached.  (See Backup)
11. Consider Adopting a Budget Ordinance Amendment for the General Capital Projects Fund.
The IT Division has recommended the City’s virtual server hosting infrastructure be consolidated to the Police Department’s main facility on George Street.  Such a consolidation will yield long-term cost savings.  The investment to implement this consolidation in FY2018-19 is $115,000.  If the infrastructure is not consolidated and a status-quo approach is maintained, larger capital expenditures will be needed and the cost of annual maintenance contracts will rise.  The need for the consolidation and consequences of not proceeding are outlined in the attached memo from Tony Gatlin, IT Manager.  (See Backup)
12. Consider Adopting a Budget Ordinance Amendment for the FY2017-18 General Fund Operating Budget.
This budget ordinance amendment appropriates $30,000 to be transferred to the Garage Relocation Project Fund to cover engineering services that have already been incurred.  It also appropriates $115,000 to the General Capital Projects Fund to cover expenses related to the virtual server hosting infrastructure project that is detailed in the previous item.  A memo from Mr. Sabatelli is attached.  (See Backup)
13.  Appointment(s).
(a)  Nancy Gray has resigned from the Historic Preservation Commission as a result of relocating to a different city.  Alderman Kinsey is asked to make an appointment to fill this vacancy.  (See Backup)
(b)  Richard Frye has submitted a letter of resignation from the Historic Preservation Commission.  Alderman Aster is asked to make an appointment to fill the remaining term of Mr. Frye’s seat, which will expire on May 15, 2019.  (See Backup)
(c)  Jim Morrison’s seat on the Historic Preservation Commission will expire on May 15, 2018.  This is his second term, and he is ineligible for reappointment at this time.  Alderman Odham is asked to make a new appointment to serve for a three-year term.  (See Backup)
(d)  Tripp Eure’s seat on the Historic Preservation Commission will expire on May 15, 2018.  This is his second term, and he is ineligible for reappointment at this time.  This is a rotating seat, and it is Ward 2’s turn to make the next appointment.  Alderman Harris is asked to make this appointment.  (See Backup)
(e)  James Herring’s seat on the Historic Preservation Commission will expire on May 15, 2018.  This is Mr. Herring’s first term, and he is eligible for reappointment.  This is a rotating seat, and it is Ward 6’s turn to make the next appointment.  Alderman Odham is asked to consider reappointing Mr. Herring or make a new appointment to fill this seat.  (See Backup)
(f)   Bill Frederick’s term on the Firemen’s Museum will expire on April 22, 2018, and he is interested in continuing to serve in this capacity. This is a rotating seat, and Alderman Best is asked to consider making this reappointment or a new appointment. (See Backup)
(g)  David Picken’s term on the Firemen’s Museum will expire on April 22, 2018.  This is a rotating seat, and Alderman Odham is asked to consider reappointing Mr. Picken or to make a new appointment to fill this seat. (See Backup)
(h)  Gary Lingman’s seat on the Firemen’s Museum will expire April 22, 2018.  This is a rotating seat, and Alderman Bengel is asked to consider reappointment Mr. Lingman or to make a new appointment to fill this seat. (See Backup)
14.  Attorney’s Report.
15.  City Manager’s Report.
16.  New Business.
17.  Closed Session.
18.  Adjourn.

Posted in Board of Aldermen

April 11th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

I’ve never been a fan of how the city charges exorbitant fines, fees, and deposits on electric utilities customers who are least able to afford it.

Then I sat in on a PowerPoint presentation by JR Sabatelli, the city’s finance director, and I was nearly persuaded.

I think several aldermen planned to come out of Wednesday’s special meeting of the Board of Aldermen with the deposit policy cancelled. But that didn’t happen. Sabatelli did that good a job making his points. Rather than trashing the policy, aldermen directed city staff to find ways to be more customer friendly.

But being a CPA, Sabatelli was perhaps a little tone deaf about a few certain things.

He said that prior to changing its utilities billing policies in 2013, the city had a “culture of finding ways to say yes.”

That meant that folks who found themselves stumbling to pay their light bills could walk out of the utilities office on Neuse Boulevard with a payment plan and very little in the way of penalties.

“This is a culture we do not want to return to,” Sabatelli said.

The financial impact of whether the city goes back to its old way of doing things, or continues with its new, non-customer friendly way of doing things, is about a wash. You heard me right: It is revenue neutral (with one caveat that I’ll get into later).

But Sabatelli’s presentation started on one note and ended with another. The city received a three-star rating from an organization that grades cities on such things before it implemented the new plan. Once it implement more punitive measures on people late paying their bills, the city got a four-star rating.

I’m so glad to hear that the city got one extra star, and all it took was putting low-income families at grave financial risk.

That’s not all.

Earlier this year, during a weeks-long cold snap when the daily high temperatures were in the single digits, aldermen were being made aware of the high electric bills their constituents were seeing.

Aldermen specifically asked Sabatelli if there would be some consideration for customers given the unusual nature of this weather event. He said there would be.

Turns out, not so much.

One resident told her story to aldermen during their Wednesday workshop.

By the time the weather started warming up, she, a therapist, and her husband, a carpenter, with two kids including one in college, faced a utility bill of $1,300.

He went to the city utilities office to see if he could work out a payment plan, and was told that to do so would trigger a deposit … of around $1,300.

Instead, he withdrew money from his 401(k) (taxed and assessed a penalty for early withdrawal) to pay the bill.

The next bill he received reflected his payment, but included an extra $1,300 — the charge for a deposit.

That’s not the only customer service nugget (or shall I say, turd) that came out of Wednesday’s meeting.

We also learned that the utilities office officially closes at 5 p.m., but locks its doors at 4:45 p.m. There is a doorbell and an intercom, utility staff offered, helpfully.

At an earlier meeting, we learned that the utilities office no longer has public restrooms, and staff directs members of the public to the restroom at Fort Totten Park, about 100 yards away, across a ball field.

OK, I got that all off my chest.

