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ChiefJoJo

Raleigh's 2030 Comprehensive Plan & new zoning code

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The chief topic of this article from the N&O today is how Raleigh currently plans for growth and how that affects our quality of life.

I think this is a good place for the ongoing debate over the merits of the sprawl/auto based form of growth we currently have versus a more compact, transit oriented form of growth.

A complete overhaul of the city's Comprehensive Plan is proposed in next fiscal year's budget.

The argument over growth's impact on the city's water supply could affect the city's plans for the future. The current plan generally calls for expanding the water system.

"We're at a point where we need to take a look at our growth patterns," said Mitchell Silver, the city's planning director.

Raleigh, with a population of nearly 350,000, grows 3 percent to 4 percent a year. Between July and January, 2,650 homes were built or annexed into the city.

EPA Report:

Large lots, which require lots of irrigation, and low-density developments, which require longer water mains that are more prone to leaks, can be water-gobbling development styles, the report says. It encourages "smart growth" principles, including more compact development on smaller lots and development in areas with existing infrastructure, to help reduce water demand.

Raleigh officials have sought those kinds of developments.

Mitchell Silver, the city's planning director, said Raleigh is also exploring more green building and sustainable development practices.

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i'll do the reasoning for ya

1. UP not OUT

2. MASS TRANSIT not MORE/WIDER ROADS/BELTWAYS

and along those lines: WALKABILITY NOT DRIVEABILITY

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How about a pessimistic scenario:

The comprehensive plan will make key changes in some areas to "suggest" and "encourage" urbanization and walkability, but otherwise it will just be changed to reflect actual, current development patterns- which have strayed afield from the current CP.

Even the key changes towards urbanization won't matter, because Raleigh has shown no desire to enforce the current CP and there's no reason to believe this will change with a new plan.

So in substance, we'll have little in the way of actual planning, just a document that describes current development, a few optional "guidelines" for new development, and an equivalent of the "thoroughfare plans" that were the staple of city planning until the 1980s.

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orulz's scenario is not pessimistic, it is unfortunately realistic. The City Council has not shown the discipline to support current plans, so why should we believe in new ones? Big Real Estate will come out to work the status quo, because they are too lazy to learn a new way to make a buck.

The level of buy-in among the citizens in Raleigh for these changes will need to be very significant for them to be meaningful. I don't know if Raleigh has a leader up to the task.

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I wouldn't say that my pessimistic scenario really represents my thoughts on development in Raleigh. There will probably be a number of meaningful changes in the comprehensive plan.

For example, we'll probably see a greater emphasis on dense, high-rise development throughout the CBD area, as well as more emphasis on densification of urban corridors throughout ITB Raleigh. You can expect to see a big section on the Dorothea Dix property & environs in there, too. I'm also interested to see whether there will be any new changes to the area around the TTA stations, or if the plans there will stay the same.

This won't be the sweeping change that many of us are hoping for, but hopefully it will move in the right direction.

Oh, hey- perhaps we can use the CP refresh as an opportunity to start lobbying for an urban small-area plan at the corner of Six Forks & Wake Forest.

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^^ that would make me very happy

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What I'd like to see:

- Increase density bonuses and other incentives for TOD and development in DT

- Specifically state building height limits in city focus and center areas (~25 stories max and only in areas near major corridors)... focus very tall bldgs (Soliel!!!) in DT only!

- Limit development in watersheds (no more McMansions in Falls Lake area)

- Encourage/promote good infill development, esp dense redevelopment in city/neighborhood focus areas (Cameron Village, Six Forks/WF Rd, etc.)

- Require all new developments over a certain size (~200k sf) to be mixed use

- Tie new annexations to strict water conservation regs (not enough city water supply = no annex)

- Require all new streets to be connective and multimodal (sidewalks, bike lanes, and NO cul-de-sacs like Charlotte's Urban Street Guidelines)

- Identify open space to be preserved

That's a good start.

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I'm a fan of smart-sprawl. :P

Although I don't think there's an official term, smart sprawl is possible. A planned gridded road system, like the one in Raleigh's inner-beltline neighborhoods, does wonders for commuting residents. It also makes water and power hookups easier, bus lines shorter, and school districts easy to place. Raleigh would have a fraction of the sprawl-related problems it has if the entire city, not just inside the beltline, were gridded.

