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Category: Statements to City Council

Bob Geary, City Council Statement 1/8/2019

I’d like to take us back to a time 15 years ago, to when Raleigh was just starting to show up on all the Top 10 lists. The best places to live. The best places to play, and to BE. We were going to reopen Fayetteville Street—remember that? We were nothing if not optimistic. And so we imagined that the 306-acre Dix Hospital site, when vacated by the state, could become a great destination park for our city and the region. That was the shared vision of Dix 306, the Friends of Dorothea Dix Park, and the Dix Visionaries. But then a debate ensued about whether we could afford it. You’ll recall that ULI, an arm of the development industry, advised that the middle of Dix should become, “highest and best,” a mixed-use center. Think North Hills. To a group like ULI, not to develop Dix was to waste it. So thousands of us pushed back with our Dix306 signs and our determination that this prized, historic landscape not be lost to a welter of the usual shopping-mall stuff. Yes, we said, Raleigh can afford a great park. And not just afford it. We said that by having it—by creatingRead More

1/8/19 City Council Statement by Joseph Huberman

Responsible Phasing of Dorothea Dix Park I will explain why we need to appreciate the reconstructed Dorothea Dix landscape before making decisions about what else should be in the park. I’m Joseph Huberman.  I live across the street from the park I’ve been advocating for Dix Park since I was appointed to the Legislative Study Commission in 2003 and am a founding member of both Friends of Dorothea Dix Park and Dix 306. The Landscape is the soul of Dorothea Dix Park.  It is the foundation of its legacy.   The Draft Master Plan contains many exciting proposals but it also has one glaring abomination, and that is the inclusion of revenue generating development that doesn’t serve the park visitor.   It starts as early as Phase B and continues in both Phases C and D where, unbelievably, the Plan recommends revenue generating development along major portions of the Downtown Gateway along Lake Wheeler Road. All the references to development that is not for park purposes should be stricken from the Master Plan.   The default action of the plan should be “No private development”, there should be no discussion or negotiation regarding leasing Park property for private use withoutRead More

1/8/19 City Council Statement by Will Hooker

Good evening. My name is Will Hooker and I am a registered landscape architect and a retired professor from NC State where I taught landscape design for over 35 years. I would like to comment on the proposed Master Plan for Dix Park Thirteen years ago, I was involved with a group lobbying to keep the Dix Hospital Campus as a Park. With the hospital closing, the City was in the process of deciding what to do with the land. Because there was a call to maintain a portion of the land for services to aid the mentally challenged, my group felt that we would be okay for some of those services be kept, with the bulk of the property given over to natural park land.The City called a public meeting so that citizens could state their desires. The evening of the public meeting there were two microphones set up in the audience for anyone to make a short statement. As I stepped up to the microphone in my line the person in the other line was making his statement. He stated, “Raleigh needs to devote the entire 306 acres to a park, – no exceptions.” I was awestruck. ItRead More

2/5/19 City Council Statement from Joseph Huberman

I’m Joseph Huberman, I live across from Dix and  I’ve been on the Raleigh Parks Board and participated in four Master Plans… Kate, we would like to thank you, your staff and MVVA for your hard work producing this Master Plan for Dix Park.  We very much appreciate that you and the City Councillors took our concerns seriously and modified the Park Plan so that we can all support it and work together.   We think further study of the buildings, funding, and parking is important, and we will continue to advocate that all the park be open to everyone, that there are as few buildings as necessary and that we find creative ways to bring people into the park. We look forward to all of us working together to make Dix a World Class Park. Dix needs to be a park for everyone but it doesn’t need to be a park with everything. It’s unique characteristics are: its legacy as a site of conscience; the people who lived and worked on the land, and the transition from imprisoning to treating those with mental illness and the landscape which offers natural restorative tranquility in contrast to the bustle of downtown.Read More