Now mind you, these are all good people, Sabatelli and the folks who work at the utilities office. They’ve even won two customer service awards, one last year and one this year, and participate in parades and festivals.

The city’s policies regarding utilities payments, fees and fines has saved the city money in other ways. City staff saved hundreds of hours because they aren’t working on payment plans nearly so often, and because the number of electricity cutoffs and restarts has been dramatically reduced.

But I would put forth that there are some things it might do that would be more customer friendly and still earn the city its coveted fourth star.

  1. Instead of demanding a deposit equal to the sum of the two highest utilities bills in the past 12 months, make it an average two months, or better yet, make it a flat fee of, say, $500, and spread that out over a couple of months.
  2. If folks are struggling to pay unusually high light bills because of zero-degree temperatures or hundred-degree temperatures, waive the policy of implementing a deposit whenever a payment plan is required.
  3. Keep your fucking doors open until 5 o’clock.
  4. Reopen your fucking restroom.

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Mayor

April 5th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

New Bern aldermen and the mayor will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, one day after the Board of Aldermen’s regular meeting, to discuss a proposed redevelopment agency and controversial utility deposits.

The special meeting will start at noon Wednesday in the City Hall Courtroom.

This meeting was scheduled separately from the board’s regular meeting due to the complexities of the two issues.

Aldermen and the mayor have been looking at forming a redevelopment agency to solve problems of urban decay in the Five Points area.

The utility deposit program, initiated by the previous Board of Aldermen shortly after it was seated, imposes deposits on utility customers who have struggled to keep current with their bills.

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Mayor

April 5th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

CITY OF NEW BERN
BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
APRIL 10, 2018 – 6:00 P.M.
CITY HALL COURTROOM
300 POLLOCK STREET

 

(Note: Links expire when the next agenda is posted)

1. Meeting opened by Mayor Dana E. Outlaw.  Prayer Coordinated by Alderman Kinsey.  Pledge of Allegiance.
2. Roll Call.

3. Request and Petition of Citizens.
This section of the Agenda is titled Requests and Petitions of Citizens.  This is an opportunity for public comment, and we thank you for coming to the Board of Aldermen meeting tonight to share your views.  We value all citizen input.
Speaker comments are limited to a maximum of 4 minutes during the public comment period.  At the conclusion of 4 minutes, each speaker shall leave the podium.  Comments will be directed to the full board, not to an individual board member or staff member.  Although the board is interested in hearing your comments, speakers should not expect any comments, action or deliberation from the board on any issue raised during the public comment period.
In the board’s discretion, it may refer issues to the appropriate city officials or staff for further investigation.  If an organized group is present to speak on a common issue, please designate one person to present the group’s comment, which shall be limited to a maximum of 4 minutes.

Consent Agenda
4. Consider Approving a Proclamation for National Day of Prayer 2018.
Tharesa Lee has requested a proclamation for National Day of Prayer, which will be observed on May 3, 2018 in Union Point Park. (See Backup)
5. Consider Approving a Proclamation for National Minority Health Month.
Alderman Harris has requested a proclamation acknowledging April as National Minority Health Month.  Several events are planned throughout the month of April. (See Backup)
6. Consider Approving a Proclamation for Boys & Girls Club Week 2018.
Representatives from the local Boys & Girls Club organization requested a proclamation recognizing April 9-13, 2018 as Boys & Girls Club Week in New Bern. (See Backup)
7. Submission of Annual Written Report from Appearance Commission.
Pursuant to City ordinance, the Appearance Commission is required to provide a report of activities to the Board of Aldermen no later than April 15th of each year as mandated by NCGS §160A-454.  The attached report satisfies this requirement.  This is informational only, and no action is needed from the Board. (See Backup)
8. Approve Minutes.
Minutes from the March 27, 2018 regular meeting are provided for review and approval.

 

********************
9. Presentation on Little Free Library Expansion Project.
Judy Hills, Friends of the New Bern-Craven County Public Library Board Member, will share a PowerPoint presentation on the Little Free Library expansion project, which is a free book exchange. (See Backup)

10. Conduct a Public Hearing, Consider Adopting a Statement of Zoning Consistency, and Consider Adopting an Ordinance to Rezone 107 and 109 Beech Street from R-6S Residential and I-1 Industrial Districts to C-3 Commercial District.
(Ward 5) This public hearing was called after receiving a request from Michael Stephens, the owner of 107 and 109 Beech Street, to have the property rezoned from R-6S Residential and I-1 Industrial to C-3 Commercial District.  The property is located near the corner of Beech Street and Oaks Road and consists of approximately 1.14 acres.  The Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved the request at its March 6, 2018 meeting. State statute and local ordinance require the Governing Board to hold a public hearing to receive comments on the requested rezoning.  A memo from Morgan Potts, City Planner, is attached along with a map of the subject property. (See Backup)

11. Conduct a Public Hearing, Consider Adopting a Statement of Zoning Consistency, and Consider Adopting an Ordinance to Rezone 1225 S. Glenburnie Road from R-6 Residential and C-4 Neighborhood Business District to C-3 Commercial District.
(Ward 4) The City of New Bern owns the property located at 1225 S. Glenburnie Road.  This public hearing was called after the City’s request to have the property rezoned from R-6 Residential and C-4 Neighborhood Business Districts to C-3 Commercial District.  The property is located near the corner of Neuse Boulevard and S. Glenburnie Road and consists of approximately 4.77 acres.  This is the subject property for the proposed relocation of the City Garage.  The Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved the request at its March 6, 2018 meeting.  State statute and local ordinance require the Governing Board to hold a public hearing to receive comments on the requested rezoning.  A memo from Mrs. Potts is attached along with a map of the subject property. (See Backup)

12. Conduct a Public Hearing and Consider Adopting an Amendment to Article XXI, Section 15-463 “Design Guidelines and Performance Standards – Trent Road Corridor” of the Land Use Ordinance.
On March 6, 2018, staff presented to the Planning and Zoning (“P&Z”) Board proposed changes to the Land Use Ordinance with respect to the design guidelines and performance standards for the Trent Road corridor.  At that time, P&Z voted unanimously to approve the changes.  The next step is for the Board of Aldermen to conduct a public hearing and consider approval of the changes.  A memo from Mrs. Potts is attached along with copies of the proposed ordinance changes and a redlined version to easily identify those changes. (See Backup)

