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Downtown Raleigh is the heart and soul of our city, and the region. It has changed significantly over the last ten years. It is no longer a sleepy place. It is vibrant, diverse, and energetic. Tens of thousands of people live, work, and play here. And lots of development is underway or planned.

Looking to improve and enhance the downtown Raleigh experience, the city partnered with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, Sasaki Associates, HR&A Advisors, Kimley-Horn and Associates, and Jacobs Engineering Group to create a new vision for growth and development over the next decade. Last week, following more than a year of public meetings, workshops, and online interactions, Raleigh’s City Council unanimously adopted the Downtown Plan.

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Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day holiday. In case you’ve been on vacation or have not heard, there are a few things going on this month that may be of interest.

Are you an Architect, Landscape Architect, or Planner in need of professional education credits? Then you should attend the UDC Talks lecture entitled “Tailored Infrastructure: Opportunities in Raleigh.” The event will be held at noon on Wednesday, September 16, at the Raleigh Urban Design Center (UDC) and features speakers Jedidiah Gant & Sara Queen of Myriad Media/NCSU. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch. Highlights from the session will be tweeted @RaleighPlanning #UDCtalks.

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Well a Friday DSinsider post is a bit unusual, but there is some important information that needs to be passed along at this time. Please reply to this post with any questions or comments you may have.

1. The City has responded to the large number of requests for additional time and information with regard to Z-27-14, the city-wide rezoning initiative also known as UDO Remapping, by establishing opportunities for outreach to its citizens. There are two different methods for direct interaction with staff to discuss the remapping process and outcomes.

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A reorganization of the Planning and Development Department has been in the works for some time. On July 1, the department officially separated into two departments.

The Department of City Planning, led by Ken Bowers, includes Long-Range Planning, Zoning Administration, Communications, the Urban Design Center, Real Estate, and Transportation Planning. The Development Services Department will be led by Thomas Hosey, who currently holds the position of Building Official for the City of Houston, TX. Thomas will assume his duties in Raleigh on August 3rd.  The Development Services Department provides services related to customer service, plan intake, and development plan review at the DSCSC and Litchford satellite office, as well as Building Inspections and Information Management.

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You may have seen this sign posted in a number of locations throughout the City. It is advertising the official zoning public hearing for case Z-27-14, also known as the UDO Zoning Map. The hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday, July 7, at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. This zoning case is unique, as it proposes to rezone more than a third of the City’s land area, which equates to nearly 35,000 parcels.

There has been significant public engagement with this case, beginning with the initial public comment period that ended last September. City staff received, analyzed and responded to 1,750 comments. The Planning Commission then began its review of the draft map on October 21, 2014 and recommended approval on April 14. 2015.

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You only have one opportunity to make a first impression. And for business owners, storefront aesthetics could either drive business up or away. Unfortunately, expenses associated with renovating the outside of a business can put a halt on such efforts. But with help from the City of Raleigh, it is possible to increase customer traffic, gain more exposure, and build a better business brand.

Since the 1980’s, the City has been helping businesses with funding via the Façade Rehabilitation Grant Program. To date, more than 100 property owners in downtown Raleigh and older commercial districts have benefited from the program, putting a new face on the way they market their goods and services. The program provides up to $10K in grant rebates for each project, making it possible for businesses of any size to refurbish the exterior of existing buildings, restoring them to their former glory or completely reinventing them.

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  • 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