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Winston-Salem chronicle. (Winston-Salem, N.C.) 1974-current, April 09, 2015, Page A5, Image 5

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Photos by Erin Mizelle for The Chronicle Michael Banner reveals his group's list of concerns at the East-Northeast Area Plan Update kickoff meeting on Tuesday, March 17 at the Rupert Bell Neighborhood Center. Bobbie Collins speaks with a group of fellow con cerned citizens at the East-Northeast Planning Area kickoff meeting at the Rupert Bell Neighborhood Center. Marco Andrade, city project planner, thanks the res idents in attendance as he closes the East-Northeast development meeting at the Rupert Bell Neighborhood Center. -i -m. . ?% Winston-Salem planners ask bast-JN ortlieast planning area residents to help with growth BY TORI PITTMAN FOR THE CHRONIC! F "Come share your ideas about how your communi ty should grow." That's what the adver tisement said to attract peo ple to the meeting last month with city-county planners who would dis cuss the East-Northeast Winston-Salem Planning Area, at the Rupert Bell Neighborhood Center. Twenty to 30 residents came to the meeting. "The people are our main source," said Marco Andrade, project planner. "They see what's going on in the community every day. So we want them to tell us their ideas, sugges tions, and concerns." Material from the city says the City-County Planning Board of Forsyth County and Winston Salem is responsible for preparing and maintaining a comprehensive plan for Forsyth County. "Comprehensive plans" address land use, usually based on zoning. City-County planners dis cover what residents want in their communities, then present those desires to City Council, which will make laws governing the kind of businesses and other development that will be approved for the com munities, if developers want to be in the areas. At the meeting last morith, maps were dis played to show what work has been done in the East Northeast area, as well as sketches and plans on future developments. The district includes parts of the East Ward and Northeast Ward. The planting district has mostly black residents. At the meeting, Chris Murphy, one of the depart ment's leaders, said the City-County Planning Board's Legacy 2030 Comprehensive plan involves expansion and improvements on all of Winston-Salem, including the East-Northeast area. The goal is to have new developments that will attract people to reside, increasing the population by 120,000. This compre hensive plan has been accredited twice by the American Planning Association. Kirk E/icson followed up, explaining how the cur rent plan was adopted by City Cotlncil and the City County Planning Board in 2008. The March 17 pres entation was to show the existing conditions from that adopted plan, while having the intention to reach out to the community to express their views and to give the board more ideas. "During the 2008 plan, people were involved and were giving suggestions," said Derwin Montgomery, council member represent ing the East Ward. "It takes what the community wants to see, while the developers figure out how to make it happen." Montgomery was unable to attend the meet ing because of prior engagements, but he spoke to The Chronicle later. At the meeting, Byron Brown, another project planner, gave demograph ics of the East-Northeast Winston-Salem Planning Area, which is 80 percent African-American, fol lowed by smaller percent hour for the residents to divide into two groups and conduct a.list of what they like about the district, what they don't like and sugges tions for improvement. Altogether there were two pages of what they liked about the residential area, while a total of three to Soure: City of Winston-Salem The Chronicle" The process continues More meetings are planned for Tuesday, April 21 and Tuesday, May 19 to show another draft based on residents' inputs. After that, a public presentation will be displayed among the City-County Planning Board staff and citizens on Tuesday, June 16 at the Rupert Bell Neighborhood Center, 1502 Mount Zion Place, be fore taking it to elected officials. For more information, go to www.cltyofws.org/planning to view the plan in its entirety. ages of Asian, Hispanic and Caucasian residents. The area encompasses about 14360 people and 4323 acres. It is generally bounded on the north by North Liberty Street and Lansing Drive; on the east by Brushy Fork Branch, Winston Lake Park and U.S. 158; on the south by the Southern Railway; and on the west by U.S. 52. Brown said the histori cal landmarks such as the bridges, archaeological sites and certain properties like the George Black House and Brickyard are to remain on site. The Historic Resources Commission staff has reviewed the sites since 2009, giving input into what should stay, since some have been moved or demolished. Andrade presented improvements that have come along from the adop tion plan in 2008. A CVS Pharmacy was built on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive along with the reha bilitation of the building for Transitional Housing for Homeless Veterans on Glenn Avenue. Developments have been made along the Smith Reynolds airport. Also, new residential houses are to be built along Third, Fourth and Fifth Streets. Then the planning department took the next four pages about what they didn't like about the area. Certain residents had a common interest about the parks in the area as well as Winston Lake. One resi dent in particular, Michael Banner, father of two, was mostly fascinated with the historical aspect of the community. "You can walk past a street and not know the his tory behind it," Banner said. "You wouldn't know if that was where the origi nal fire station was located or if that place was where the Black Panthers would have their meetings. You wouldn't know unless you ask." Most of the residents' main concerns were the crime rates, the neglectful landlords and housing, and how certain necessities need to be in a closer range instead of them having to drive miles across town. They want more sit-in restaurants in their area instead of fast food places. Bobbie Collins, one of the elders who has resided in the East-Northeast area the longest, spoke about how thankful she was to have stayed in the same house that she grew up in and have the same phone number. Her concern was how some of the areas look "run-down." "We need to have some beautification in this area," k Collins said. were past due to be seen. More concerns from The same strategies that the community were that- enhanced downtown "The people are our main source," -Marco Andrade sidewalks and side streets need to be paved for the safety of elders and chil dren. There was also talk of the lack of job opportuni ties and economic develop ment within the area. According to Montgomery, the East area has had some economic development. He stated, however that the lack of development is because of the private sec tors not investing enough' into the community. "Bonds have passed into the area. Investments Winston needs to be the same thing for the East area," he said. Montgomery said it depends on the private sec tor making the time and investments and residents should see the adopted plan go into full swing in the next five years. He said that the Council and city are pushing this plan to make it happen based on what the community is say ing what they want. "I would like to see the elders and the youth come together," said Martha Reid, president of the East Northeast Neighborhood Association. Reid states that from her travelling abroad, she would like certain things she's seen infused within the community. Another suggestion made from the residents was to make something other than the recreational center a gathering place for the youth. The millennial generation should be involved in such meetings to voice their opinions. The planning depart ment will take the resi dents' suggestions and come up with a draft plan that will closely fit their needs. Several more meet ings are scheduled before the new plan is presented to the City Council for approval later this year. Chronicle Managing Editor Donna Rogers con tributed to this report. ill H Come To Our Open House Saturday, April 11 9 a.m. -1 p.m. Main Campus at 2100 Silas Creek Parkway Get information about; ~ Career-Focused Programs ~ College Transfer Programs ~ Job Training ~ Financial Aid ~ And Much More! Apply Now & You Can Begin Classes In May or June! www.ForsythTech.edu FORSYTH TECH 2100 Silas Creek Partway Winston Salem, NC 336.723.0371 k

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