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City: Boylan Heights residents told of planned prison project

Posted August 12, 2008

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— City officials are defending themselves from charges made by Boylan Heights residents that their neighborhood wasn't informed about a planned expansion at Central Prison.

Construction on a $151 million hospital and mental facility at the prison began last month, and some residents complained that crews removed a number of trees that provided a buffer between the maximum-security prison and the neighborhood.

The project has been in the design phase for several years and was approved as part of last year's state budget. The city held a public hearing on the site plan for the project last year, but residents now complain they had little notice about the construction.

City officials said they held a public hearing about the project on June 5, 2007, and that they mailed letters to nearby residents to inform them about the hearing. The city also advertised the hearing in the newspaper and posted a sign along Western Boulevard about the hearing for two weeks, officials said.

The Citizens Advisory Council in the Boylan Heights area also was informed of the proposed prison building project, and a map and other information about the prison's plans were posted on Raleigh's Web site, officials said.

Central Prison's new buildings will replace outdated health facilities that totaled 230 beds. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2013.


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  • chivegas Aug 12, 2008

    "I lived in Boylan Heights for over 20 yrs. I was there before it became "historic". I was a single parent and looked down on. I'm Republican. I never had a political sign in my yard last more than 2 nights."

    I used to live in Oakwood, which has a similar demographic. These "better than thou" folks think putting up a Democratic campaign sign means that they somehow care about poor people and the environment. In actuality, they don't care about either. Ask a Boylan Heights resident the last time they gave a homeless person a meal under the Boylan St. bridge. Ask 'em to stop using their disposal. Ask 'em why they drive a gas guzzling SUV... all of these will be met with a "better than thou" smirk that you'd expect to see from a republican. These people are no more democrats than Rush Limbaugh.

  • hanley29 Aug 12, 2008

    I lived in Boylan Heights for over 20 yrs. I was there before it became "historic". I was a single parent and looked down on. I'm Republican. I never had a political sign in my yard last more than 2 nights. I was in the process of having my house painted when it became hysterical er um...historical when the folks came by and told me I had to stop until my colors were approved. One night I got home from work late and had to park in front of my neighbors house (on the street, mind you). The next morning the neighbor was asking me to move my car from "their" spot. You have to be special to live in Boylan Heights. So many of the residents make a show of being good people, but please...They don't want a diverse neighborhood. They only want same thinking, 2.5 kids, one dog and a cat, 2 cars (one HAS to be an SUV) kind of folks. And yes, the prison was there before them, but to them that matters how?

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Aug 12, 2008

    Look at the bright side... if the Boylan Heights residents go too crazy over all of this, there is a hospital, just for them, next door.

  • bill0 Aug 12, 2008

    This story is a bit misleading. The city is claiming to have notified people within 100 ft of the prison grounds. That may have happened, although many residents dispute that as well. What they are leaving out is that "100 ft" only includes the westernmost block of the neighborhood. Even by the city's story, most of the neighborhood wasn't notified. The powers that be were clearing trying to do the bare minimum they were required to by law and get the project going before the public outcry started.

    Really though, the hospital is going to look nicer than the prison, so in the longrun, it is probably a good thing for the neighborhood. The sticking point is that they chopped down a buffer area of trees so now some people can see the construction from their back yards instead of just a wooded area. Eventually, the trees will be replaced, but it will take years for them to fill back in.

  • denverbob234 Aug 12, 2008

    Hello, there is a prison in the neighborhood, crime is on the rise. Did someone really need to tell you the prison was going to expand. thank your politicians for allowing the illegals and thus the need to expand earlier and bigger than previously expected

  • BottomLine Aug 12, 2008

    The city/state should come forward with evidence of notification - that would solve this dilema .

  • atc2 Aug 12, 2008

    Hey Boylan, worry about your own area! I have driven through there a number of times, streets, front yards and homes need upgrades (looks like areas of Durham)

  • colliedave Aug 12, 2008

    And some of these yuppies bought the homes thinking the prison was going to be moved from the area?

  • whew Aug 12, 2008

    Sounds like the local Boylan Heights residents had their opportunities for comment over that past year and let it slip away. Tough! Guess they need to just be quiet now and learn from they mistakes.