DDNA Meeting Notes January 2010

Over 30 citizens from around District D joined on January 16, 2010 for the first meeting in 2010 of the District D Neighborhood Alliance (DDNA). On the agenda, the UDO (Unified Development Ordinance) with special guests Mitchell Silver and Christine Darges.

Handout: FAQs

Meeting notes

Compared to comprehensive plan which was about 50/50 ratio of consultants to staff, the UDO will be an 80/20 ratio of consultants to staff. The nature of writing the technical content is the main reason. The UDO process will have public out reach and can be followed along at newraleighcode.com.

The project timeline is on track for now. Staff is currently waiting for product to be delivered by consultants. The approach is to prepare the plan first (2030, defines vision, policies, etc.) then develop the code to create the rules to enforce the vision and policies.

Work started on UDO as soon as the 2030 Comprehensive Plan was approved. The work is limited to Chapter 10 of the ordinance. Note: zoning and subdivisions are unified. The scope of work for that will go online at newraleighcode.com.

Staff is sure if the end product will be form-based, conventional, or performance-based zoning. They asked the firm what’s right for Raleigh, it may by a hybrid. Consultants are currently doing a diagnostic report, determining what’s wrong with the current code, and drafting a code approach. That report is expected in February 2010 and there will be about 30 days for public comment. Need to get THIS RIGHT! After making decision, it will be very hard to turn back. It will be expensive and take more time.

Advisory groups are being formed, an orientation is being held on January 27, 2010. The consultants are reviewing the 120 actions (from the 2030 Comprehensive Plan) and asking serious questions to citizens, staff, planning commission, and City Council. Determining if each action is the true desire for Raleigh, because these actions will be codified (meaning they become law). These decisions will need to be made by end of March 2010.

Questions & answers

(Will Allen) How does the FLUM (Future Land Use Map) relate to this development?
(Mitchell) Once you have the FLUM it is used to determine rezoning applications. The code writers will compare the zoning map to the FLUM and use it to the develop the new zoning categories. They may use the same terminology.

Thoughts on the UDO advisory group:
(Russ Stephenson) Wanted to form the advisory group to see the scope early, including the strategic point of scope confirmation.
(Mitchell) There are actually two advisory groups, a diverse group of citizens and the Planning Commission. These groups will provide input / feedback on the products developed by the consultants.

(Bob Geary) When new ordinance is adopted, will it replace the old zoning ordinance?
(Mitchell) Correct. This will be like a new language and training will be held to help educate.

Text changes: Allow up to 50% increased lot coverage on ONI if 80% of the parking is part of the building. Does not affect height or floor ratio.

(Mitchell) If the public wants a transition zone, then maybe we should write one. Currently, ONI is a one-size fits all. If it’s the desire to have a transition zone, then one should be defined.

(Phil Poe) How is the City encouraging citizen participation, the concepts and language are difficult to understand and naturally exclude a large portion of the citizens?
(Mitchell/Christine) This is much different that the comprehensive plan. It’s technical writing and drafting the ordinances. It’s not easy to say “add this sentence” to this code. There are lawyers involved. But we do want input, it’s just much more technical.

(Anna Duncan-Pardo) Is the Advisory Group responsible for filling the role of informing the public?
(Mitchell) This is not the purpose of the Advisory Group.
(Crowder) Would like to see some of the Advisory Group members act as a conduit to the citizens.

(Hibbets) What is the thud factor of the diagnostic report (how big will it be)?
(Christine) Should be under 100 pages and should not have many surprises in it.

(Ron Aycock) Can the planning department help us with some of the definitions, form-based, transition zones, etc. before we to avoid the frustration and to help keep the timeline?
(Mitchell) All the issues brought up during the 2030 Comprehensive Plan (transitions, environmental issues, neighborhood conservation) are the same issues that came up during the listening sessions. It may have been the first time the consultants heard it. Planning has not heard any new issues, so there shouldn’t be any surprises. The consultants have an expert on transitions to help develop those
(Christine) Form-based zoning workshop on February 3, 6-8 (location TBA) to educate the public on some of these definitions.

(Jeff Leiter) What about non-conforming categories/uses?
(Mitchell) We will try to minimize the amount of non-conforming uses.

Lots of discussion around getting the definitions out to the general public to understand the terminology before we have to start making decisions.

(Bob Geary) Can we test form-based zoning?
(Mitchell/Christine) Toolkit pilot: plan it, code it. There are three candidates for the pilot, Hillsborough Street is a strong candidate for the form-based overlay. Teaching the planning department how to fish. On the topic of the diagnostic report, compare it to the ‘Zoning Doctor.” It will tell us what’s wrong with our code.

(Louise Griffin) What are the qualifications for the consultants?
(Mitchell) We had the top three firms in the United States competing for the contract. In this economy, we got one of the best firms in the country at a good deal.

(Phil Poe) What is being done with media coverage?
(Mitchell) Trying very hard to reach out. There is very little interest from the press. Using RTN. Thought they were fairly successful during the 2030 Comprehensive Plan, but traditionally, there is less media interest in code writing.

(Jeff Leiter) What are the key choices about the approach that need to be talked about?
(Mitchell) Need to complete the diagnostic. Then we move onto the approach. We need to have a very lengthy discussion about the approach.

(Crowder) Summarize – We want to avoid having the public feel like they are being lead along a process where the end result has already been determined.

TC-1-10 Development Plan Review Process

Senate Bill 44 (passed August 2009, went into effect January 1, 2010) defining of quasi-judicial (meaning there is some discretion). Who proposed the bill, the NC Bar.

Lots of discussion around this. More info about TC-1-10 text change and a presentation from Will Allen will be posted at a later date.


  • Laurent de Comarond, Cameron Village
  • Jason Hibbets, Lineberry Alliance
  • Mary Belle Pate, SWCAC
  • Bob Geary, Cameron Park
  • Phil Poe, Glenwood-Brooklyn
  • Joe Boisvert, University Park
  • Todd Earnhardt, Avent West
  • Steven Yoho, Greenbelt
  • Lana Dial, Lake Johnson Harbour
  • Todd Yoho, Greenbelt
  • David Barber Roylene Acres
  • Louise Griffin, University Park
  • Anne Franklin, Park Devereux
  • Maria Murray Riemann, Cameron Park
  • Will Allen, Cameron Village
  • Ron Aycock, Cameron Park
  • Bob Mosher, Cameron Park
  • Jay Chaudhori, Cameron Village
  • George Adler, Cameron Park
  • Bill Jones, Lake Johnson Harbour
  • Anthony McLeod, Renaissance Park
  • Ana Duncan Pardo, Hillsborough CAC / West Morgan
  • Roy Penny, Method
  • Connie Crumpler, Caraleigh
  • John G. Reeves Jr., Caraleigh
  • Elizabeth Lane, West Morgan
  • Jeff Leiter, Boylan Heights
  • Jean Salter, University Park
  • David Barber, Roylene Acres
  • Andrew Campbell, Glenwood South
  • Shelby Gainer, Roylene Acres
  • Mary-Ann Baldwin, At-Large City Councilor
  • Russ Stephenson, University Park (At-Large City Councilor)
  • Thomas Crowder, District D City Councilor

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