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Whew! Is it almost November? Where is the time going? Before we get too busy with the holiday hustle and bustle, I’ve got a few updates to pass along from our Development Services Department.

First, please note that we’ve had an update to one of our forms entitled “Agreement for Electrical Service Prior to Certificate of Occupancy.” This form, sometimes referred to as the “Electrical Early Release,” is listed in our Forms and Applications Directory, an alphabetical listing of all development forms. If you’re familiar with the directory, you’ll notice that we’ve added a box at the top of the directory listing the most popular forms. I like it!

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The North Carolina Planning Conference kicked off yesterday in Raleigh. We are excited to be the host city, and have staff from our Department of City Planning helping out with sessions, tours and activities.

If you follow us on social media, you may have noticed several tweets regarding one of the downtown walking tours. I was fortunate to have joined the tour as it was a picture-perfect day in Raleigh. The tour, which focused on policy and development, started at the Raleigh Convention Center and circled around several city blocks. As we walked, the Urban Design Center staff inspired and empowered planners from around the state by providing some fresh ideas for their own communities.

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Thanks to everyone that participated in our "After the Storm" quiz last week. Can you guess which question stumped the most people? If you said the question about generators, then you'd be right. So this week I'd like to follow-up with an article written by our own Development Services director, Tom Hosey, on the subject of portable generator safety.

Some time ago, while Tom was in Houston and serving on the board of directors for the Building Officials Association  of Texas (BOAT), he wrote the following article for the BOAT newsletter. It has been modified just a little so that it is applicable to our state. While the article is longer than our typical blog post, it is full of great information and worth the read. Enjoy!  

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Thankfully, Hurricane Joaquin was just a reminder that we are susceptible to such storms. I grew up on Florida’s east coast, then moved to eastern N.C. in the mid-nineties, just in time for Hurricanes Bertha and Fran. I’d later witness the full fury of Floyd’s floodwaters, and the chaos brought by storms like Isabel and last year’s “snowpocalypse.” One thing I've learned is that it is best to be prepared. Not only for the weather event, but the aftermath.

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In the past, when a development project required construction work in the right-of-way that affected the sidewalk, streets, or public parking spaces, applicants had to go to multiple departments in the City to get permits.

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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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