RALEIGH, N.C. — A new plan is emerging for the Dorothea Dix campus once the mental hospital moves to Butner. On Monday, the city and county bypassed a consultant recommendation and came up with their own idea. Not everyone, however, is on board.
City Of Raleigh Planners Offer Alternative Plan For Dix Property
The property stretches over 300 acres and there are just as many ideas for the future of the Dorothea Dix campus.
The city and state paid $200,000 for a consultant to come up with a new concept for the historic land. The plan includes everything from open space to retail to offices.
The public had input but many did not feel like they were heard.
"It turned out they were really trying to sell us on what, I think, they had already decided, rather than hearing us out," said Jimmy Creech, the president of the Boylan Heights Homeowners Association. "So, we were disappointed in that."
Raleigh and Wake County leaders are concerned there is no shared vision, so, city and county planners now have another proposal that includes more park space and makes the location more of a destination.
"There's a lot of park land that would attract people with a lot of uses, such as children's play areas and having good transportation connectivity to downtown, as well as residential uses with the older buildings, as well as the new buildings," Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said.
The city and county's plan does not recommend office space on Dix Hill. Leaders say they do not want the campus to compete in any way with the nearby downtown. The plan does, however, call for a hotel, amphitheater and a relocated Farmers Market.
Some of those ideas have Dix Park supporters shaking their heads.
"How much more of this green space are we going to pave over in this city? We are greatly disappointed that city officials seem so willing to ignore the public outcry given at all the public hearings to create a park," said Jay Spain, who heads the Friends of Dorothea Dix Park Committee. "It seems like they are selling out the citizens who voted for them.
The city and county says their blueprint will complement the center city, but opponents say the new approach is still over the hill.
A Dix legislative committee will now consider all the proposals. The ultimate decision is in the hands of the General Assembly.