13. Conduct a Public Hearing on the System Development Fee Analysis and Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving the Analysis.
In July 2017, the NC General Assembly passed House Bill 436 amending Chapter 162A of the General Statutes by adding “Article 8, System Development Fees”.  This new article intends to provide for uniform authority with respect to implementing system development fees for public water and sewer systems, as well as clarify the applicable statute of limitations.  The amendment requires a written analysis be performed to calculate the system development fee based upon prescriptive criteria.  In response to this requirement, the City employed Rivers & Associates, Inc. to perform a professional analysis.  Prior to considering adoption of the analysis, House Bill 436 requires the local government post the analysis on its webpage for public review and comment for a minimum of 45 days.  This period has been completed and no written comments were received.  The City is now required to hold a public hearing prior to consideration of adopting the analysis.    A memo from Jordan Hughes, City Engineer, is attached. (See Backup)

14. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving the Conceptual Master Plan for Martin Marietta Park.
(Ward 5) At the March 19, 2018 work session, McGill Associates presented a master plan for the Martin Marietta Park.  Prior to considering adoption, the conceptual plan will again be reviewed in some detail.  A memo from Foster Hughes, Director of Parks and Recreation, is attached along with a copy of the presentation. (See Backup 1) (See Backup 2)

15. Consider Adopting a Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Contract with Morton Trucking, Inc. for the 2018 Street Resurfacing Project and Any Changes Within the Budgeted Amount.
(Wards 1-5)  Certified bids have been received for the 2018 street resurfacing project.  Morton Trucking, Inc. submitted the lowest bid at $976,130, and the Board is asked to consider adopting a resolution authorizing the City to enter into a contract with the bidder.  The project is slated to begin within 30 days and has a contract period of 180 days.  A memo from Matt Montanye, Director of Public Works, is provided and includes a list of the streets to be resurfaced. (See Backup)

16. Consider Adopting an Ordinance for the Demolition of the Dwelling Located at 1607-1609 Dillahunt Street.
(Ward 5) This matter was before the Board of Aldermen at its February 27, 2018 meeting.  After hearing from the owner during that meeting, the Board tabled this matter to allow the City Attorney an opportunity to contact the Bankruptcy Trustee to ascertain the Trustee’s intentions regarding the property.  Mr. Davis will be available to provide a verbal report of the status, if desired.
As a reminder, the property at 1607 Dillahunt Street (also known as 1607-1609 Dillahunt Street) has been vacant since 1999 and a concern for the Police Department since 2001.  Staff has worked with the owners from January 2005 to late 2016 to both secure the building and bring it into compliance.  A formal letter of violation was sent to the owners on August 31, 2015, and a hearing was conducted with the Chief Building Inspector on November 19, 2015, at which time the owners were granted six months to comply with the code.  On May 10, 2016, this order was extended until August 19, 2016 to provide the owners an additional three months’ time.  However, to date no permits have been applied for and work has not been initiated.  Attached are a memo from Mr. Ruggieri, a chronological list of events, and pictures of the property. (See Backup)

17. Consider Adopting an Ordinance Amending the 2017 Water Improvements Project Fund.
The 2017 Water Improvements Project Fund was established by ordinance on January 24, 2017 with a budget of $1,570,000 for repair and replacement of water infrastructure at various locations.  Additional funds in the amount of $617,737 have been deemed necessary to complete the final phase.  This budget ordinance will appropriate those funds from the Water Capital Reserve Fund.  Memos from Jordan Hughes, City Engineer, and J.R. Sabatelli, Director of Finance, are attached. (See Backup)

18. Consider Adopting an Ordinance Amending the 2017 Sewer Improvements Project Fund.
The 2017 Sewer Improvements Project Fund was also established by ordinance on January 24, 2017 with a budget of $1,400,000 for the repair and replacement of sewer infrastructure at various locations.  Additional funds in the amount of $611,059 have been deemed necessary to complete the final phase.  This budget ordinance will appropriate those funds from the Sewer Capital Reserve Fund.  Again, memos from Mr. Hughes and Mr. Sabatelli are attached. (See Backup)

19. Consider Adopting a Budget Ordinance Amendment for the FY2017-18 Operating Budget.
This budget ordinance amendment provides for the transfers from the Water and Sewer Capital Reserve Funds to the 2017 Water and Sewer Improvements Project Funds as described in the previous two items.  It also acknowledges a $14,000 grant received by the Fire Department from the NC Department of Public Safety.  The grant requires no match, and the funds will be used to provide training opportunities in water rescue and urban search and rescue.  Lastly, the amendment appropriates $450,000 to Stormwater Maintenance for the purchase of a new Vactor Truck.  The current truck is in need of major repairs, and it is felt best to replace the truck. Delivery of a new truck will take 8-10 months, and the purchase will be paid for by transferring $200,000 from fund balance and obtaining $240,000 from 2019 debt service proceeds.  A memo from Mr. Sabatelli is attached. (See Backup)

20. Appointment(s).
Nancy Gray has resigned from the Historic Preservation Commission as a result of relocating to a different city.  Alderman Kinsey is asked to make an appointment to fill this vacancy.
21. Attorney’s Report.
22. City Manager’s Report.
23. New Business.
24. Closed Session.
25. Adjourn.

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Mayor

March 24th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Updated 3/25/2018 at 10:23 a.m.

Now that the Craven Terrace low-income housing project has been outsourced, downsized, and renovated, the New Bern Housing Authority is turning its sights on what to do about Trent Court.

In a memo to the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners (members listed here), Housing Authority Executive Director Martin Blaney said the agency is going to apply for a 9 percent low-income housing tax credit from the N.C, Housing Finance Agency, but first must “secure site control of an eligible and competitive location.”

