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Clover Lane Rezoning Committee
Council Vote: April 4
City Council voted to approve the Clover Lane Rezoning on April 4.
Thank you to the neighborhood committee who worked so hard for over 11 months to advocate for Mordecai residents.
The owners filed final conditions on Friday March 24. Plans call for a 55 foot tall, 4 story, 280 unit apartment building to be constructed on the site of the current Mordecai on Clover property.
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An application for rezoning was filed on May 8, 2022 to rezone the Clover Lane parcel, located in the center of the Mordecai Community on Wake Forest Road. The property is currently included in the Mordecai II NCOD.
A community committee was formed in April 2022. They met weekly and had ongoing discussions on Slack and email for nearly a year. If you have questions please contact neighborhood leaders Catherine Clodfelter, Brian Lee, and Sara Merz by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
City Council voted to approve the rezoning on April 4, 2023.
Committee Mission Statement:
The Clover Lane Rezoning Committee will channel neighborhood feedback about the Clover Lane rezoning options to advocate for the interests of property owners and residents.
May 8, 2022: An application for rezoning was filed on May 8, 2022: https://cityofraleigh0drupal.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/drupal-prod/COR22/Z-043-22.pdf Status and details here: https://raleighnc.gov/planning/zoning-cases.
August 24: Clover Lane Rezoning: Second public meeting held on Wednesday, August 24, 6pm at Halifax Community Center
From the chairs: "We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to come and discuss concerns or ask questions. Even if you are happy with the application, the only way we can make sure the neighbors are all heard is to show up and talk. The applicant will write notes about what gets said at this meeting and that will be filed and submitted to the City as part of the application. So, regardless of your viewpoint about the proposed application, come and share it. That’s the only way we can work toward making sure any redevelopment addresses everyone’s concerns."
September 27: the Raleigh Planning Commission heard the Clover Lane Rezoning case. After a 50 minute presentation and extended discussion, case Z-43-22 was deferred to the Infrastructure and Mobility Committee. Thanks to Catherine Clodfelter, Sara Merz, and Ralph Flanary for speaking and to nearly 20 Mordecai neighbors coming to support and hold signs. Community members are concerned about traffic, preservation of the NCOD, loss of naturally occurring affords housing, height, stormwater runoff, access, and more.
November 8: the planning commission voted to approve the Clover Lane rezoning request (Z-43-2022) , 7-1. The next step in this process will be City Council on January 24. On November 8, one Planning Commissioner voted against the application because the conditions needed more work, and she wished to underscore that point to City Council. Many neighbors were disappointed at the outcome of the Planning Commission vote. Concerns include height, runoff, traffic, and density. The proposal does not specify if a three, four, or five story building, apartments, townhomes, or single family homes would be built. The current residents of Clover Lane would be displaced, and this area is considered to be "naturally occurring affordable housing".
December: Clover Lane Rezoning- Committee Concerns, December 2022
We can't be sure that conditions protect the neighborhood if there is no definite plan for this property.
This property is unique - with 57 units of naturally occurring affordable housing, located in the heart of Mordecai - and any redevelopment will have significant impacts to its historic character and the infrastructure we all share, including streets and stormwater systems.
The City should know the impact that any redevelopment is going to have on City infrastructure; otherwise the cost of redevelopment falls on residents and the City, and that isn't fair. To know the impacts, we need a TIA and the help of a stormwater engineer before rezoning. Once the property is rezoned, it is too late.
We have tried to work with the applicant over the past 6 months to develop specific conditions absent a plan for the property; despite those efforts, the current conditions are vague, unworkable, and do not protect the neighborhood, nor do they align with City Policy.
Because there is no definite plan for this property, the neighbors have carried a disproportionate burden in determining, communicating, and advocating for conditions that protect the neighborhood and align with City Policy in the event of a range of possible redevelopments. Twice now the applicant has provided proposed conditions to the neighbors only the day before they are provided to the City, giving the neighbors no time to review and respond to them with meaningful input.
Raleigh must pursue thoughtful and inclusive growth to remain a city with unique and open qualities.
January 24, 5pm, City Council Special Hearing We estimate that there were about 45 Mordecai neighbors there! That’s an amazing turnout and a great way to show council how many people in the Mordecai community feel strongly about this rezoning case. The case was deferred until February 21. The attorney and developers have the responsibility to meet with neighbors and work on conditions. Neighbors have expressed concern about access, height, setbacks, traffic, affordable housing, resident displacement, stormwater, and parking.
