Some development guidelines for a more urban Raleigh

February 24, 2013 

In looking at changes in the city of Raleigh’s Unified Development Ordinance, which deals with sizes of buildings, open space requirements, sidewalks, parking and a host of other specifics in developing areas, the Raleigh City Council is aiming for new places in the city that will encourage what’s called in the modern urban world “walkable” neighborhoods. That means residents can pretty much get what they need for day-to-day living without getting in their cars.

It also means, the council hopes, cleaner air and better-looking landscapes. There will be more requirements for sidewalks, bike lanes and open space. Skyscraper design will be such that different height limits will be set for different parts of the city.

The guidelines as proposed, and likely to be adopted, will focus on areas like Hillsborough Street and Cameron Village, and also the Crabtree Valley area. The new plans do depend on something as yet not acted upon, a half-cent sales tax boost to fund new transit projects. Wake Commissioners have hesitated to put it on the ballot. They need to help fill in this last piece of a promising puzzle.

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