Save Cameron Village News

September, 04, 2008, by David

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The City Council just approved the Cameron Village Mixed Use Project that was opposed by many residents living in neighborhoods around the project.  Now those residents have formed a website to collect information and catalog the milestones relevant to the project.  Residents are angry for many reasons, concerned over the infrastructure impact of such a large project as well as the possiblity of monstrosities like a 12 story parking garage. 

Some Reader Ideas about What to do with Cameron Village

The Raleigh City Planners voted unanimously to send the rezoning request forward to the city council for a vote today in a public meeting attended by neighborhood representatives from University Park, Cameron Park, Cameron Village and the Wade CAC. Emily Biggs attended as a resident of Oberlin Village along with other residents as well.  Comments made by Donna Bailey, President of University Park, Emily Biggs and Bill Padgett are below.

In summary, regardless of the multiple requests by the neighborhoods to address issues concerning density that gut the Wade/Oberlin Small Area Plan and traffic congestion that will negatively impact the neighborhoods surrounding Cameron Village, the city planners have chosen Cameron Village as a site for more density without fully knowing how the current infrastructure of the neighborhood will support the dramatic increase in density. 

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  • Little Billy
    09/04 09:14 PM

    Everyone is for more density until it happens in their backyard.

  • Aaron
    09/05 01:43 AM

    Couldn’t have said it better my self.

  • DPK
    09/05 09:27 AM

    Little Billy said it.

  • B
    09/05 01:11 PM

    I like how they approved to build a ghosttown and call it Oberlin Village. Wait they do have a Dry Cleaners. Thats what we need. I’m glad I was so patient during construction.

  • Jenna
    09/05 02:16 PM

    I’m a CV resident and didn’t bother to go to the meeting (since I actually don’t mind the project). It seems like the people who approve never attend meetings, and only the NIMBYs show up.

    CV residents, if you LIKE the project, email the city council. They need to hear from more than just the CV NIMBYs!

  • DPK
    09/05 02:44 PM

    @B: If you’re referring to Oberlin Court as I’m not aware of an Oberlin Village anywhere, part of the blame lies on the neighbors who opposed the original plan that would have had a more urban feel.  Now you have this thing that’s offset from the street with a parking lot.  The economy also doesn’t help get business moved into space.

    There’s also more than just a Cleaners going in there now.  There’s I think two other businesses on the verge of opening when I drove by yesterday.

    NIMBY’s sometimes end up doing more hurt then help.

  • John Morris
    09/05 04:41 PM

    DPK - You do know what Oberlin Village is, don’t you?

  • WiseOne
    09/06 01:08 PM

    Well, one needs to get used to Cameron Village (and surrounding) residents. I call them BANANAS
    [Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.]

  • Enigma
    09/06 04:48 PM

    Misinformation causes hysterical reactions by the uninformed.  Is it really the job of a Raleigh City Councilor (Crowder) to use neighborhood activists as his personal opposition pawns?  For those of us around at the time, did Crowder bother to inform this group he would have supported the original Coker “Towers” project if it had been proposed for Cameron Village?  “His proudest “no” vote? Coker Towers. “It wasn’t proper infill. The center of the focus area (in the comprehensive plan) is Cameron Village, which is a model of a walkable development. A project like that belongs in the center of the focus area, not way out on the edge.”
    Elected officials who intentionally mislead their constituents is shameful, and should be illegal.

  • Enigma
    09/06 04:58 PM

    The cut off part of the link after = is.  oid:19161

  • Emily Biggs
    09/07 09:19 PM

    We appreciate the mention of the Save Cameron Village News website on and for helping us educate more people about the future of Cameron Village.
    Just to clarify some things to some people at New Raleigh who have stooped to ugly name calling and labeling of the people who live in the neighborhoods surrounding Cameron Village who have legitimate concerns about the city’s largest residential project to date being proposed for Cameron Village, we are not against something being built on the corner of Clark and Oberlin.  In fact, we think that something going in on that site is long overdue.  However, as I and others began to learn about the scale of the building and how it doesn’t fit within the Small Area Plan or existing Shopping Center zoning, we have asked why this project has gone forward in the first place and what impact this precedent setting project and subsequent projects will have on the infrastructure surrounding the center and, in particular, traffic along Clark and Oberlin.  We are simply asking the city for a traffic/infrastructure analysis for the entire area so that informed decisions can be made now and in the future.  Anything less shows a lack of leadership from the Planning Commission and Council. Now maybe this is unreasonable to some of you.  Maybe whenever a developer proposes a project of massive scale that’s outside of current zoning and planning, we should just sit down and shut up.
    The “density anywhere, any how” crowd, which seems to be the attitude of the Planning Commissioners and some on the Council, says “too bad, suck it up, put four way stops on your streets, live with the flooding already happening with overtaxed drainage systems, Raleigh is growing and we don’t care how your neighborhoods and quality of life are affected.”  We have a right to rail against this kind of governing.
    Some intelligent direction or at least information could come from a traffic/infrastructure study.  Not doing one leaves the neighborhoods with no choice but to say “NO” to this proposed development until we get some real answers.  I’m trying to shine the light on all this because my neighbors and I deserve to know what’s about to happen around here and many people in University Park were not aware of the project – which is another story. 
    Maybe some of you should be asking these same questions or maybe you don’t care. We do. I don’t respect smug attitudes toward all of us who are putting a lot of time in trying to sort out the future of CV and the surrounding neighborhoods.  I invite you to go to and read the Small Area Plans along with other reports we have provided for our readers.  If you have some constructive comments I’d like to hear from you.
    Emily Biggs
    BTW,  I’m new to this process as are many people asking these same questions and was not involved in the Coker Towers fight.

