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Good morning! With this being the end of our fiscal year, there is a lot going on. This week I’ll be publishing two blog posts. This one includes some important updates, so please take a moment to review the following information.

The first update is regarding the process for submitting applications for sign permits. Effective July 1, all applications for sign permits must be submitted to the DSCSC electronically, by mail, or in person. An intake sign specialist will ensure that the package is complete, including all submittal requirements as described on the signs webpage, before accepting it for review and assigning it a transaction number. Once the reviewer has made comments, customers will be able to view them via the Online Development Center.

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Staying up to date with what is going on in Development Services has never been easier, thanks to this blog and our social media efforts. Our summer intern, Jillian, has been busy updating our Twitter and Facebook pages. She also wrote this weeks blog as she will be spearheading an exciting new Instagram campaign. Here is her article!

As many of you know, Raleigh has remained one of the fastest growing cities in the country for a while now. But have you ever wondered why so many people have decided to call Raleigh home? Through the lens, our photographers have captured some beautiful images of Raleigh. These images, including historical sites, public parks, modern museums, and fun-filled events help illustrate why Raleigh is such a great place to live.

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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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Happy June! This is going to be another busy month here in Development Services. Be sure to bookmark DSinsider so you can stay up to date on all current activities.

Several re-organizations are currently underway at the City, including the relocation of the Public Works Street and Lane Closure program. Until recently, Right-of-Way permits for streets/lane closures had been issued by the Transportation Operations division at the Raleigh Municipal Building. Effective May 18, the program transitioned to the Transportation Field Services division on the third floor of One Exchange Plaza. Customers will now submit applications to this location. Upon review, staff will determine what type of permits are required. If additional permits are needed (ie. street cut or electrical), customers will be directed to the DSCSC which is conveniently located on the fourth floor of OEP.

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Welcome back! I hope that you were able to enjoy the gorgeous weather we had over the Memorial Day holiday. It will be heating up soon!

This week’s post will be short, but provides some important updates including changes to some of our forms and an introduction to the Planning Communication office's summer intern.

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How many times have you walked through Market or Exchange Plaza in downtown Raleigh? Did you even know these pedestrian plazas existed? My hunch is that most visitors are not aware of the plazas unless they frequent One Exchange Plaza (the building that houses the City’s Planning and Development offices, amongst others). Personally, I have made the journey well over a thousand times and have noticed that each plaza is in a certain stage of disrepair. That is all about to change!

City Council recently approved plans for a complete makeover of both pedestrian plazas. The plans call for the creation of more flexible and modern spaces, including new concrete paving, benches and seat walls, updated planters, improved site lighting, shade structures, and screen enclosures.

And if you're a history buff, you'll appreciate this...

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    1 Exchange Plaza
    Raleigh, NC 27602
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    8320-130 Litchford Road
    Raleigh, NC 27615
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