Local News

Raleigh City Council Honors Developer's Request To Reject Coker Project

Posted August 7, 2001 4:45 a.m. EDT

— Members of the Raleigh City Council have unanimously voted Tuesday against a plan to rezone 15 acres of land in order to develop shops, offices and residential spaces.

On Tuesday, city councilman Marc Scruggs wanted Coker to come back later with a scaled-down version of his proposed plan. Coker did not attend the city council meeting.

Monday night before the scheduled vote, WRAL learned an attorney for developer Neal Coker sent a letter addressed to Mayor Coble and the city council.

The letter requested that Raleigh leaders vote against rezoning the land at the corner of Oberlin Road and Wade Avenue. Rezoning would have allowed Coker's vision of shops, offices and residences to be built there.

Three members of the city council had said they would have voted against the project, and it only takes three no votes to kill the proposal.

Neighbors at the vote Tuesday said they want the city council to re-evaluate the rezoning process to get neighbor input earlier in the discussion.

"I hope that folks and neighborhoods around Raleigh see that if you do get involved, you can win or, at least, prevail," says Bob Geary, who opposed the project. "I don't know if we won anything today, but we were heard."

People against the project

dubbed it Coker Towers because of its size. Many who live nearby say it was too big and would destroy the historic Oberlin Village community.

Neighbors and developer Neil Coker had been involved in mediation in an effort to come to some sort of compromise, but talks broke down last week.

Coker can now either sell the land or use the land to build dense office space.