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Raleigh City Council Delays Decision On Bickett Place Project

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The Raleigh City Council decided to hold off on making a decision regarding one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. The debate is over a 21-town house project in the city's Five Points area.

Residents who are opposed to the project attended the city council meeting Tuesday afternoon to protest, but they did not say a word.

The city council decided to put off making a decision on the project, opting to hold a hearing on the matter instead. The hearing will take place in two weeks, which residents say will allow them time to get ready.

"It gives us a good period of time to get all of our information together and present it in a professional manner," resident Kim Peacock said.

The developer of Bickett Place wants to place 21 town houses on two acres of land. The project will fill in undeveloped space, mostly in back yards.

Laura Kleber bought a house in the Five Points neighborhood in the Roanoke Park area, which is currently under review to be included in theNational Register of Historic Districts. Many homeowners have staked signs in their front yards that say "Bickett Place Doesn't Fit."

"We're concerned environmentally that our city of oak trees will be disappearing to make way for rather large, dense, tall structures that don't fit with the character of this neighborhood," Kleber said.

Raleigh Planning Commission Vice Chariman Ed Brandle gives the project a thumbs-up.

"One thing that we like about infill is that it helps to prevent sprawl," he said. "As we all know sprawl is overtaking us, so we need to grow more up rather than out. This is just one step in that direction."

The planning commission is recommending approval. Residents are pushing the council to deny the proposal or put it in committee for more study.