The “competitive location” would be used to build new low-income housing to add to, and in some cases replace, housing stocks in Trent Court.

As of now, that competitive location is a 30.8-acre, city-owned property off Carolina Avenue between the Pembroke Community, Trent Road and U.S. 70 (maps, left and below left).

The parcel is more than twice the 14 acres the Housing Authority owns that includes Trent Court, New Bern Tower, and numerous other residential structures, although, according to Housing Authority Commissioner Bill Frederick, only 9.7 acres are not subject to flooding and would be usable for housing.

Google Maps close-up shows the location of the Carolina Avenue property.

Little has been discussed publicly about the Housing Authority’s plans for Trent Court over the past seven years, while at the same time it was privatizing and renovating  Craven Terrace, a larger housing project located north of Broad Street.

Craven Terrace was quickly identified as an area worth preserving for public housing, mainly because of its lack of market potential. Surrounded by small parcels with low property values, Craven Terrace is much larger than Trent Court and presented a bigger problem in terms of relocating residents there.

In the end, the Housing Authority secured historic status for the buildings in Craven Terrace, which in turn allowed for tax credits that helped pay for renovations, razing several buildings subject to flooding, and adding amenities including a playground and laundry facility. The Housing Authority also outsourced management of Craven Terrace.

Trent Court is less than half the size of Craven Terrace in acreage and number of residents. But more importantly, its proximity to Tryon Palace, the Historic Downtown District, and a navigable waterway make it much more commercially attractive for would-be developers.

The 30-acre Carolina Avenue property is wooded and undeveloped. It stretches from the lower left center to the upper right corner of this picture. Google Maps photo

Enter Carolina Avenue. The largest single undeveloped parcel owned by the city at more than 30 acres, it is not included on the city’s surplus properties for sale website. Wooded without any buildings, it is unique in New Bern in that it is both a waterfront property (there’s a small lake formed when N.C. DOT quarried dirt and gravel to build the U.S. 70 bypass) and has access to Trent Road.

Still, due to the wetlands, only a third is developable.

Housing Authority officials have been quietly approaching city officials, the Board of Aldermen, and the Pembroke Community about acquiring the Carolina Avenue property for subsidized and low-income housing.

“The NBHA bid was $200,000,” Commissioner Frederick told the Post. 

“Initial discussions with the city were promising,” Blaney said in his memo. “However, more recent discussions have been frustrating with aldermen indicating they would be willing to ‘swap’ the Carolina Avenue site for complete control of the Trent Court property. This was not acceptable. Also, our offer to simply purchase the land was rejected before a bid could be submitted.”

When Blaney refers to promising initial discussions, he’s mainly referring to when E.T. Mitchell, a wealthy appointee to the Board of Aldermen who is now running for county commissioner, was on the board and heard the proposal. (Mitchell was also instrumental in developing and executing plans for Craven Terrace and was a Housing Authority commission member for a time.)

When Blaney refers to more recent frustrating discussions, he’s referring to Ward 2 Alderman Jameesha Harris, who has reservations about the plan and who called it “gentrification” in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Her ward includes the Pembroke community as well as the Carolina Avenue property the Housing Authority is interested in.

The plan has a lot of moving parts but boils down to this: The Housing Authority wants the Carolina Avenue property so it can secure funding to build affordable housing there. It would then move residents of Trent Court and others living on Housing Authority land in that area to the new housing off Carolina Avenue. That would enable the Housing Authority to raze many if not all of Trent Court’s buildings and replace them with a mixed-income residential development that it would still manage, either directly or indirectly.

It would involve moving low-income residents from Trent Court, ostensibly on a temporary basis, and moving them to housing to be constructed on Carolina Avenue adjacent to the Pembroke community. Once a new and improved Trent Court emerges, former residents would be given the opportunity to move back if housing is available.

The proposal made to Ms. Harris was that the city donate the property to NBHA, freeing up our proposed $200,000 bid to rehabilitate the Taylor Building in Trent Court as a permanent home for the Boys & Girls Club,” Commissioner Frederick told the Post.

As it appears now, what would be built where Trent Court exists now would be a mix of high-, middle- and low-end housing and subsidized housing. The Housing Authority plans to leave a waterfront green space between Walt Bellamy Drive and Lawson Creek, and according to a source, that waterfront property is what the Housing Authority is willing to trade to the city for the Carolina Avenue acreage.

Trent Court and Carolina Avenue Compared

Trent Court area Carolina Avenue
Acres 14.07 built-out 30.81 undeveloped but mostly wetland
Tax value $663,990 $140,150
Tax value per acre $47,191 $4,548

 

One problem with Trent Court is that the next time it floods in that area, affected buildings will have to be vacated and razed. No more money will be spent to bring them back to habitability. That puts a gun to the Housing Authority’s head to find substitute housing quickly.

“This is a complicated matter practically and politically,” Blaney said in his his memo. “Strategies such as improving Trent Court, seeking other land, approaching aldermen, public relations, etc., need to be devised.”

He said in his memo that he has spoken with three Pembroke residents about the proposal. “Two of the three indicated that my explanation was not exactly as an earlier one given by their alderman. They still expressed misgivings, however.

“I expect to be invited to the next Pembroke Residents’ Association meeting in early April. My belief is that if we disagree, at least let us disagree based on honest fact.”

Blaney has scheduled an interview with the Post on Tuesday morning to provide further information about this issue.

Facing opposition from Alderman Harris, proponents of the plan have attempted to sweeten the pot in an effort to gain her support, including promises for a new Boys & Girls Club location and public works improvements in her ward, she told the Post.

Harris, who represents the Pembroke Community as part of her ward, released Blaney’s memo on her alderman Facebook page on Thursday evening and explained her involvement in the plan.

“I was invited to a meeting to talk about the city possibly donating a very big plot of land that is located in my ward in Pembroke,” Harris said on her alderman Facebook page. “They also wanted us to pay the cost of demolition of some Trent Court Buildings and they would in return give the city some waterfront wetlands.

