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As the City of Raleigh continues to grow, we at the Development Services Department routinely seek ways to improve our processes. To address issues that may result due to property constraints and building setbacks, we will be implementing a new survey requirement for all infill lots (defined per UDO section 2.2.7), as well as for any projects with lots that appear to substantially deviate from the approved plans. Infill construction often occurs in older neighborhoods where the lot lines are no longer distinguishable.

Beginning March 1, 2018, a survey performed by a professional land surveyor licensed in the state of North Carolina, must be completed and submitted to the City of Raleigh for all infill construction projects. The City recommends that this take place once the forms are completely in place (before concrete is poured) or at the owner and/or builders discretion at the foundation stage (after concrete is poured, but prior to any framing or vertical construction occurring). This flexibility is provided to align with other entities, that at times may require a similar survey, and thus allows for combining of the two.

There will be no change to the initial plan submittal and/or application requirements. Please stay tuned for more information, both through this blog and the city website.


For the purpose of this requirement the following definition shall apply to a Foundation /Form Survey:

  • Foundation/Form survey: A sealed and signed survey by a North Carolina licensed Land Surveyor, which attests to the horizontal and vertical location of the building foundation and/or forms, which clearly indicates the set back dimensions ( on all sides and to any accessory or main buildings); any deviations from the approved plans clearly noted, and a statement that foundations and/or forms were found to be in conformity with the approved plans ( any exceptions/deviations noted). In addition an average grade reference datum benchmark , as determined by section 1.5.7 of the UDO , shall be staked on site, and protected for the zoning inspector to use for determining final height compliance at time of the building final. This reference datum location and height shall be clearly indicated/referenced in the prepared sealed document as well as the height of the top of forms or foundation relative to this datum.
  • UDO section 1.5.7 ( A) 2 “Average grade is determined by calculating the average of the highest and lowest elevations along pre development grade or improved grade ( whichever is more restrictive) along the front of the building parallel to the primary street setback. Where mass-grading has been approved by the City average grade shall be considered the improved grade following such mass grading.”
  • UDO section 1..5.7 (A ) 4 “ where the property slope increases to the rear , building height is measured from the average point at grade of the front and rear wall planes.”
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There have been some new changes made to the Preliminary Site Plan and Subdivision review and approval processes which are designed to make things more consistent and efficient for everyone involved. This should save time in what can often be a time-consuming process. The modified approval process now more clearly defines conditions and requirements that help clients stay compliant from one step of the development process to the next.

We have also established a new benchmark for the Administrative Action document. The benchmark is now 15 days from the time all reviewing trades have approved or conditionally approved the preliminary plan—which provides predictability where it previously did not exist.

So you may be wondering, “What do I do with my Administrative Action document once I have it?” Well, the document itself includes specific next steps that are clearly labeled, and to ensure that staff, property owners, developers and contractors are all “in the know” about the document it is now required to be applied to the second sheet of all future submittals with the exception of final plats.

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The City of Raleigh Development Services Department has replaced the face-to-face Due Diligence Session with a new online version. Just like before, this service is free of charge and allows clients to learn what development is and isn’t possible on a specific property. The Due Diligence Online Service (DDOS) will continue to address high level questions and issues related to the development of property.  Review staff will comment on site review trades (current planning, urban forestry, stormwater, fire and transportation) only.  In other words, information related only to the parcel(s) and any general regulatory items that may be applicable based on project parameters.

How do I submit for a DDOS?

  • To submit a DDOS go to the online form and fill out the property data.
  • Once staff has completed the DDOS review, each applicant will receive an email containing staff comments, based on a predetermined scope of review.

What do I need to keep in mind when submitting for a DDOS?

  • Only contiguous properties are allowed to be submitted, and multiple parcels will be reviewed as a combined assemblage.
  • Comments generated during the DDOS are based solely on existing zoning of the property.
  • If a formal development application is submitted after a DDOS, and any development details or site information have changed, it is possible that staff comments may be different from those provided during a DDOS.
  • Information received should be considered advisory-only, no approvals or permits are issued with a DDOS. If a formal regulatory-based review is desired, please consider one of our other face-to-face services.
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odcmobile

We are excited to announce the lite version of the Online Development Center. This mobile friendly version allows contractors to manage their inspections from their mobile device with ease. Users log in with their existing user name and password for the Online Development Center. Once logged in you can create, schedule, re-schedule, and cancel inspections. All inspection types; building, electrical, fire protection, flood plain, land disturbing, mechanical, plumbing, right-of-way, sign, stub and zoning can be managed from the ODCMobile application. The search function allows you to view inspection activity by searching permit number, trade or date range. You cannot pay for re-scheduled inspections or create multiple inspection of the same type through the ODCMobile application.

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ROW ImageWith the new fiscal year came new development fees. A significant change to the development services fee structure is how right-of-way fees are calculated. Now the City of Raleigh collects both a review fee and a daily fee for right-of-way obstructions. The daily fee is applied for duration of the project's right-of-way obstruction.

In order to assist our clients we have developed a Right-of-way Obstruction Fee Estimator. The estimator approximates the amount it will cost for the review and the daily fees for obstructions. Please note this is an ESTIMATOR ONLY. The final amount will be calculated during plan review. The review fee is due at plan submittal, and can be paid at the Development Services Customer Service Center.

If you have any questions regarding right-of-way fees, please visit www.raleighnc.gov and search for “Right-of-Way Services”, you will find a link to the fee estimator under the Fee Schedule tab.

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In 2013, City of Raleigh Engineering Manager Paul Kallam led a team of City plan reviewers on a tour of the Citrix building under construction at 120 S. West Street. Normally, site tours are the responsibility of an inspector, but Paul wanted his review staff to understand the challenges that inspectors can face in the field.

Recognizing the value of the tour, Paul wanted to share the opportunity with a larger audience. Soon, the tours included other members of the development process.

“It was a chance to break down the walls of the ‘us vs. them’ mentality,” he said. “Everyone could understand that we work together as a team. That includes community outreach efforts as well.”

To date, some of the tours include the L-Building, Skyhouse, Stanhope, A-Loft Hotel, Walnut Terrace, Rex Heart and Vascular Hospital, North Hills East Tower II, 401 Oberlin, Galleria at Cameron Village, and just recently the Catholic Dioceses of Raleigh. Understanding the challenges the developer and contractor face when orchestrating large-scale projects like these provides staff lessons in collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication while building compassion throughout the entire development process.

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Learn more about these tours.

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Get In Touch

  • Development Services
    Customer Service Center
    1 Exchange Plaza
    Raleigh, NC 27602
  • 919-996-2495
  • Litchford Road
    Satellite Office
    8320-130 Litchford Road
    Raleigh, NC 27615
  • 919-996-4200