Thank you to everyone who attended the Raleigh City Council meeting on January 24 and to the four community representatives who spoke on behalf of the Clover Lane Rezoning Committee.
We estimate that there were about 45 Mordecai neighbors in attendance. That’s an amazing turnout and a great way to show council how many people in the Mordecai community feel strongly about this rezoning case.
The case was deferred until February 21 and was then continued to March 7. The attorney and developers have been having discussions with neighbors to work on conditions. Neighbors have expressed concern about access, height, setbacks, traffic, affordable housing, resident displacement, stormwater, and parking.
Please continue to follow our MCAC social media channels and this website to get updates about next steps.
The above renderings from January 2023 depict the project’s parameters that were communicated to the citizen’s group. They are preliminary modeling of the proposed buildable space.
These renderings show 2 views of a mass model and the buildable area the owner is asking for (in green).
One is a "birds eye" view looking from Watauga towards Wake Forest Road.
The front, at Wake Forest Road, has a height of 65 feet. The rear view shows a 75' tall structure which includes a slope of the site of 10 feet. That is 65 feet plus the 10' slope.
Three of the setbacks are shown at 100 feet from the survey lines, with one closer setback at the Wake Forest Road side.
This information created the "buildable space" generated and depicted.
Residences are shown as mass models too, with most of them having a total height of 25'. Some homes are taller and are shown at 30 feet.
The Rear elevation shows the 75 foot height of the project, a human being, and the size of the existing homes to get an idea of the scale of what is being proposed.
February 21, 1pm, City Council- Attorney Toby Coleman asked for a continuance to March 7.
March 3, Stakeholder Meeting with applicants, attorney, and neighbors
March 5 -Neighborhood committee zoom meeting
March 7, City Council- Attorney Toby Coleman asked for a continuance to March 21.
March 10- Conditions Filed
March 13 - Neighborhood committee zoom meeting
March 21- Council continued voting until April 4.
Website post from prior to the March 21 meeting:
Since our last big update the Clover Lane Rezoning Case has been continued twice. Some negotiations have taken place and conditions were filed. 3/10/23 Conditions can be found here
The Clover Lane owners took the building size from 5 stories to 4 conditioned stories and a layer of structured parking. Since then the neighbors have been advocating for one of two things - either a step down to three stories on the North and South sides or a larger buffer on both of those sides. We met with the owners on March 1 to discuss this issue. That meeting felt productive but resulted in minimal changes: the owners wrote in the conditions that there would be a minimum of 20ft buffer which is what the UDO requires, and would have “an average of 25 ft”. This average may not be much of a change at all.
Where we are now: The owners filed final conditions last Friday March 10 and cannot change them again before this case comes before Council on March 21st. A group of 14 neighbors met on March 13 to discuss what we would do for the March 21st hearing. We believe there is a chance Council will continue the case again to give the owners more time to address the step down/buffer requests. We will need to advocate for that continuance. Without a continuance, Council will vote on this rezoning on March 21st at 1pm.
What you can do:
1) Write a short email to Council if you support the continuance and include in your message:
a request for a continuance
a. “increase the buffers on Lafayette and Frank to 40 feet";
b. remove references to “post development grade”
Please as always communicate what you feel Council needs to hear.
2) Let us know if you can attend the March 21st, 1pm hearing by emailing email@example.com
March 24: The owners filed final conditions on Friday March 24.
April 4, 2023: City Council voted to approve the Clover Lane Rezoning on April 4.
CLOVER LANE: Clover Lane apartments were built in 1968 and sit on a 5.37 acre property with 57 two-story units, many with rental prices which are considered affordable. The "Mordecai on Clover" townhome property (405 Clover Lane) is currently zoned R-10, NCOD Mordecai II, which permits up to 90+ homes with a maximum building height of 35 feet.
Zoning application Z-43-2022 originally had the potential to put a five story, 65-75 foot tall, 310 unit residential building on the site of the Clover Lane Apartments on Wake Forest Road in the center of the Mordecai Community.
A committee of neighbors was formed by the Mordecai CAC in April and has been meeting since then. Community representatives have met with the developers and attorneys multiple times, and have stressed neighborhood concerns about access, height, setbacks, traffic, affordable housing, stormwater, and parking. The rezoning application is currently very broad and does not have "real plan" to address many of the neighbor concerns. The committee would like to see more reasonable conditions written into the application and urges council to require them.
The first Clover Lane rezoning hearing was held on January 24th at 5pm. Neighbors met with all but one council member before the New Year, and heard supportive comments about what reasonable changes to conditions could be suggested by the owners.
