by Bob Geary
The Raleigh Council said yes a month ago, but without a public hearing. So yesterday the Wake County Commissioners, after an emotional two-hour public hearing, said whoa -- before we vote, we think the Raleigh Council should hear what we heard from the neighborhood. Maybe they'll change their minds. Well today, the Raleigh Council voted yes again, 7-1 (Isley), and again, there was no hearing. Ball back in your court, commissioners.
The voting, and non-voting, was about the 26-unit apartment building on Glenwood Avenue that nonprofit housing provider CASA wants to buy, fix a little, and offer to persons with disabilities (eight units) and low-income working folks (18 units). CASA is applying to Raleigh for $926,000, the county for $566,000, toward a total project cost of $2.14 million. It needs both bodies to say yes. Residents of the Brooklyn-Glenwood neighborhood are opposed to CASA's takeover plan by about a 4-to-1 margin.
Not clear what the commissioners will do next. When Commissioner Lindy Brown moved yesterday to approve the grant, no other member seconded her motion. Turned out, when someone asked, that only Brown and Commissioner Betty Lou Ward had taken a first-hand look at George's Mews. The other five members hadn't.