Huge crowd on hand for second public hearing on Raleigh rezoning

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The City of Raleigh held a second meeting Tuesday evening on a plan to rezone a third of the city.

Almost every seat in the first floor auditorium at the Duke Energy Center was full of people ready with notes in their lap for their turn at the podium.

"I don't think that rezoning is going to do anything but benefit the city a financial greatness," said Raleigh resident Heather Richardson.

Raleigh rezoning map

"The outcry from the community I think is part lack of communication and part lack of trust," said fellow resident Michelle Corbin.

Tuesday night's 100-strong crowd is spillover from the crowd two weeks ago at City Hall when people packed council chambers and the hallway outside. Those who didn't get a chance to speak during that three-hour time slot got their chance Tuesday night to talk city leaders out of rezoning 30 percent of the city.

"I purchased my home a little over two years ago. I thought it could be a place where I could grow old. Now, I'm not so sure," said Raleigh resident Marilyn Faulk.

Faulk joined many in the crowd who worried about finding retail or office space too close to her front door.

"I'm not sure I want to live there that much longer. Who wants to live behind a three-story building? I have a ranch style house. That changes the whole character of the neighborhood," said Faulk.

While some council members said the new remapping plan needs tweaking, they said the plan is needed for Raleigh's inevitable growth.

"Sixty-two people move here every single day. We've got to accommodate that growth by going up and not out," said Raleigh City Councilman Bonner Gaylord. "Our new development code allows for that vertical growth, allows for that density that we know will prevent us from looking like Atlanta one day in the future."

Tuesday night's meeting didn't last quite as long as the last public comment session, this one was two-and-a-half hours.

Council members said they will take all the comments they've heard into consideration in finalizing the remapping plan. When that will be is open-ended.

Click here to see the full plan.

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