RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh City Council unanimously voted to defer the hotly-debated North Hills redevelopment proposal to next month, the latest delay in the project.
Jamie Schwedler, an attorney with Parker Poe working on the project, highlighted changes to Kane Realty's proposal during remarks at the meeting Tuesday afternoon. She noted the company lowered the height of their proposed tower from 40 stories down to 37 stories, and also backed no building permit to be issued for any new building in the Six Forks node until January 2026. Schwedler also emphasized other areas of the project, which included dedicated land for a fire station and affordable housing, in hoping to gain enough support.
"A vote against this case is a vote against those things, against affordable housing, against meaningful public transit, against environmentally responsible growth, and placing density where it's deserved. A vote for this case will ensure workers here will have meaningful routes to work and affordable places to live once they arrive here," said Schwedler.
The project has met resistance from some community members, who expressed ongoing issues over congestion in the area.
"Traffic - these concerns still exist. So we're going to push it off until (20)26 for a new bond to address the traffic for the towers that are being built? It just doesn't work. Traffic is going to worsen with construction, with people," said Shane Collins, who lives in the area.
"If you approve 37 or 40 stories, you're adding approximately 10,000 people into this confined area. These people will not be taking the bus. These people will be driving in and out. There is nowhere for these people to go. You've allocated areas for bus transportation, that's fine. However, the workforce that lives here will not be able to live here, because they will not be able to afford it. And they're the people that take the bus," added Larry Helfant, a fellow resident.
Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, who was re-elected to a second term last week, spoke with ABC11 after City Council's work session to review the updated proposal, and points Council Members are considering.
"When you look at the community benefits, we have a new transit station, we have the potential for expansion of our fire station there. They have agreed to bike-pedestrian improvements, affordable housing initiative. They've also agreed to not file any permits for building until 2026 because we all in Committee agreed we needed some time to start those improvements, transportation improvements," said Baldwin.
Outgoing Council Member Patrick Buffkin, who represents the district, was the first to support deferring a vote on the project. Before doing so, he pushed back on what he called "misinformation" about the approval process, and the steps city officials were following.
City Council deferred the issue until Tuesday, December 6th.