Zoning and Density

Thoughts? Bold moves like this will inevitably migrate from West to East imo… Even when the crisis may be worse in East coast cities

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Question. In your reading of this article.

Does “not allow zoning”, actually mean that you can’t build one single family house if you want to?

Zoning of property will no longer say
R-1 (1 house per acre)
But would say
R10 ( up to 10 homes per acre)
Giving the land owner the option two build more dwellings then just one?
Not making it “mandatory” but allowing for more options that would not have been allowed previously?

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I think that no single family zoning means that any property could maximized to its zoning potential.
For example, if you currently owned a half acre and the property was zoned R10, you’d theoretically be able to put 5 dwellings on it.
Frankly, if this is the case, I’d rather see other cities vet this out first. This is fraught with all sorts of potential issues.

Fantastic read. Really lays out what’s going on around here at the council level. We need new leadership. Period.

Interesting to note that Raleigh is 88% single-family homes, high compared to peer cities.



This is a great read, especially coming from TBJ. I like the portion referencing some of the council members’ past as community activists blocking developments and being adversarial toward developers.

That’s the easiest way to understand the uphill battle we’re facing with passing progressive developments by this council.


It’s incredibly unfortunate that this is happening. Again, Ms. Mendell shows that she has no grasp of the issues at hand. She reflexively dismisses everything and never proposes any alternate solutions. The comment in the article about freezing the City in time is right on the money. I’d say the same things about Mr. Cox too, except by refusing to comment he doesn’t give himself enough rope, I suppose.


“I wonder how people will view Raleigh’s brand as an innovation city if its public policy is perceived to resist change,” Sandreuter says.
Well, look here. Two topics in this community overlap! What I believe will happen is that the city’s core will continue to grow, and over time, there will be less and less need for those who live and work downtown to venture outside of it for their daily lives. The best one can hope for is that, as the core grows and matures, there will be more of a focus on Raleigh’s brand based on the core itself and not its “anywhere USA burbs”. Austin has transcended their suburban realities, so why can’t Raleigh? I’ve been in suburban Austin (in the actual city limits) for work a few times in the last 1.5 years and it’s truly awful. Yet, Austin’s brand and credentials as an innovative and cool place are based on its core.

“It almost seems to me like there is a war against single-family homes at this point,” Mendell says.
This is a good one and reminds me of the war on Christmas. LOL. Oh, come on. Frankly, we are climbing out of a 70 year war on the city via actual public policy that had put it on life support.

The percentage of SFHs in Raleigh will slowly go down since the city is no longer able to annex its periphery at will. Continued development downtown will continue to add units, and I believe that the success will only breed more success in the core. If trends continue toward a desire to have more walkable communities, the neighborhoods that Stef “defends” will lose value. Her nimbyism regarding the 7 story apartment building in Ridgewood is nothing short of astonishing. Is she joking? Wade is a major artery right off the Beltline and is a bee-line to I40. Why wouldn’t we want more housing there? Also, it’s not like there isn’t a back-side of a shopping center butting up against the houses on Leonard St. already. Wasn’t the proposal to put the housing on the front side of Ridgewood? That said, there isn’t really much hope to change the dynamics of the NW ITB quadrant near Ridgewood without completely demolishing the entire center and re-imagining it as a walking oriented center for the first few blocks north of it. Most of that quadrant is filled with single family homes, with the exception of a few churches, schools, and a couple of suburban style multifamily projects. It’s completely car dependent. Stef’s home sits right in the middle of that car dependency with her only reasonable walking destinations being the two schools, Ridge Road Pool and that tiny/quirky Medlin Dr. strip.

In the end, I think that we should stay the course on focusing on downtown Raleigh and let the successes speak for themselves. Sometimes people need to learn the hard way.



Dude, or Sir, whichever is appropriate,
I have never or could never say this before but, I 100% TOTALLY AND COMPLETE AGREE…Thank you! :heart_eyes: :sunglasses:


An appropriate article covering many of the discussion points here:


I’d love to see someone on the Community run for Council. There’s definitely room for improvement there, and I think someone who’s in touch with the conversations here and an urbanist viewpoint in general would be a great addition to the political leadership in this city.


…and they can start with;

Stef Mendell

District E Council Member


919-996-3050 (Office)

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I thought about that (running) but nobody knows me. :joy:


Weren’t all of the current councilors unknown at some point?



Go for it…where do I donate?


I would vote for anyone on this board. Agree or disagree with me regularly, Democrat or Republican. At least you care about our downtown. Half this city council is a joke


I’d run but I don’t actually live in Raleigh. Thought about trying to run for Board of Alderman in Carrboro, and maybe I could use that as a stepping stone. But it’s probably a fantasy.


Same here… if only I had more time.

(and money and patience? Actually getting off of your butt and running for office isn’t exactly for the poor and/or faint of heart. We grad students -and maybe Gen Z/millenials in general?- aren’t really the best off in that aspect, sadly.)


Going back to the general idea of density for the common good v. suburban individual freedom, I found a long but good article that might help think deeper about some of the arguments that keeps coming up in density-related conversations here.

It’s about the urban/rural divide for political thought, but I think urban planning is a close cousin of what they’re discussing here.

What is the foundation for the estrangement between rural and urban America? Perhaps it is the belief on both sides that the other does not care about them.
Rural voters [feel] like outsiders, their world grounded in a rural consciousness others did not understand. […] They felt like they were standing still while others […] cut in front of them to get undeserved help.
Much of today’s polarization is rooted in social identity, argues [political scientist Lilliana Mason]. This overlay results in a powerful political group attachment, [she claims]. Politics becomes more than a means to govern ourselves and handle disputes about proper actions. It becomes tribal: “us” versus “them.”

I suspect that Raleigh’s City Council (and many others) are basically leaning towards the “rural” side of expectations and ideals. If so, what can we do to bridge the two…?

Because we may have a time limit to make that happen.


Relevant story from the NY Times:

Outlined for those who might be paywalled:


I’ve owned nothing but condos. I’ve purchased 4 of them in my adult life.