The city’s remapping process brought hundreds to city hall earlier this month and has residents asking almost the same number of questions.
The process, which will rezone 35,000 individual pieces of property in the city, started as an effort to streamline the city’s various maps and regulations that guide development. It sounds simple, but it’s been a difficult maze for many residents who have spoken at a public hearing that stretched over two nights.
Here are the answers to some of the questions posed by residents at the hearings:
What is the remapping process?
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The remapping process rezones properties to match new districts defined in the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), which was adopted in 2013. The UDO is a legal document that lays out all the laws about land use and development in Raleigh.
Remapping brings all of the city under one UDO, making it easier for staff, elected officials, developers and residents to determine appropriate land uses throughout the city. City staff tried to make sure there weren’t significant differences in the zoning when proposing the remapping change.
How do I know if my property is being rezoned?
The City of Raleigh has created an interactive map to see if there are changes proposed to your property. Type in an address, and it will show any proposed changes with a description of what the change means.
What if I don’t want retail or any other kind of development near me?
The remapping does not guarantee any type of development will be placed at a certain location, and it does not change the rights of residents to oppose a development.
Outside of rezonings, though, residents have always had limited ways of stopping development, said Planning Director Ken Bowers. As long as a proposed plan fits the requirements of a district defined by the UDO, city staff is bound by law to approve it. Residents are always welcome to share comments with city staff, Bowers said.
How long will this take?
It’s unclear. There’s no deadline for implementing the new zones. City council can make sweeping changes to areas that are part of the rezoning, change the UDO or hold another public hearing, Bowers said. For context, it took the city about three years to create and adopt the new UDO. City staff has already been working on the remapping process for about a year and half, creating the proposed changes, Bowers said.
What is a mixed-use area? Why are so many properties zoned to be mixed-use?
Mixed-use districts are areas that allow for several different uses such as retail, offices and residential on one parcel of land. Some popular mixed-use areas in the city include North Hills and Cameron Village. City staff has not proposed adding significantly more mixed-use areas, Bowers said. Instead, the UDO is more clear about what can be built in mixed-use areas.
Will it affect my home value?
Not directly. A zoning designation does not directly affect home values. However, a change in zoning could lead to a sequence of events that affect home values. If an area is zoned to allow more retail, new development could make nearby land more valuable, which means taxes could go up if the value increases quickly. But properties are revalued only once every eight years in Wake County. Even if a large retail development was built within a year, it would be around 2024 before it would affect anyone’s property tax.
Why wasn’t I notified?
The city isn’t sure. The planning department budgeted $50,000 to let people know of the remapping process, Bowers said. It began mailing postcards last year and mailed out letters to let people know of the rezoning. Many people complained at public hearings they never received the letter, which is required by law. The postcards were extra notification, Bowers said. The city also posted 600 signs in key locations to let people know of the rezoning.