Monday, September 1, 2014

Grow Raleigh Great Does NOT Support Proposed Amendments to Raleigh's 2030 Comprehensive Plan

Members of Grow Raleigh Great have been working for several months to revise Raleigh's development ordinance to ensure that the UDO implements the vision of Raleigh's 2030 Comprehensive Plan. We have found that the current Planning Department under acting Director Ken Bowers is uncooperative and unwilling to work towards consensus with Raleigh's citizens.
The culmination of these several months of discussions through formal meetings of Raleigh's Comprehensive Planning Commission is a recommendation by the Bowers' Planning Department to amend the Comprehensive Plan to eliminate all language pertaining to the Plan's vision for small, walkable, neighborhood-oriented centers known as Neighborhood Mixed Use.
In their place the Bowers' Planning Department is proposing to replace small, walkable, neighborhood-oriented centers with more 150,000 square foot big box strip malls with 50,000 sq foot anchors to be built directly in the heart of neighborhoods. This is particularly worrisome because such amendment will open the door wide to rezoning of Dunn and Falls of Neuse Road.
The North Raleigh Coalition of Homeowners does not support and will not support these proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan.
The Planning Department is offering two versions of the proposed amendments as follows:

Here is the text for the the current Comprehensive Plan:

The definition for NMU in the Comp Plan says:

This category applies to neighborhood shopping centers and pedestrian-oriented retail districts.  The service area of these districts is generally about a one mile radius or less.  Typical uses would include corner stores or convenience stores, restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets (other than super-stores/centers), drug stores, dry cleaners, video stores, small professional offices, retail banking, and similar uses that serve the immediately surrounding neighborhood.  Residential and mixed use projects with upper story housing are also supported by this designation.  Where residential development compliments commercial uses, it would generally be in the medium density range.
NX is the most appropriate zoning district for these areas...

The definition for CMU in the Comp Plan says:
This category applies to medium sized shopping centers and larger pedestrian-oriented retail districts such as Cameron Village.  Typical commercial uses include large-format supermarkets, larger drug stores, department stores and variety stores, clothing stores, banks, offices, restaurants, movie theaters, hotels, and similar uses that draw from multiple neighborhoods.  Development intensities could be higher than in Neighborhood Center areas, with mid-rise buildings as well as low-rise buildings.  Where residential development occurs, ground floor retail would be encouraged and minimum building heights might be applied in transit-rich areas.  Heights would generally be in the three to five story range, although additional height up to 12 stories would be appropriate in TOD areas at the core of mixed-use centers.
CX is the primary corresponding zoning district for these areas...