Raleigh Mayor and City Council Move Towards Ending Single Family Zoning

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

This evening Mayor Baldwin and the majority of Raleigh City Council voted to explore allowing so-called “cottage courts” in R-2 and R-4 zoning districts. Historically, these districts have been reserved for single family homes and neighborhoods with low population densities. R-2 districts allow at most two homes per acre while R-4 districts allow up to four homes per acre.

Cottage courts are high density housing where as many as 30 housing units are arranged around a common courtyard and optionally have a community building that houses facilities such as laundry and other amenities.

Currently, cottage courts are a proposal and we have a ways to go before City ordinances are formally changed to allow them. However, given that 7 City Council members voted to move in this direction, it seems clear that they will be adopted by the end of the year.

When I moved to Raleigh 20 years ago I was attracted to city’s beautiful treed neighborhoods. Today, we see the first steps towards transforming Raleigh by allowing high density everywhere.

Being the only member of Council that actually lives in Raleigh’s northern suburbs, I stand in clear contrast to the position and philosophy of the Mayor and the majority of Council. For the record I was the lone vote against this proposal.

I think it is also important to note that cottage courts were approved by the previous council for R-6 and R-10 districts. Those districts have historically allowed higher densities. I voted in favor of cottage courts for R-6 and R-10 as did former council members Stef Mendell, Russ Stephenson, and Kay Crowder.

If a developer really wants to build higher density on land that is zoned R-2 or R-4, then let them ask for a rezoning! Granting cottage courts in R-2 and R-4 by right takes away YOUR RIGHT to be heard about proposed developments that affect you and your family!

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Holly ZahnTeri TolbertDeb DibMarsha Presnell-JennetteStefanie Mendell Recent comment authors
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Stefanie Mendell
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Stefanie Mendell

I think it’s important that Raleigh offer a variety of housing types — single-family, duplex, tri-plex, quadriplex, apartments, condos, townhouses, tiny houses, etc. However, there are environmental considerations that need to be taken into account, as well as affordability considerations. Market forces keep telling us that “trickle down” housing affordability will work — that if enough housing is built, prices will become more affordable. Yet we’ve seen no evidence of that. As lots are split in Raleigh and one house is replaced by two or three, it is the $200k-$400k house that is bulldozed (along with accompanying trees), and it… Read more »

Marsha Presnell-Jennette
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Marsha Presnell-Jennette

Totally agree with David Cox and Stef Mendell

Deb Dib
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Deb Dib

Well said!

Teri Tolbert
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Teri Tolbert

This is disturbing to say the least! Raleigh is on its way to the next New York City.

Holly Zahn
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Holly Zahn

Exactly! We don’t need more million dollar shoeboxes! Well said, by both of you!