Category: UDO (Page 2 of 2)

City’s Rewriting of the Development Codes — A Perfect Fit for the Work of the Downtown Living Advocates

Just ask anyone sitting in rush hour traffic, making their way stop light by stop light to their home in Wake Forest.  There is a growing realization that Raleigh’s suburban patterns of development cannot be sustained. The cheap gas and land that allowed our city to spiral outward for decades, have quickly become luxuries of the past. 
Our city government understands that our traditional development patterns that encourage “sprawl” are not only unsustainable from an environmental perspective, but that this type of growth imposes a real threat to our region’s long enjoyed status as being an attractive place to start a family and develop new businesses
Altering growth patterns requires a new development code.
Development codes provide an important mechanism for managing future growth.  And the city is now embarked on a challenging 18 – 24 month process of rewriting their long-standing development codes.
The new codes  are expected to address the current barriers to in-fill and redevelopment and  are also being designed to support those areas that promote Downtown living; including character, use, public space, mass transit, parking, and pedestrian oriented streets.
The 2030 Comprehensive Plan was an important first step, and serves as an important framework to guide the process.  But turning the plan’s vision into a executable and enforceable “codified” set of rules will be very challenging.  
As an advocacy group promoting communication between residents, businesses and city government, Downtown Living Advocates will be deeply involved.  
This process is clearly in alignment with DLA’s key mission of developing the city’s urban core as an attractive place to live.  We have met with the City’s Planning Department and are taking steps to support the department’s efforts by positioning our group as a bridge for integrating the residential and neighborhood needs of our Downtown. 
This will continue to be an important initiative for the DLA, so look for ongoing updates to be posted on our blog.

DLA Brainstorms with Raleigh Neighborhood Organizations and the City Regarding Zoning Issues

Shaping Raleigh’s future look was the topic of conversation at the Urban Design Center on Tuesday, October 20 as the Downtown Living Advocates joined several CAC’s (Citizen’s Advisory Councils) from around the city and the code underwriters to consider zoning and legal issues. The code review and zoning process is an 18 month project with preliminary results expected to be announced by next January, and followed by a second round of meetings.  
The purpose of the study is to update the code and the zoning maps to meet the comprehensive plan recently adopted by the City.  Issues discussed included architectural character, zoning and land use, as well as the critical need for more timely neighborhood input on new development. The DLA also raised the need for a character study that can help guide the new code underwriting and the new zoning maps, underlining to the code review team that a study of the impact of growth on neighborhoods is critical in creating a sensible zoning map and code.  
The DLA was pleased to receive many requests from the various CAC’s to visit them and provide a presentation on the DLA mission and collaborative efforts.  The DLA sees itself as an advocate for neighborhoods, providing early expert input to developers and builders on major projects under consideration. 
In order to support the neighborhoods as a whole, the DLA plans to collect input from the various CAC’s involved and to compile them in a comprehensive report to be submitted to the city and to the code and the zoning consultants.  
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