Dec 5, 2022 - News

Raleigh's new council will have to make big decisions — soon

The Raleigh Union Station with the sun reflecting off its windows. The downtown Raleigh skyline can be seen in the background.

Raleigh Union Station will be the site of the council's swearing-in ceremony. Photo: Courtesy of Visit Raleigh/Brian Strickland.

A new and potentially more contentious era for the Raleigh City Council begins Monday nihgt, when four new members are sworn in at Raleigh Union Station.

What's happening: Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin will take charge for her second term.

  • The rest of the council will include: Jonathan Melton (At-large), Stormie Forte (At-large), Mary Black (District A and a newcomer), Megan Patton (District B and a newcomer), Corey Branch (District C), Jane Harrison (District D and a newcomer) and Christina Jones (District E and a newcomer).

Why it matters: In her first term, Baldwin was able to push much of her agenda through without much opposition.

  • Often — and especially on topics related to rezonings and growth — the council voted 7-1 with the mayor, with former council member David Cox being the lone 'no' vote.
  • The new council could bring in more competitive votes.

What we're watching: When it meets for the first time on Tuesday, the new council immediately will confront one of its most contentious rezoning cases.

  • It will debate a rezoning request from Kane Realty that could potentially add multiple new high-rise towers in North Hills and a new transportation hub.
  • Yes, but: The previous council punted on making a decision after concerns over a lack of affordable housing units and increased traffic.

The case could give us our first indication of how the new council will treat rezoning requests — of which there are already several coming down the pike.

Tune in: The ceremony starts at 6pm Monday and is open to the public. It will also be livestreamed here.

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