November 2016 Highlights

In November, the city council approved assisting in a study of redevelopment potential for the Peters Creek Parkway/Academy Street area.  First, here’s a look at sanitation and leaf collections as well as the Hawthorne road closure during December.

Holiday collection schedule changes:     Here’s a switch—because the Christmas and New Year’s holiday days off are both observed on Mondays this year, there is no change in garbage or recycling collection schedules for either week.  However, yard waste collection routes will be delayed by one day both weeks.  (So if you’ve got a really hard core winter lawn, put the cart out a day late those weeks!)  http://www.cityofws.org/Departments/Sanitation/Holiday-Schedule

Leaf collection continues:     Curbside loose leaf collection is continuing in December.  If you have leaves you wish to have collected, please have them raked to the curb, no car parked in front of them, and no sticks, trash, bags or other foreign objects mixed in with the leaves.  A leaf collection truck will only pick up each block once during each round—no return trips for a house that didn’t have its leaves on the curb yet.

There are three rounds of collection scheduled this season for each city quadrant.  You can follow the progress of collection routes here:  https://www6.cityofws.org/COWS_ServiceFinder/LeafCollection.aspx

Hawthorne Road work continues:     As of the start of December, work on the Ardmore utility lines renovation project continues to have Hawthorne Road closed to through traffic between Magnolia and Coventry streets between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.  That section is scheduled to be reopened on December 10, weather permitting.  Detours involving Magnolia, Walker, and Lyndhurst are in place.  Please continue to slow down and exercise special caution when using those detours—and if possible avoid driving through that area during the scheduled closure times. 

Peters Creek Parkway redevelopment study:     The city council on November 21 approved participation in funding a market feasibility study for the property on the southwest corner of the Peters Creek Parkway and Academy Street intersection.  The old Budget Inn there has been a source of concern for the surrounding area for years, and several interested community parties are working to encourage improved redevelopment at that location.  Community non-profits The Shalom Project and the Peters Creek Community Initiative have raised private funding from BB&T and other sources for the study.  The city agreed to provide up to $15,000 to help fund the study.  The city contribution will come from remaining business privilege license tax revenues from electronic sweepstakes operations. 

The study will look at the potential for mixed use redevelopment including a heavy component of workforce affordable housing for the site.  Positive results from feasibility studies such as this one can assist in attracting private capital for targeted redevelopment efforts.  Due to the proximity of this location to good residential neighborhoods and the edge of strong downtown redevelopment nearby, we expect that addressing that one problem location will facilitate revitalization of the entire surrounding commercial area.  Building workforce affordable housing on the site will also help meet a growing demand for that housing in our center city areas.

4th Street rezoning proposal withdrawn:     On November 7, a proposal to rezone an existing residential area along 4th Street between Business 40 and Peters Creek Parkway was withdrawn.  A developer had been seeking rezoning of those currently residential properties to commercial, including a proposed hotel.  Traffic analysis suggested that the requested rezoning at that location could have increased traffic from that site from 871 trips/day to 5,643 trips/day.  Much of that added traffic would move through the adjoining residential area.  That impact and other potential problems led to strong opposition from adjacent neighborhoods, as well as city/county Planning staff.  The Planning Board unanimously recommended denial of the request, and it was withdrawn by request of the petitioning parties.

Building Integrated Communities Action Plan:    The city council on November 21 gave approval for the city’s Human Relations Department to begin implementing its “Building Integrated Communities” Action Plan.  This is a program which works to ensure that new immigrants to our community are made aware of and helped to access local programs of fair housing, law enforcement assistance, help dealing with domestic violence, health care access, public transportation, education, and other community services.  It’s a reaffirmation that Winston-Salem is an actively welcoming city, and recognizes that we all do better when each part of our community succeeds.  More information on this effort can be found here:  http://www.cityofws.org/Departments/Human-Relations/Building-Integrated-Communities 

Cleaning up nuisance trash situations:     The city council on November 21 also gave final approval for specific new cleanup fees to apply when the city has to clean up a trash mess that a property owner has failed to correct.  The new fee schedule sets out the charges to be applied when the city has to use a truck and crew members to clean up (for example) trash from an overflowing dumpster.  The change is responsive to recurring problems at some apartment complexes and businesses.

Upcoming December meetings:     There are two public information meeting series I’d like to call to your attention this coming month:

--New bus routes:     The Winston-Salem Transit Authority is holding a series of public information sessions on the new citywide bus routes.  Meetings will include one at Miller Park Rec Center on Monday, December 5, from 5-7 p.m.; and two at the Transportation Center downtown on N. Liberty St., on Wednesday, December 7 from 9-11 a.m., and on Thursday, December 8 from 4-6 p.m.

--County tax reappraisal process:     The Forsyth County Tax Department will hold a series of public information meetings on the upcoming property tax reappraisal process, including two at the Southside Public Library on Buchanan Street:  Tuesday, December 6 from 7-9 p.m., and Thursday, December 15 from 2-4 p.m.

NLC conference:     In November, I participated as one of Winston-Salem’s representatives to the National League of Cities (NLC) annual conference.  Among other work, I participated in the NLC Transportation Infrastructure and Services (TIS) Policy Advocacy Committee, the NLC Advisory Board, the NLC Large Cities Council, and workshops on transportation and sustainability projects.  I will write and post a more detailed summary on my home page this month.

Finally this month, I’ll just say THANK YOU to all my constituents in the Southwest Ward who this month voted to entrust me with another term as your representative to Winston-Salem city government.  I will continue to do my best to work for you.

That’s my report for November.  As always, you are welcome to email me at danbesse@danbesse.org with comments or questions.  Thanks.

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