“It was stated that they wanted to relocate Trent Court Residents to the property they would build in Pembroke area but also give them a right to come back to the Trent Court area after they rebuild new homes and condos.”

Harris said she didn’t agree with the plan and said it sounded like a case of gentrification (although she also said she would support the deal if the Housing Authority paid full price for the Carolina Avenue property).

“Then I was asked to a second meeting but this time they added the Boys & Girls Club into to the mix,” Harris said. “Basically what I got out of the meeting is, we would help the Boys & Girls Club if the city once again provides the big plot of land in Pembroke. At this meeting, I personally made it clear that I am not in favor of any deal.

“I have never given misleading information,” she wrote, referring to Blaney’s memo describing his version of the plan as different from hers. “I never stated that the city wants control over the property and I simply stated that I would only vote yes if full price was offered for the land.

“I am doing the job that I was voted into office to do. I refuse to be a ‘Yes Man’! If I don’t like the idea and I ask my constituents about the idea and they don’t like it as well, then leave it alone.”

Commissioner Frederick said he was not aware of any request for the city to pay for any demolition in Trent Court, or any promises to pay for public works projects in her ward. 

 

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Community, Economy and Employment, Housing, Mayor, New Bern

March 23rd, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

(Note: Links for documentation expire when the next agenda is posted)

CITY OF NEW BERN
BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
MARCH 27, 2018 – 6:00 P.M.
CITY HALL COURTROOM
300 POLLOCK STREET

1. Meeting opened by Mayor Dana E. Outlaw.  Prayer Coordinated by Alderman Aster.  Pledge of Allegiance.
2. Roll Call.
Consent Agenda.
3. Consider Adopting a Resolution to Close Specific Streets on April 21, 2018 for United Worship Center’s Community Day.
(Ward 1) Walter Linsey, an elder with United Worship Center, has requested the 800 block of West Street and 900 block of Main Street be closed to vehicular traffic from 12 noon until 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2018.  The Center will be holding its annual Community Day, which is a time of gathering for food, games and entertainment.  A memo from Foster Hughes, Director of Parks and Recreation, is attached along with a map of the area, the pre-event questionnaire, and a petition of consent from those who reside in the 800 block of West Street. (See Backup)
4. Consider Adopting a Resolution to Close Specific Streets on May 17, 2018 for the New Bern Police Department’s Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony.
(Ward 1) Lt. Jason Williams with the New Bern Police Department has requested the 600-700 blocks of Queen Street and 500-600 blocks of George Street be closed to vehicular traffic on May 17, 2018 from 8 a.m. until 12 noon for the department’s Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony.  A memo from Mr. Hughes is attached along with a map of the area and a pre-event questionnaire. (See Backup)
5. Consider Adopting a Resolution Calling for a Public Hearing to Rezone 107 and 109 Beech Street from R-6S Residential and I-1 Industrial Districts to C-3 Commercial District.
(Ward 5) Michael Stephens, the owner of 107 and 109 Beech Street, has requested to have the property rezoned from R-6S Residential and I-1 Industrial to C-3 Commercial District.  The property is located near the corner of Beech Street and Oaks Road and consists of approximately 1.14 acres.  The Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved the request at its March 6, 2018 meeting. State statute and local ordinance require the Governing Board to hold a public hearing to receive comments on the requested rezoning.  The proposed resolution calls for the hearing to be held on April 10, 2018.  A memo from Bradleigh Sceviour, Planner II, is attached along with a map of the subject property. (See Backup)
6. Consider Adopting a Resolution Calling for a Public Hearing to Rezone 1225 S. Glenburnie Road from R-6 Residential and C-4 Neighborhood Business District to C-3 Commercial District.
(Ward 4) The City of New Bern owns property located at 1225 S. Glenburnie Road and has requested to have the property rezoned from R-6S Residential and I-1 Industrial to C-3 Commercial District.  The property is located near the corner of Neuse Boulevard and S. Glenburnie Road and consists of approximately 4.77 acres.  This is the subject property for the proposed relocation of the City Garage.  The Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved the request at its March 6, 2018 meeting.  State statute and local ordinance require the Governing Board to hold a public hearing to receive comments on the requested rezoning.  The proposed resolution calls for the hearing to be held on April 10, 2018.  A memo from Mr. Sceviour is attached along with a map of the subject property. (See Backup)
7. Consider Adopting a Resolution Calling for a Public Hearing to Amend Article XXII, Section 15-463 “Design Guidelines and Performance Standards – Trent Road Corridor” of the Land Use Ordinance.
On March 6, 2018, staff presented to the Planning and Zoning (“P&Z”) Board proposed changes to the Land Use Ordinance with respect to the design guidelines and performance standards for the Trent Road corridor.  At that time, P&Z voted unanimously to approve the changes.  The next step is for the Board of Aldermen to conduct a public hearing on April 10, 2018 for it to also consider approval of the changes.  A memo from Mr. Sceviour is attached along with copies of the proposed ordinance changes and a redlined version to easily identify those changes. (See Backup)
8. Consider Adopting a Resolution to Call for a Public Hearing on the System Development Fee Analysis.
In July 2017, the NC General Assembly passed House Bill 436 amending Chapter 162A of the General Statutes by adding “Article 8, System Development Fees”.  This new article intends to provide for uniform authority with respect to implementing system development fees for public water and sewer systems, as well as clarify the applicable statute of limitations.  The amendment requires a written analysis be performed to calculate the system development fee based upon prescriptive criteria.  In response to this requirement, the City employed Rivers & Associates, Inc. to perform a professional analysis.  Prior to considering adoption of the analysis, House Bill 436 requires the local government post the analysis on its webpage for public review and comment for a minimum of 45 days.  This period has been completed and no written comments were received.  The City is now required to hold a public hearing prior to considering adoption of the analysis.  The public hearing will be called for April 10, 2018.  A memo from Jordan Hughes, City Engineer, is attached. (See Backup)
9. Approve Minutes.
Minutes from the March 13, 2018 regular meeting and March 19, 2018 work session are attached for review and approval.
********************
10. Presentation and Discussion of Neuse Boulevard Site and Relocation of City Garage.
(Ward 4) As you are aware, the Water Resources Division will be relocating from its current site on Neuse Boulevard to a new facility on Highway 55.  In September 2016, as part of a presentation seeking direction regarding the Water Resources facility, the Board was presented with options for the division’s current site.  One of the options included relocating the City Garage to the Neuse Boulevard property.  This presentation will present that plan so the current Board is fully informed and can offer direction. (See Backup)
11. Consider Adopting a Budget Ordinance Amendment for the FY2017-18 General Fund.
(Ward 1) On November 14, 2017, an ordinance was adopted amending the list of City-Sponsored events to include a New Year’s Eve Celebration.  This will be a family-friendly event that includes a kids’ zone, DJ and live entertainment.  In order to begin preparations for this event, entertainment needs to be booked and general supplies purchased.  Sponsorships will be sought to offset the cost of the event, but a budget amendment for $16,500 is sought to begin planning the event.  Memos from Foster Hughes, Director of Parks and Recreation, and J. R. Sabatelli, Director of Finance, are attached. (See Backup)
12. Appointment(s).
13. Attorney’s Report.
14. City Manager’s Report.
15. New Business.
16. Closed Session.
17. Adjourn.

