I appreciated your Dec. 13 editorial “ ‘Ridge line’ on project” and as one of the local community activists, would like to add some details.
As long as the Spencer Ridge proposal remains focused on retail, it will not be consistent with the Future Land Use Map which calls for development as Office Mixed Use or residential. Nor will it become compatible with the surrounding area or be able to comply with Raleigh’s UDO regulation 9.1.9 which requires 40 percent wooded area be maintained in the urban watershed.
No matter what changes are made to the proposal the location will still not be a city designated Growth Center, a city designated Transit Corridor or a major intersection. All of these are Comprehensive Plan policies used to identify appropriate locations where the city encourages the placement of shopping centers.
The current proposal is larger than any other area development that is actually located in a designated Growth Center. By sending this back to the Planning Commission without restating the Planning Staff’s and Planning Commission’s concerns about the inappropriate retail intensity, the council has sent a message that those concerns are unwarranted and can be assuaged simply by providing a detailed site plan as a Planned Development.
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Outside of changing the proposal to a residential or office mixed use development, there is nothing that can be done to make this proposal consistent with Raleigh’s policies and regulations.