Local News

Rezoning Could Limit Thousands of Raleigh Homeowners

Posted December 6, 2007 8:39 p.m. EST
Updated December 6, 2007 11:54 p.m. EST

— A rezoning – mandated by the state and intended to protect a water supply – would limit the ways in which thousands of owners in north Raleigh could develop their property.

Letters will be sent to about 7,300 property owners, and city planners met with a citizens' advisory group Thursday to explain the regulations. Those will make it more difficult to construct additions – even decks – to existing homes.

"I can't see how they can take an entire development and say now you can't add onto it," homeowner Darlene Domalavage said.

If the rules are not implemented, however, the state could levy $10,000 monthly fines on the City of Raleigh.

The rezoning would cover a 5,000-acre area running north-south between N.C. Highway 98 and Durant Road and east-west between Falls of Neuse Road and Capital Boulevard. That area includes the Wakefield Plantation, Bedford at Falls River and Falls River neighborhoods.

The regulations are aimed at protecting the Neuse River near the old Burlington Mills plant off Capital Boulevard. The state has designated it as a water supply and wants the new rules to limit storm water runoff from rooftops and driveways to increase water-quality levels.

A privately owned intake at the Burlington Mills site is unused, but Franklin County officials have issued plans to use it to draw water from the Neuse.

"If you cover over 70 percent of your lot with built surfaces, then you would finally end up not having the ability to build any more," Martin Stankus, a senior planner with Raleigh, said.

Landscaping might provide a way around the rules for property owners. City leaders say exceptions could be granted for people who capture storm water runoff, possibly with landscape design or ponds.

A public hearing on the rezoning was set for Jan. 22 at Raleigh City Hall, at Hargett and Dawson streets.