Posted in Board of Aldermen

March 15th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Preliminary plans have been released for the proposed 850-acre Martin Marietta Park that depict something the size and scope of which would make it one of the most significant municipal parks in the state.

Aldermen, the mayor, staff and advisers will meet upstairs at City Hall at 1 p.m. Monday to discuss the park and a proposed city redevelopment area and commission. (Link to agenda; note that the link has a limited shelf life.)

As depicted in maps, Martin Marietta Park would include a large amphitheater, swimming area, boating area, hiking trails and numerous other features. The plan does not indicate how the city would pay for developing the park.

Posted in Activities, Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Mayor, Parks and Recreation

March 15th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Fresh from her first National League of Cities conference in Washington D.C., Alderman Jameesha Harris returned  to New Bern on Tuesday eager to spread the conference’s theme, “Rebuild with Us.”

During her return trip from D.C., her head filled with all sorts of dynamic, innovative things that she was eager to see happen here, Harris excitedly texted her fellow aldermen and city staff to look into a program called Opportunity Zones.

And then she got shut down.

(Anyone who has ever attended a professional conference, only to have everything you’ve learned dismissed by the gatekeepers in the home office, raise your hand.)

According to Goman+York, a real estate and economic development firm based in East Hartford, Connecticut, “The Opportunity Zones provision aims to attract longer-term investment to certain eligible areas, focusing on Opportunity Zones — those areas that struggle most with issues such as high poverty rates and sluggish economic growth in the job sector. BisNow noted recently that the bill is structured to be particularly generous towards real estate developers, especially those willing to invest in an area for longer than 10 years.” Full story here

Time is short if the city wants to take advantage of Opportunity Zones benefits, Harris said. Applicant cities have until March 31 to apply or ask for extension from their state governors’ offices.

City Development Services Director Jeff Ruggieri said he looked into it over a couple of days. The program left him underwhelmed, and in essence he shut down Harris’ push to have the program applied in New Bern.

He said similar ideas have been around since 1980s under different names — Enterprise Zone, Freedom Zone, Promise Zone. Those programs had a lot of criteria attached, he said, mainly to create jobs, affordable housing, or both.

He said reviews have been mixed on the Opportunity Zones and that this program has no criteria that he can find. It’s a fund set up based on deferred taxes for people who have capital gains, he said.

“It’s kind an odd program at this point in time. The way I see it, there is nothing that says you need to create jobs. All these other ones say, here, you can go through this program, but you need to do something. You need to create low income housing, you need to create so many jobs. Can’t find any criteria with this program at all.

“It seems kind of counter intuitively as it is applied. Since there’s really no stated goal, … there’s no goal of creating a low income housing or anything like that. The goal really is just to create money. Which can work, we can create projects that would work for something like this, but I don’t think we’re there yet. We really need a specific project and a very specific plan. Need a lot more infrastructure in place, human capital. A lot more capacity to really make this work.

“It’s another incentive, another tool. We have a lot of tools in the tool box incentive wise, especially to apply in our Greater Duffyfield Area.

“But there’s 20 years of data out there that really address incentives and whether they work or if they don’t. Overwhelmingly they really don’t work, they don’t make much of a difference. There’s a couple of projects here and there that work, but over all they really don’t do much.”

Ruggieri said the best way to incentivize development and jobs in a community “is to do some really simple things. Create a safe place for people to live and children to play. Have great schools. Create inclusive transportation system. Sidewalks, safe public transportation. Create a great place to look at. Those things are really what works, and plenty of empirical evidence to support that.

“This (Opportunity Zones) could be another tool, I just don’t see us using it yet,” he said.

There are plenty of examples of “really simple things” that the city is rolling out around the city — just not in the Five Points area, Duffyfield or Dryborough. The only programs the city is actively pursuing in those areas is the demolition of dilapidated buildings and the foreclosing of distressed properties the city in turn has been selling at a loss of thousands of dollars per property.

In short, the city’s efforts in those parts of town are failing. A program like Opportunity Zones, which seek private investment, may succeed where the city has failed. Only problem is that, because it lacks criteria, it would be hard for City Hall to control Opportunity Zones investments.

Harris was a first-time attendee at the National League of Cities conference, learning information and interacting with peers from across the nation. She mentioned another program on Tuesday, Race Equity Leadership Initiative. She said it provides grant money for a consultant to come out and assess whether the community is diverse.

That’s a program that really does seem to serve no purpose. The answer is obvious: New Bern has an ethnically diverse population but an ethnically segregated social structure.

Check out the local country clubs and golf courses and count the number of non-white faces you see there (other than the employees). Stroll through downtown and count the number of non-white faces you encounter. Ask the Chamber of Commerce what percentage of its members are non-white. Go to church on Sundays and look at the congregations. Drive through Trent Woods and River Bend, then Duffyfield, Dryborough and James City. How many African American students attend Epiphany School or many other church-based schools in this community? How many of New Bern’s public elementary schools are ethnically diverse?

