What follows is an attempt to provide current facts about the Gables Lodge project and answers to questions and concerns raised to date. This page will serve as a living document and will be updated regularly to reflect plan changes resulting from ongoing conversations with stakeholders in the project. To that end, when updates are provided, they will be dated and added to previous facts and answers to FAQ’s. As a result, visitors to this page will be able to assess the most current information in the context of previous answers and plans. We will also provide updates via our mailing list.
Facts about the Gables Lodge:
Preservation: The existing buildings will be saved. Some changes to the existing garage building may be subtly visible from the exterior to accommodate necessary structural work.
Building Extension: New additions will be built on either side of the garage building and will be visually distinct from the garage building.
Folded Canopy: We plan to keep the existing folded canopy in some form if it can be moved from its current location without excessive damage.
Lounge: The garage building will house an accessory hotel bar of limited capacity (25-30 patrons), with no amplified live music.
Landscaping: The existing pavement will be removed from the central open area, which will instead feature a lush, native, Piedmont garden to create a relaxing and quiet atmosphere.
Privacy: A quiet, private atmosphere is important to neighbors and guests, and a combination of fencing and landscaping will screen the lodge from surrounding homes.
Guest Rooms: The lodge will have a maximum of 19 guest rooms.
FAQ’s about the Gables Lodge:
1. Has City staff been involved in the process that has led to the current zoning application?
While the formal process began with the submitted zoning application, we have been actively engaged with individuals in several city offices in an effort to incorporate early feedback and suggestions into the application you now see. These conversations have included individuals from planning, transportation, historic preservation and others. We look forward to continuing these conversations, and those with our neighbors, throughout the zoning process.
Click here to read the complete zoning application. (PDF)
2. It appears that a public bar will be included in the project. Have you considered issues relating to parking and easy, safe pedestrian access to the property? How do you plan to address noise concerns? Did you consider other locations on site for the bar?
After careful consideration of all factors impacting the questions above, the zoning plan submitted represents the configuration we intend to pursue.
3. The safety and convenience of our guests and neighbors is paramount for the Gables Lodge. To that end, we are committed to being considerate and thoughtful neighbors, while providing our guests a safe, comfortable space to enjoy. We have done significant research (combined with our experience in hotel operations) that leads us to believe that all these issues can be adequately addressed in the zoning process as it moves forward. Our hope is that we will be allowed the time to arrive at solutions that will satisfy the safety and convenience concerns of all parties, and in the interim we will endeavor to earn your confidence in our ability to deliver on that commitment.
Regarding noise, Raleigh’s noise ordinance is most restrictive for activities near residences and precludes unreasonably loud music and noise near homes. And in this case, good business is perfectly aligned with being a good neighbor! 15 of the proposed 19 guest rooms will directly face/overlook the bar and garden areas. Each of those rooms will be much closer to any music or noise from the bar area than even the nearest neighbor.
4. The zoning application calls for two 2 story additions to be built, one on either side of the current garage/apartments. It appears that these additions will not be taller than the existing garage/apartments. The zoning application also seems to indicate that rear setbacks for the new buildings will be consistent with those of the existing garage/apartments which are near the property line. Is this accurate?
Building height on the garage and its additions is restricted to 23’10” – well below the 35’ height allowed under the current zoning. It is important to note that neither the existing garage nor new additions are contemplated at even this reduced maximum height. We simply need the flexibility to account for possibly having to rebuild sections of the garage and/or slight measurement errors contained in the survey. Maintaining the existing building line for the additions creates a more natural visual effect and serves the additional purpose of aiding in storm water management.
5. Original discussion of the project made reference to room count being as high as 35 rooms on the property. It appears the submitted application calls for 19 guestrooms. Have you ascribed any conditions that would limit the number of rooms in the future?
The master plan filed with the city limits the lodge to a maximum of 19 rooms. This number has evolved downward throughout the process. While we have noted that more rooms would yield a better business model, we plan to use the existing 14-room configuration in the existing buildings and hope to add four additional rooms in the additions on either side of the garage. Additionally, we have been able to locate a proposed ADA-compliant room on the existing first floor of the main house – allowing for the 19-room layout.
6. A generalized storm water plan will be part of the PD Master Plan. Will you be taking any steps to ensure that any storm water solution will be a collaborative effort between the Gables, impacted property owners and city storm water management staff?
This has always been the plan, and nothing has changed. We have been reaching out to the city’s storm water management team. As soon as we are able to get a meeting scheduled, all proximate neighbors will be invited to participate.
7. Will any conditions be included in the PD Master Plan for lighting and privacy impact on neighboring properties?
These are product/design decisions that will likely not be finalized until well after the zoning process is complete. Existing light level restrictions (as codified in various local ordinances) will be the starting point, with a collaborative process to follow with the goal of achieving a satisfactory lighting plan for neighbors. Privacy measures are also being contemplated, and will use fencing, landscaping and window treatments to provide necessary privacy to both neighbors and guests. We ask that all parties communicate openly and clearly regarding concerns throughout the process, and we will commit to doing the same as these decisions are being made.
8. We understand that the application you’ve submitted is intended to provide assurances that future owners would be limited in the changes they could make to the property without requiring a formal zoning change. Can you address the apparent flexibility provided by the Raleigh UDO to PD districts regarding density and building locations?
We certainly understand concerns raised by some of the language contained in the UDO. That said, we believe the specific language around administrative approvals in Section 4.7.6.A can provide quite a bit of comfort. We would highlight the following limitations:
Density: Section 4.7.6.A.1 allows for administrative approval of “An increase or decrease to the allowable residential density, total number of dwelling units not to exceed 10%”. There are two things of note as they apply to the Gables:
- 1. This applies to “dwelling units” as defined in the UDO – a definition that does not encompass hotel rooms; and
- 2. While our zoning application requests the allowance of “maximum one dwelling unit” (should we ever hire a 24 hour on-site manager), the 10% increase allowed by the administrative approval process would not support increasing this to even two dwelling units.
Building location: Section 4.7.6.A.5 allows administrative approval of “Minor adjustments in location of building, parking and open space areas”.
- 1. This section makes clear that no administratively approved adjustments are allowed within 50 feet of the property line, unless the result would be to pull back from the property line the item being moved.
- 2. As such, administrative approval cannot be obtained to relocate any building, parking or open areas any closer to adjacent property lines than contemplated in the current PD filing.
We realize that these are two very specific examples. That said, we have taken the time to review pertinent sections of the UDO and are confident that any additional adjustments that may appear to be allowed would not be eligible for administrative approval, and would, therefore, be subject to a rezoning hearing. The level of specificity contained in the zoning application addresses most ambiguities, while still allowing the flexibility that any renovation/construction project of this size requires.
FAQ Page updated 5/24/18