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Although I don't think there's an official term, smart sprawl is possible. A planned gridded road system, like the one in Raleigh's inner-beltline neighborhoods, does wonders for commuting residents. It also makes water and power hookups easier, bus lines shorter, and school districts easy to place. Raleigh would have a fraction of the sprawl-related problems it has if the entire city, not just inside the beltline, were gridded.

That's not smart sprawl, that's smart growth or traditional neighborhood development.

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That's not smart sprawl, that's smart growth or traditional neighborhood development.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=las+vegas&oe...237579&t=k&om=1

I wouldn't call Las Vegas's growth smart. It's mostly sprawling suburbs. They just happen to follow a mostly gridded system. Smart sprawl maybe, but not smart growth, especially considering that they're in a desert.

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Its easy to implement an expansive grid street system on flat, open land. However, that sort of system would prove to be difficult in Raleigh because of the various hills, valleys, rivers, and lakes that dot the landscape. This is the piedmont afterall.

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Its easy to implement an expansive grid street system on flat, open land. However, that sort of system would prove to be difficult in Raleigh because of the various hills, valleys, rivers, and lakes that dot the landscape. This is the piedmont afterall.

Not necessarily the case. I used to live in Seattle which has more hills, more rivers, and more lakes and it, for the most part, is a grid.

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Not necessarily the case. I used to live in Seattle which has more hills, more rivers, and more lakes and it, for the most part, is a grid.

The West End, the streetcar suburb of Winston-Salem-- is all gridded, and on very steep hills.

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The blocks don't have to be square-shaped, just connected at all ends, with each distance between intersections saying within a certain length. No dead-end streets, no meandering streets, no u-turn streets, or anything that creates mechanical inconveniences to drivers and pedestrians.

When you set that condition, it becomes quite possible to adhere to a grid in the Triangle. Unfortunately, we've already deviated enough from that to make it impossible to ever fix. We'll have to live with bad roads forever now.

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Unfortunately, we've already deviated enough from that to make it impossible to ever fix. We'll have to live with bad roads forever now.

I'm not so sure. I know of policies planned or instituted by towns and cities whereby they attempt to reconnect neighborhood streets over time as opportunites become available... such as a new infill developments, and even condemnation of and extension of streets through cul-de-sac lots.

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Good news. It's official. The city is going to undertake a Comprehensive Plan update (click here for info) later this year and into the following year.

This seems like its right up the alley of a lot of folks on the board. As the release states: 'Essentially, the updated Comprehensive Plan will provide a vision of what Raleigh will look like in 20 years, Mr. Silver said.' It's a good vehicle to have our voices heard in how the city should develop.

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Sounds like Raleigh has made a wise decision to come up with a Comprehensive Plan, to have goals and some idea how Raleigh is being develop.

Who will make sure that the Comprehensive Plans are on track?

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Raleigh's City Council will need to grow a spine when speaking with Big Real Estate in order to make any growth management plan meaningful. Until this happens, consider the plan as the Raleigh "Comprehensive Suggestion."

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Raleigh's City Council will need to grow a spine when speaking with Big Real Estate in order to make any growth management plan meaningful. Until this happens, consider the plan as the Raleigh "Comprehensive Suggestion."

I couldn't have said it better myself, transitman.

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Raleigh can adopt a comprehensive plan, but what about the other towns and cities in Wake County and Durham as well. If they don't work "comprehensively" with Raleigh, then its all in vain. The TTA is really needed.

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I think that Raleigh could have pulled off the grid pattern outside of the beltine although I think the beltine sort of cuts off either side in many areas. I mean we have hills and valleys in Raleigh, but not like we have mountains and cliffs or anything, but alas no point dreaming about that now.

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More updates on new Comp Plan... some might find the map of the land capacity analysis interesting--it shows which areas that remain undeveloped are built out, Raleigh can accomodate a population of 655k from a land use perspective (this excludes redevelopment) in the next 20 years.

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On the above Comprehensive Plan, it showed that the ETJ could help accomodate 655, 000 within Raleigh without having to extend the boundaries. Now of course it could probably do more, but again, if the city council is feeding from the hands fo the Big Real Estate then it becomes difficult to plan for 1 million people in Raleigh that don't have to get out of their car to go everywhere.

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