Diversity actually does exist somewhat in New Bern’s major retail stores (most notably Wal-Mart) and restaurants (RIP Golden Corral). Many workplaces in New Bern are diverse (again, Wal-Mart).

But overall, New Bern has a long way to go. Opportunity Zones may not fit the mold that City Hall is creating for its vision of New Bern, but maybe that’s exactly what it needs if it is going to fix Duffyfield, Dryborough and Greater Five Points.

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Economy and Employment, New Bern business and commerce

March 12th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

CITY OF NEW BERN
BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING
MARCH 13, 2018 – 6:00 P.M.
CITY HALL COURTROOM
300 POLLOCK STREET

 

1.  Meeting opened by Mayor Dana E. Outlaw.  Prayer Coordinated by Alderman Aster.  Pledge of Allegiance.
2.  Roll Call.
3.  Request and Petition of Citizens.
This section of the Agenda is titled Requests and Petitions of Citizens.  This is an opportunity for public comment, and we thank you for coming to the Board of Aldermen meeting tonight to share your views.  We value all citizen input.
Speaker comments are limited to a maximum of 4 minutes during the public comment period.  At the conclusion of 4 minutes, each speaker shall leave the podium.  Comments will be directed to the full board, not to an individual board member or staff member.  Although the board is interested in hearing your comments, speakers should not expect any comments, action or deliberation from the board on any issue raised during the public comment period.
In the board’s discretion, it may refer issues to the appropriate city officials or staff for further investigation.  If an organized group is present to speak on a common issue, please designate one person to present the group’s comment, which shall be limited to a maximum of 4 minutes.

Consent Agenda
4.  Consider Approving a Proclamation for Juneteenth.
As one of the collaborators planning a Juneteenth Celebration for New Bern, Alderman Harris has requested a proclamation recognizing Juneteenth.  Information about the planned celebratory events will be available in the near future. (See Backup)
5.  Consider Approving a Proclamation for the 25th Anniversary of the New Bern Chapter of Continental Societies, Inc.
Phyllis Robinson has requested a proclamation in honor of the 25th anniversary of New Bern’s Chapter of Continental Societies, Inc.  The organization is a public service group that assists underprivileged children and youth.  The local chapter was inducted into the national organization on February 20, 1993. (See Backup)
6.  Consider Approving a Proclamation for Human Trafficking Awareness Week.
Sarah Tellis has requested a proclamation acknowledging the week of April 8-14, 2018 as Human Trafficking Awareness Week.  A conference will be held during the week of April 8th to address this importance issue. (See Backup)
7.  Approve Minutes.
Minutes from the February 13, 2018 and February 27, 2018 regular meetings and the February 16, 2018 work session are provided for review and approval.

********************
8.  Presentation of Longevity Certificates.
Employment service is recognized at five-year increments.  A roster is enclosed of all employees who are eligible to receive a service certificate for the period of July to December 2017.  Some of these employees will be present at the meeting, and certificates will be on hand for the Mayor to present.  Sonya Hayes, Director of Human Resources, will be available to assist with the presentation. (See Backup)

9.  Conduct a Public Hearing, Consider Adopting a Statement of Zoning Consistency, and Consider Adopting an Ordinance to Initially Zone Property Located at the Intersection of Waterscape Way and West Thurman Road Identified as Tax Parcel 7-104-12002. 
(Ward 3) Kip Peregoy of Carolina Colours Association has submitted a request to have an approximately 1.77-acre of land zoned C-3 Commercial.  The parcel is located at the intersection of W. Thurman Road and Waterscape Way and is further identified as Tax Parcel ID 7-104-12002.  This is an initial zoning request which requires a public hearing pursuant to state statute and local ordinance.
The C-3 commercial district is established as a district for offices, personal services, and the retailing of durable and convenience goods.  Staff has reviewed the request and finds the initial zoning consistent with the Land Use Plan, Transportation Plan, and nearby land uses and, therefore, recommends approval of the request.  Additionally, the Planning and Zoning Board considered the request at its February 7, 2018 meeting and voted unanimously to approve the request.  A memo from Morgan Potts, City Planner, is attached along with a map of the subject property and an excerpt of minutes from the Planning and Zoning Board’s recent meeting. (See Backup)

10. Conduct a Public Hearing, Consider Adopting a Statement of Zoning Consistency, and Consider Adopting an Ordinance to Rezone Property Located Near the Intersection of Waterscape Way and West Thurman Road Identified as Tax Parcels 7-104-9004 and 7-104-10006 from R-8 Residential to C-3 Commercial.
(Ward 3)  Kip Peregoy of Carolina Colours Association has also submitted a request to rezone two parcels of land from R-8 Single Family Residential to C-3 Commercial District.  The parcels consist of approximately 3.86 acres of land and are located near the intersection of Waterscape Way and W. Thurman Road.  They are identified as Tax Parcel IDs 7-104-9004 and 7-104-10006.  State statute and local ordinance require the Board to hold a public hearing to receive comments on the requested rezoning.
The C-3 commercial district is established as a district for offices, personal services, and the retailing of durable and convenience goods.  Staff has reviewed the request and finds the initial zoning consistent with the Land Use Plan, Transportation Plan, and nearby land uses and, therefore, recommends approval of the request.  Additionally, the Planning and Zoning Board considered the request at its February 7, 2018 meeting and voted unanimously to approve the request. A memo from Mrs. Potts is attached along with a map of the subject property and an excerpt of minutes from the Planning and Zoning Board’s recent meeting. (See Backup)

11. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving an Agreement with NC Department of Transportation for Old Airport Road.
(Ward 3) The City has been working on a plan to improve the condition and safety of three main roadway arteries, one of which is Old Airport Road between Taberna Circle and County Line Road.  Because Old Airport Road is mostly owned and maintained by NCDOT, staff has been working with DOT to iron out a possible agreement whereby the City would assume ownership and/or maintenance of several sections of the road in return for DOT contributing funds toward the maintenance of the project.  One of the concerns with Old Airport Road was its width and ability of vehicles to safely meet, especially larger vehicles such as school buses.  Other than resurfacing the road, DOT had no plan to widen or otherwise improve the road.
An agreement has been reached, the terms of which are as follows:

  • The City will assume ownership and maintenance of a 1.51-mile stretch of roadway and a bridge located at the connection point of SR-1111 and SR-1997 near Evans Mill Subdivision, which is identified as Bridge #10;
  • The City will assume maintenance of an additional 0.51-mile stretch of roadway;
  • The City will widen and resurface Old Airport Road (SR-1111 and SR-1997) within 24 months of the agreement;
  • NCDOT will abandon from the state road system all sections of Old Airport Road within the municipal city limits of New Bern, including Bridge #10;
  • NCDOT will pay the City $687,000 for widening, resurfacing, and pavement repairs once the abandoned sections of road have been accepted by the City; and
  • Either party may terminate this agreement with consent of the other party prior to the transfer of funds.

A memo from Matt Montanye, Director of Public Works, is attached along with a map of Old Airport Road and the proposed agreement. (See Backup)

12. Consider Adopting a Resolution in Support of a Speed Limit Change in the Pleasant Hill Community.
(Ward 5) Alderman Best announced at the Board’s last meeting that residents of Pleasant Hill have signed a petition seeking a reduction of the speed limit along Highway 55W from the Highway 43 Connector to Beaman’s Fork.  The current speed limit ranges from 45 to 55 mph.  This area is a moderately-populated residential area that also includes a daycare center and a city-owned park with a playground (Pleasant Hill Park).  The current speed limits raise safety concerns for the residents, children, and pedestrians.
Additionally, the residents have expressed a desire for NCDOT to consider resurfacing the area of Highway 55W from the NC 43 Connector to the end of the city limits, which is in the vicinity of Clarks.  It is the residents’ recollection that this area of roadway has not been resurfaced in at least 25 years.  The proposed resolution signifies the City’s support of both these requests.  If adopted, the resolution will be forwarded to NCDOT and the MPO. (See Backup)

13. Consider Adopting an Ordinance to Amend the FY2017-18 General Fund and MSD Fund Budgets.
At its last meeting, the Board adopted an ordinance amendment to implement changes in downtown parking.  As a result of those changes, the proposed budget amendment appropriates $39,100 for the parking enforcement program.  These funds will be used specifically for part-time parking enforcement officers, uniforms, software to manage the parking citations, and a vehicle to be utilized by parking enforcement.  Funding will be provided through a transfer of $34,000 from the Municipal Service District (“MSD”) and $5,100 from the General Fund.  Memos from Police Chief Toussaint Summers and J.R. Sabatelli, Director of Finance, are attached. (See Backup)

14. Consider Adopting an Ordinance Amending the Schedule of Fees and Charges.
Also at its last meeting, the Board adopted a resolution placing the structure at 408 Hancock Street under the purview of Parks and Recreation as a multipurpose art center.  The Schedule of Fees and Charges, which was last updated and adopted on May 23, 2017, will be amended to include the fees associated with the operation of this center.  Additionally, Parks and Recreation and Development Services have identified some other fees that need to be adjusted.  All of the proposed changes are identified on the attached “redline” version of the schedule.  A brief memo from Mr. Sabatelli is attached. (See Backup)

15. Appointment(s).
Peggy Broadway’s term on the Appearance Commission expired on March 1, 2018.  Appointments are made on a rotating basis, and Alderman Odham is asked to fill this seat.  Pursuant to the ordinance, appointees shall be residents of the City’s planning and zoning jurisdiction and shall, when possible, have had special training or experience in a design field such as architecture, landscape design, horticulture, city planning, or a closely-related field.  Members of the Appearance Commission serve a three-year term.  The commission currently holds its meetings at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at Parks and Recreation’s administrative offices. (See Backup)

16. Attorney’s Report.
17. City Manager’s Report.
18. New Business.
19. Closed Session.
20. Adjourn.

Posted in Board of Aldermen

March 7th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin
Before and after photos show impacts on Trent Road from the New Bern Marketplace shopping center construction. The photo on the left was taken several years ago. The photo on the right was taken on Wednesday.

City officials are revising design standards for the Trent Road Corridor “to accurately reflect the development pattern” that has emerged on that stretch of city street.

Changes were approved by the Planning and Zoning Board at its meeting on Tuesday and will come before the Board of Aldermen for final approval.

Changes include:

  • Removing a requirement that buildings maintain a front yard setback of 35-50 feet from the street right-of-way.
  • Removing a requirement that at least 60 percent of the front yard area of any development will consist of vegetation.
  • Removing a requirement that parking be on the side or behind buildings rather than between Trent Road and the main building.

The section of Trent Road the city is looking to revise development guidelines amid a surge in growth. City of New Bern map

The affected corridor stretches from Ninth Street to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Trent Road was once the main road serving New Bern, Jones County and Jacksonville, but a new road, once called Clarendon Boulevard but now called Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, shifted development away from Trent Road.

Trent Road became a commercial backwater over the years, but more recently, with the development of New Bern Marketplace and other smaller commercial and office facilities, Trent Road is becoming a popular location for developers.

Of course, the largest by far is New Bern Marketplace, a 34-acre, 325,000-square-foot shopping center located between Dr. M.L. King Jr. Boulevard, Trent Road and South Glenburnie Road.

New Bern Marketplace will be anchored by Harris Teeter’s first 100,000-square-foot grocery store, which will include a gas station and a pharmacy with a drive-though. Other retailers opening there include Academy Sports, Ross, ULTA, Five Below, Lee Nails Spa, Hobby Lobby, and Rack Room.

A worker installs lettering at the Ross Dress for Less store at New Bern Marketplace on Wednesday. Randy Foster/New Bern Post

Posted in Board of Aldermen, New Bern business and commerce, Planning and Zoning

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