Municipography: Rezoning on Peace Street for a Boutique Hotel

Municipography is a summary of current issues going through the Raleigh City Council and other municipal departments in the city. The point is to try to deliver any video, photos, and text associated with the discussions happening at City Hall or elsewhere. Since this is a downtown Raleigh blog, the focus is on the center of the city.

I recommend email readers click through to the website to see the embedded video.

Discussion continues over a potential new development on Peace Street where a developer wants to build a boutique hotel. 615 West Peace Street, mentioned on the blog before, is zoned for 3-stories but after an initial application of 5-stories, negotiation with neighbors have dropped it to 4.

Shown above is the public hearing around this issue that took place this week and I think it’s important for readers to watch. It gives you a sense of the council on density and rezoning cases.

On a positive note, I actually do think there is a sense of approving this but the council seemed to get into the weeds about the rooftop bar. A lot of the discussion focused on what can be done on a roof and some feel that a 4-story height limit in addition to a rooftop deck is basically the same as a 5-story building.

Here are the highlights if you don’t want to watch the whole thing:

  • First few minutes re-introduces the issue as this is not the first public hearing. A history of the issue is given and an update on the latest conditions compared to current zoning.
  • During the support portion of the public hearing, I recommended jumping to 13:20, Sunny Miller speaks in the support of the nearby businesses.
  • At 17:38, a lawyer representing The Paramount HOA seems to show most concern over the rooftop amenities.
  • At 45:10, you can really get a sense of the possible frustration in the development community as the applicant tries to close with some final words about how long and costly the process has been.
  • At 46:45, enthusiastic support from Councilor Stewart.

For me, I find myself repeating myself when I say that I want the council to focus on bigger issues but instead are diving into the weeds of each case that’s presented in front of them. I don’t want to go off here but it just seems that if a council meeting wants to spend time on what the railings are going to look like, something is wrong.

Watch the video and decide for yourself. The conversation continues on April 17 as the council voted 7-1 (Stewart opposing) to delay a decision by two weeks.

Boutique Hotel Planned for Peace Street Pending Rezoning Request

Corner of Boylan and Peace Street

At 615 West Peace Street, a request to rezone the property from 3 to 5 stories is working its way through the system. The developer wants to put a boutique hotel at the corner of Peace and Boylan.

At this point, only the request and information about the required meeting with nearby residents is posted on the city’s website. (see Z-017-17) I’m going to borrow some words from a regular commenter to the blog who was at that meeting.

In their initial pitch last night to neighbors, the developer promises a boutique hotel at that site but wants to exceed the NX-3-UG. The developer’s request came with no plans, elevations, or even design concepts to share. They have made no front-end investment in design services to sell their product but want neighbors to give their blessing to the zoning change to either 5 or 7 floors.

Thanks, John!

I kind of think that we have a wide gamut of proposed developments out there. Developers need a little salesmanship and need to do their homework regardless if they have a good idea or not. I really liked this article in the N&O comparing the pitches between 301 Hillsborough and 400 Hillsborough, both projects we’ve talked about on the blog.

You can see the reaction to a polished presentation versus the opposite.

It’s early on this project for Peace Street so we’ll see where it goes.