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Growth leads Raleigh to consider rezoning a third of the city

Posted July 7, 2015

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— Increased development and population have led Raleigh officials to create a plan that will rezone about 30 percent of the city, most of which would affect homes and businesses in north Raleigh.

Residents voiced their opinions about the plan during a public hearing Tuesday night inside a packed City Council Chambers – with just as many people forced to stand outside the room due to space.

City officials estimate about 130 people signed up to speak.

Some of their opinions were not favorable.

"This rezoning is a betrayal," resident Michael O'Sullivan said.

The zoning changes would allow for more mixed use properties such as North Hills, which has apartments, restaurants and other businesses, said Raleigh Planning Director Ken Bowers, who described the city's current zoning map as "outdated." The proposed plan includes changing building height limits from being decided on a case-by-case basis to being pre-determined by district.

“I think they biggest change they'll notice is a continuation of some of the trends of seeing the city grow in a different way,” Bowers said. “So some of the development patterns we've seen in North hills and Cameron Village, which were difficult to zone for under the old code, will be much more easy to develop.”

Some north Raleigh residents have filed a petition against the plan. Those along Falls of Neuse Road successfully fought to keep a supermarket from being built.

"Why are we discussing rezoning that was already decided," said Bob Fry, who lives in the area.

The proposed plan includes turning four acres at Falls of Neuse and Dunn roads from a commercial buffer to mixed use.

"We are asking you to look at this in a fresh light because that is the way we are presenting it to you," Tom Worth Jr., an attorney representing the land owners, told city council members.

Residents in other parts of the city were also against the plan.

"Proposed to allow bars, nightclubs, restaurants serving alcohol and unlimited retail," said Matthew Brown, who lives in Historic Oakwood. "Yet this part of Oakwood is all historic houses."

Octavia Rainey, who lives in East College Park, said the plan would push long-time minority residents out of the area.

"We are under a serious threat," she said. "This new plan does not guarantee that black people are going to be living in historically black neighborhoods."

The next public hearing is on July 21, 6 p.m., inside City Council Chambers. About 60 people who didn't speak during Tuesday's meeting will be able to speak during the second hearing.

City council members have not decided when they will vote on the plan.

15 Comments

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  • Marcy Lyn Jul 8, 2015
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    I agree, Cameron Village is way beyond enjoyable anymore and I avoid NH like the plague !

  • Colin Burch III Jul 8, 2015
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    Seems like rule by minority, developers. Are the citizens asking for this change? Maybe time for new elected leadership?

  • Susan Gurganus Jul 8, 2015
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    The residents living within 100 feet received a mailed notice (dated June 11) although this process has been going on for over a year. Developers were kept in the loop. I don't know anyone who likes how Cameron Village has turned out and most of us avoid North Hills due to the congestion. And they want the rest of Raleigh's corridors like those? Infrastructure should come first (all kinds). Economists would also say that the development spending won't offset the city's costs--that will fall to regular citizens all over the city.

  • Paul Jones Jul 8, 2015
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    Valid point on property taxes. Sadly, we have embraced that evil institution that has seen the elderly and poor kicked to the curb.

    Personally, I think property taxes should never be applied to one's primary residence.

  • Roy Hinkley Jul 8, 2015
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    Addressing question 3:
    If they do not own the house, but instead rent, they could see the rental rates increase beyond their means.

    If they do own the house, they could see property values increase, which will also increases property taxes. If the property taxes increase too much, they'd need to sell. Would they profit? Likely. Is the end result that they are no longer living there (aka forced out)? Yes.

  • Roy Hinkley Jul 8, 2015
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    Well, you're in luck then.

    This WRAL article indicates the next public meeting is July 21 at 6pm.

  • Jim Buchanan Jul 8, 2015
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    I think it's karma! The people living in Holly Springs complained about the Toll Road and people in Raleigh said we should just live with it.

    Well, Raleigh residents...JUST LIVE WITH IT!!

  • Paul Jones Jul 8, 2015
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    "This new plan does not guarantee that black people are going to be living in historically black neighborhoods."

    I have some serious questions with that statement:
    1) I thought many didn't like living in black neighborhoods because the schools were said to be bad (thus the forced busing)
    2) I thought people wanted to be more integrated
    3) How will they be forced to leave? Sounds like an economic opportunity to sell property at prices higher than current market value

    What am I missing?

  • Scott Mace Jul 8, 2015
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    It would be preferable to 1 hour and 44 minutes....

  • Roy Hinkley Jul 8, 2015
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    How about 2 weeks notice? Is that good enough?

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