  • TSnow27604
    09/08 01:35 PM

    WiseOne watched Tom Friedman on Meet the Press.  When I think about Cameron Village expanding with residential spaces, I cannot help but think of Chevy Chase, MD.  It’s one of the most wealthy parts of the DC metro area thanks in large part to the retail space which is very urban and very close to many expensive homes, streets, neighborhoods.  And yes there is a subway stop up the street a few blocks so I know there are differences but you’ve got to start somewhere.

  • Enigma
    09/09 11:34 AM

    It seems Russ Stephenson is the cause of this protest.  Although his campaign promise was to stop suburban sprawl and promote smart growth, his actions when close to home prove otherwise.  If you read his recent newspaper quote you will see HIS concern is the possible widening of HIS road.  Because Stevenson lives on Oberlin Road, and has successfully blocked its widening in the past, sounds like he’ll now do anything in his power to stop the text book example of proper intensification and smart growth the city desperately needs.  Suck it up Russ, and stop being the leader of the NIMBYism pact!

  • pirmin
    09/09 10:16 PM

    Many of these Cameron Village NIMBYs are the same folks who would be critical (at least at dinner parties) of Raleigh’s continuing suburban sprawl and “carbon footprint,” however when the time comes to support a proposal that promotes smarter mixed-use growth, a pro-transit density and an overall more efficient use of urban space, these folks seem somewhat hypocritical to me. By the time the NIMBYs are done with this project, it could be watered down to a glorified strip center. Cameron Village is an ideal neighborhood inside the Beltline for increased building heights and density. While I’m not overwhelmed by the suburban-style appearance of the proposed structure (looks a bit like a Cary office park to me), I believe the location, height and size of the proposal are precisely on target.

  • Andrew Lewis
    09/10 12:33 PM

    Actually, the City Council has not yet voted on the proposed rezoning.  The Raleigh Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the project Tuesday.

  • John Labus
    09/11 03:53 PM

    The folks in and around Cameron Village need to realize that dense infill projects can make their neighborhoods better, not worse.  Housing Density, especially in places like C.V., increases foot traffic for a truly walkable community.  The density will ensure that C.V. thrives and brings more attention to the area for high quality services and stores.

    As measured at, C.V. is one of the most walkable places and a natural candidate for such development. Also, Cameron Village residents need to recognize that they are not in Cary.  I live in Glenwood South (a named downtown neighborhood) and I can walk to C.V. in 10 minutes.  In my opinion, when you can walk to the Capitol, NC State, Pullen Park, bars and clubs, you are living downtown whether you live in single family home or not. While many may choose to live their lives in cars, a trip by foot or bike will change their perspective in terms of what is and isn’t downtown.  As the city grows, C.V.‘s downtown identity will only grow.

    Everytime I see that crappy Oberlin Court project on Wade Ave., I just gringe at how that site could have been more like North Hills instead of the boxy apartment complex it became.
    The proposed project is in the right place.  It’s not immediately adjacent to any single family housing.  I just don’t see the problem.  That said, I think the renderings are boring and agree with those who think it looks like a suburban office building.  That needs to change! 

    In the end, C.V. residents need to look at this project as something that is being done for their neighborhood instead of something that is being done to their neighborhood.

  • CM
    09/12 02:28 PM

    Save CV News? Give me a break. These people would oppose any project proposed for CV and the surrounding area. Reason being, they don’t want outsiders moving into thier precious little neighborhood. Get a life!

  • Jedidiah
    09/12 02:44 PM


    I live and walk around in this “precious little neighborhood” daily and would love more density in the area. But, density doesn’t mean something has to be two stories out of scale, aesthetically hideous, and a copy/paste of all the “fauxchitecture” that is popping up in cities today.

    And no, I’m not just being “a little bitchey”, it sounds the other way around.

  • Jenna
    09/12 04:37 PM

    I think we should concentrate on the real issue heres. Squabbling about whether we like the style of the building is counterproductive, as the design will probably go through myriad changes before it ever gets built.

    The real issues here are density (we’re all more-or-less for it…somewhere) and activism (squeaky wheels get the grease.)

    The most legitimate questions for the community to address are those about transportation, as roads are a good that all of us use: does Oberlin have enough capacity? Can it be widened? What about Clark? Etc. That said, I think the “Save CV News” people are using this issue as a wedge against the new development because they just don’t want anything in their backyards.

