Council waits for neighborhood groups to make recommendation about controversial street closings

ccampbell@newsobserver.comNovember 11, 2013 

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Rebus Work’s owner Shonna Greenwell says she thinks fine art, food and wrestling mixes just fine. Neighbors say the events tie up traffic and aren’t appropriate for a neighborhood setting.

TRAVIS LONG — tlong@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

— The Raleigh City Council postponed a vote on a controversial permit request from Rebus Works, an art gallery in the Boylan Heights neighborhood that hosts a Saturday morning farmers market with food trucks.

Nearby residents have complained that the gallery’s events, which sometimes include wrestling and beer, create a parking shortage and aren’t appropriate for a residential area. And two neighboring art studios say the blocked street makes it hard to get to work.

On Tuesday, Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin said the Boylan Heights Neighborhood Association will be discussing the events later this month. The association will make a recommendation to the council next month.

Councilman Russ Stephenson said he’s heard lots of support for the Saturday Market, but there are concerns about bigger events at the gallery.

“I’m hoping that we can come up with a solution here that accomodates the other studios in the area and still preserves this farmers market,” he said.

The council also postponed action on street closings for the Mordecai Market, a monthly arts and crafts event next spring on Franklin Street north of downtown.

Ann Marie Art Print, a shop on North Person Street, wants to close a short stretch of the side street on nine Saturdays in 2014. But Nicole Kennedy, who owns an art gallery a few doors down, said the closure is too frequent for a street that serves a growing number of businesses. She suggested the events be held instead on one of the quieter side streets around Person.

That street closing request also will return to the City Council in December after the Person Street Partnership – a group of businesses and surrounding neighborhoods in Oakwood and Mordecai – discusses it at its meeting.

Campbell: 919-829-4802; Twitter: @RaleighReporter

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