Although we encourage folks to express any and all opinions you have about the rezoning to City Council, even if they do not align with what we have talked about as a group, the Clover Lane Rezoning Committee asks that people consider underscoring the things we have been asking for as a group:
NOTE- The asks below were from December 2022:
Since this rezoning was filed, we have been asking for more information about stormwater impact and impact to Wake Forest Rd. In lieu of information, we need stronger conditions. A high level description of these suggestions are:
Simms driveway: the Simms' driveway which connects to Watauga and is currently not open to motor vehicles should be closed to residential motor vehicle use for all uses of Clover Lane (except emergency / utilities). The current condition only closes Simms driveway for uses of a certain density.
Height: We are asking that height be further limited. Our reasonable request is 4 stories and 48 feet in height. The owners previously dropped the height from 5 stories/80 feet to 5 stories/ 65 feet, but this is a meaningless reduction in height. The building cannot be 5 stories according to the Comprehensive Plan, and a 4 story apartment building does not need 65 in height. A 65 foot height allowance provides flexibility that the owners do not need and that hurts the neighbors on the perimeter.
Building Stepback: On the North, South and East sides, we are requesting that the height of the building start at 3 stories on the mutually agreed perimeter and then build up to the maximum height allowed. That structure is in line with the Comprehensive Plan, protects the neighbors on the perimeter, and makes for a more interesting and more attractive building while still allowing the owners to build out to a reasonable density.
Traffic: Because the proposed density could have a potentially large impact on walkability and the Wake Forest road diet, we are requesting a more reasonable maximum density for that property. The 310 units currently proposed is not based on any real projection, is higher than what the Comprehensive Plan contemplates, and threatens the Wake Forest road diet. We have asked for more information about what number of units would be appropriate (a cumulative TIA) before rezoning. In lieu of that information at this time, we are asking that the maximum number of units be reduced.
Affordability: we understand that addressing affordability is a city-wide issue and that council is working on ways to address affordability in development. We have suggested numerous ways to address affordability. At this point, we are requesting that some proportion of units be affordable, at least no higher than the same price of the current units per square foot.
Stormwater: we are asking that any stormwater engineer study, which will be required at site-planning stage, be made available to the neighbors when submitted to the City
Parking: For apartment building types, all parking needs be served by wrapped structured parking, not surface parking. This way, there are still plenty of spaces for the residents but we do not lose green space on the perimeter. If structured parking isn't going to be utilized in full, there isn't a reason or space for high density at that property.
Prohibited uses: the current prohibited uses go beyond what the neighbors have requested and, in some cases, reduce the ability for uses that might benefit the neighborhood and the City. We would like the prohibited uses to reflect those that the neighbors have asked for.
Individual council member emails (for each member, click on their names under pictures near the bottom): https://raleighnc.gov/city-council
Email to all city council members at once: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mordecai Place Neighborhood Plan/ NCOD:
In the early 1990’s, the Mordecai Neighborhood decided it wanted to participate in a city supported neighborhood planning process. In early 1994, the Raleigh City Council appointed 12 residents to a Mordecai Neighborhood Planning Task Force. Input was gathered from CAC residents at monthly CAC meetings as well as from “special” community meetings. From start to finish, the planning process took approximately nine months, culminating with approval of the Neighborhood Plan by City Council in September 1994.
The Mordecai Neighborhood Plan established the framework for the CAC seeking and obtaining two Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts (NCOD), a rezoning of part of the CAC from R-10 to Special R-6, and a listing of part of the CAC in the National Register of Historic Places. Considerable work has been done on a variety of other issues identified in the Neighborhood Plan, including pedestrian and vehicular traffic concerns. View the PDF document and maps here.
NCOD for Clover Lane:
Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts (NCODs) are generally limited to lot size, front setback and heights. This is the NCOD for Clover Lane according to the UDO. Note: the parcel is currently non-conforming. The apartments were built in 1967 before the NCOD was implemented.
Mordecai Neighborhood Plan NCOD, R-10:
b.Conservation District 2 (east of Wake Forest Road, south of Cedar Street and portions of Courtland Drive - see Mordecai Plan boundaries)
i.Minimum lot size: 7,260 square feet.
ii.Maximum lot size: 14,520 square feet.
iii.Minimum lot width: 50 feet.
iv.Maximum lot width: 100 feet.
v.Front yard setback: Minimum of 15 feet; maximum of 25 feet.
vi.Maximum building height: 35 feet.
This is not the first time Mordecai residents have been concerned about this property. The above newspaper articles are from 1965 when the Sims family first rezoned the property and the Clover Lane apartments were built.