Just ask anyone sitting in rush hour traffic, making their way stop light by stop light to their home in Wake Forest. There is a growing realization that Raleigh’s suburban patterns of development cannot be sustained. The cheap gas and land that allowed our city to spiral outward for decades, have quickly become luxuries of the past.
Our city government understands that our traditional development patterns that encourage “sprawl” are not only unsustainable from an environmental perspective, but that this type of growth imposes a real threat to our region’s long enjoyed status as being an attractive place to start a family and develop new businesses
Altering growth patterns requires a new development code.
Development codes provide an important mechanism for managing future growth. And the city is now embarked on a challenging 18 – 24 month process of rewriting their long-standing development codes.
The new codes are expected to address the current barriers to in-fill and redevelopment and are also being designed to support those areas that promote Downtown living; including character, use, public space, mass transit, parking, and pedestrian oriented streets.
The 2030 Comprehensive Plan was an important first step, and serves as an important framework to guide the process. But turning the plan’s vision into a executable and enforceable “codified” set of rules will be very challenging.
As an advocacy group promoting communication between residents, businesses and city government, Downtown Living Advocates will be deeply involved.
This process is clearly in alignment with DLA’s key mission of developing the city’s urban core as an attractive place to live. We have met with the City’s Planning Department and are taking steps to support the department’s efforts by positioning our group as a bridge for integrating the residential and neighborhood needs of our Downtown.
This will continue to be an important initiative for the DLA, so look for ongoing updates to be posted on our blog.