Raleigh residents fight high-rise development

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More than 150 people filled city council chambers beyond capacity to express concern over a new proposed high-rise near their historic inner-beltline neighborhood. (WTVD)

More than 150 people dressed in red t-shirts filled city council chambers beyond capacity to express concern over a new proposed high-rise near their historic inner-beltline neighborhood.

People who live in University Park say they want to protect and preserve their homes from the Meredith Heights project. Meredith Heights is a three to four-story dormitory-style building with 150 units with parking and space for offices and retail that would sit on a two acre parcel in the 3400 block of Hillsborough Street.

"Our neighbor has been around since 1920," said 35-year resident Shera Hube. "It's a very family oriented neighborhood and has a good variety of people who live in it of all ages."

Developer Cedar Forks' request for the city to rezone the land for the project comes about three months after the city's planning committee unanimously approved the proposal.

Longtime residents, families and even kids in the audience expressed concern over the chaos the project would create.

"There will be lots more traffic up and down Hillsborough Street -- my road -- and it's going to be very noisy for the next 18 months I think," said resident Bronte Delmonico, who is 12.

At the end of the 45 minute public hearing, the city council members sympathized with neighbors and decided to postpone their vote on rezoning until the Feb. 17 meeting.

"I think this case demonstrates that we need to look very carefully at what the implications are of what we're building in our city," Wayne Maiorano, who represents District A, told the audience.

"The council looked at it from our eyes and from the passion that we have and they understood that maybe this development as it is today is not compatible with our neighborhood," said resident Michael Ball.

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