  • LR
    09/14 12:05 AM

    I have lived in this neighborhood for 12 years and am SO excited to see new development. Seriously, that corner has little to offer except an overpriced and smoke-filled gas station and some ugly outdated office buildings.  I welcome the growth and look forward to walking to new restaurants and stores. Surely there can be a compromise on the looks of the new building. My main concern though is the traffic.  It took over 5 minutes to take a left hand turn onto Oberlin from Van Dyke Avenue and I can only imagine how much worse it will get.

  • Judith Guest
    09/30 06:36 AM

    Everyone has legit concerns and yes,you have to take the bitter with the sweet.No one likes to be force-fed. I’m still trying to digest Oberlin Court. Historic Oberlin Village is already bursting at the seams.  Yes people, Oberlin Village. Cameron Village is just a shopping center, and I must say I enjoy shopping with the best of them. Lets break from the bickering and get “schooled” on a little history here. Theres more at stake here that continues to be overlooked.There are other populations within this community who have already sacrificed. Sometimes you have to look back in order to know how to move forward. I try to value everyone’s opinion, but here are some facts I would like to share with you.

    As a steward to the community; we will serve as a vessel to promote the history of the Latta School, its founder and other historic facets of Oberlin Village. These offerings will be rendered through educational and cultural
    opportunities for all.


    Following the Civil War, parcels of land were subdivided and sold to freed slaves. Oberlin Village would be one of Raleigh’s first communities of freed slaves. The land had belonged to a wealthy plantation owner, Duncan Cameron who was a North Carolina state politician and state banker. Former slave, James E. Harris, established Oberlin Village in 1866. He graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio for which the community was named after due to its opposition to slavery. It was also an institution that opened enrollment to African Americans.  The 149 acres primarily consisted of farmland where its new citizens pursued self-sufficiency by erecting schools, businesses and places of worship.  Some of the original homes were quaint and of Victorian style. Today, few can be found along Oberlin Road, Wade and Clark Avenues.


    •  Wilson Temple United Methodist Church- Founded in 1865, the church was established to meet spiritual needs and to provide ministry to the Oberlin community. The church continues to this day to be a refuge with open hearts, open minds, and open doors.  All are welcome! - W. E. McLeod, pastor.
    •  Oberlin Cemetery- Located on Oberlin Road behind RE/MAX, the 142-year-old cemetery has laid to rest generations of Oberlin Village’s earliest residents. Some born unto slavery. The last burial is as recent as 2007.
    •  Latta University-A former school and orphanage for the children of freed slaves. Founded by Reverend Morgan London Latta in 1892. The former slave of the Cameron family was one of Shaw University’s first graduates. The historic landmark was lost to a fire in January of 2007. It was the last of remaining of 26 structures. The 2-acre site is currently owned by the City of Raleigh. It’s the Latta House Foundation’s desire for it to be converted into a memorial teaching park and cultural center.
    •  The following are some of the privately owned homes listed with the National Registry of Historic Places:  Willis M. Graves House, Rev. Plummer T. Hall House and the John T. & Mary Turner House.


    •  Dr. James E. Shepherd – In 1909 founded North Carolina Central University. Formerly known as the NC College For Negroes, it was one of the first state supported colleges in the nation for African Americans.
    •  John H. Baker (1935- 2007) -served as North Carolina’s first black sheriff for nearly 2 decades. He was also a former pro football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    •  In 1956, Joseph Holt Jr. and his family would be one of the first to challenge Raleigh’s segregated school system.
    •  Historic Oberlin Village had a host of educators, doctors and those who served in the military. Some honorably sacrificing their lives for our country.

    •  “As a child, I can remember the early morning visits from the milk truck and the ice man. The neighbors who had farms would come by to sell fresh vegetables.” – Mrs. Minnie Pearce Turner Williams
    •  “Easter Sunday everyone would visit Mr. Arthur Sheppard’s flower garden for a corsage or lapel. They would also pick flowers to place on the graves of loved ones passed.”- Mr. Joseph Holt
    •  “There was a pond off lake Boone Trail where people would walk down for baptisms.”-  Mrs. Rose Morgan Goode
    •  “I do remember during the summer months when gypsies would set up camp in Cameron Woods. (Location of Harris Teeter) They would come in their wagons and were dressed in colorful clothing. They would stay for weeks.”- Mrs. Mamie Haywood


    •  Contact the City of Raleigh’s Historic District Commission
    •  Visit your local library or book store to read Culture Town by Linda Simmons–Henry
    •  Tour the Raleigh City Museum
    •  The senior residents are your best source yet. Make an introduction today!
    This outreach placard was brought to you by


    and sponsored by the


  • Todd Morman
    10/01 10:35 PM

    The deeper issue here - one that affects everyone at this site - is process, and should examine the neighbors’ complaints that Raleigh ignored its own process in this situation. I love density, and don’t see a problem with the towers in my neighborhood (I live 1/2 mile away), but if the city ignored its own rules and guidelines, then that’s an issue worth standing up and yelling about.

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