Local News

Raleigh City Manager Hires Facilitator For Coker Project

Posted Updated

RALEIGH — Raleigh City Manager Russell Allen announced Wednesday that the city has hired the Dispute Settlement Center of Orange County to help resolve the zoning dispute over the a development planned for the Oberlin area of Raleigh.

Developer Neal Coker has proposed a project that includes a mix of shops, offices and residences around a plaza, totaling up to 900,000 square feet. The 15 acres to be developed are bounded by Wade Avenue, Oberlin Road, and Daniels Street.

Many of the residents in the area have objected to the proposal.

The City Council voted on July 3 to hire a facilitator to resolve the dispute between the supporters and those in opposition to the zoning case.

The Dispute Settlement Center of Orange County will be represented by Andrew M. Sachs, a public disputes coordinator, and David R. Godschalk.

Sachs is a specialist in land-use dispute resolution and public policy conflict resolution, and has been a leader in this field in North Carolina.

Godschalk is the Stephen Baxter Professor of Planning at the Department of City and Regional Planning of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He has served as a member of the North Carolina Legislature's Smart Growth Commission, and has authored a leading book on conflict resolution in land-use matters.

According to Allen, Sachs and Godschalk will immediately develop the background and research they need to perform the facilitation.

Within the next 10 days, the two will make initial contacts with the stakeholders in the case. This will be followed by a series of interviews with the stakeholders to identify issues and clarify perspectives.

Following these interviews, an effort will be made to bring the parties to a compromise position.

A report on the resolution efforts will be made to Planning Director George Chapman and shared with the council members prior to their August 7 meeting, where the issue will come to a vote.

Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.