Raleigh City Council Deliberates Zoning Changes Along New Bern Avenue


​Tuesday night, ten Raleigh Chamber representatives attended a city council meeting to show support for modifications to the city’s Comprehensive Plan (which provides policy guidance for growth and development in the city) and zoning changes along the New Bern Avenue corridor for the Bus Rapid Transit system being built there. Board Treasurer Kristen Hess, Partner and CEO at HH Architecture, delivered remarks on behalf of the Chamber urging the council to approve the recommended changes. Her remarks focused on the positive benefits of transit-oriented development along the corridor, including increased housing options, more amenities to benefit locals and city-wide residents, and future catalysts for economic development.
Beyond urging better zoning rules, the Chamber also expressed support for enhanced metrics for measuring change along the corridor and services and resources for citizens who struggle with those changes. While the city needs to grow in smarter ways along mass transit systems, it must also ensure that economic opportunities are available to all.
Thanks to the Chamber’s strong showing at the meeting and partnership with other interest groups, the council saw immense community support for smarter growth in strategic areas along transit lines. Oftentimes the council only sees those in opposition to development projects, so to have such a large turnout in favor was critical to show the community wants these changes.
After public discussion ended, the council voted 5-3 to update the Comprehensive Plan to deter car-dependent development (like drive-throughs and car washes) along the mass transit corridor. They also decided to break up the rezoning of the whole corridor into more geographically distinct segments for rezoning consideration. This means that distinct parts of the street may have different zoning rules applied from each other, which allows the council to better tailor future development to enhance amenities while also preserving existing communities more granularly.
The Chamber is happy with the Raleigh City Council’s decision on how to move forward on New Bern Avenue. The next official meeting on the rezoning process will be March 5, and Chamber staff will be engaging with city staff and elected officials in advance to ensure they know the business community’s position.
If you or your company would like to support zoning improvements along New Bern Avenue’s Bus Rapid Transit line, contact Andrew Blackburn for resources and communications recommendations. 
​To learn more about our GA priorities you can visit our webpage.

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Kassie Hoffman
Kassie pens down all the news from the world of politics on ANH.