You may have attended one of the neighborhood meetings or offered feedback in the fall of 2009 when the city initiated the process of rewriting long standing development codes, in an effort to codify a Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). (We first wrote about it on this blog back in November of 2009.)
This has been a huge effort, since many of the current regulations were put in place fifty years ago, with hundreds of individual code updates since then resulting in an overly complicated development process.
Now this process is at the point of being wrapped up, and this is what makes your renewed attention critical:
“what is allowed in the new UDO will be allowed to be built without any public review, or comment”.
This all started with the city’s major initiative launched four years ago to update its comprehensive plan – here’s the original timetable.
But unlike the 2030 Comprehensive Plan, which is a guide for future development in Raleigh, the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) is LAW, dictating allowable heights, setbacks, land uses, transitions, landscaping buffers; etc. across the city.
So what does all this mean . . . Raleigh City Councilman Thomas Crowder puts it this way. “The large majority of new development in the future is being recommended by the Planning Director to be staff approved, rather than approved by the Planning Commission and/or City Council. In other words, what is allowed in the new UDO will be allowed to be built without any public review, or comment”.
And, what’s happening now . . An initial consolidated draft of the UDO will be released on April 6. The public will then have two months to let the City know what it thinks. An open house for the Public Review of the UDO draft has been set up at different times on April 20-21.
In addition to the three sessions offered by the Department of City Planning, the Triangle Community Coalition will sponsor a UDO workshop and lunch on April 21st starting at 11:30am at the Urban Design Center. Register here.
Philip Poe, a DLA Core Group member, is representing the interests of residents on the UDO Advisory Group. Philip has just released several web based tools to help residents get engaged in the process.
RaleighUDO.com: This website will help you learn about the UDO and give you an opportunity to add comments to content publish on the site.