Seven-Story Stanhope Denied by Council Committee

Print More

Residents’ fears of an “urban canyon” on Hillsborough Street seem to have affected some Councilors after a vote this week to deny construction of a seven-story building there.

By a 2-to-1 vote, members of the Raleigh City Council’s Comprehensive Planning Committee Wednesday recommended the denial of a master plan change that would create a seven-story building in the controversial Stanhope development. The full Council gets the final say at its meeting Tuesday.

The Stanhope project is a set of mixed-use buildings containing apartments and retail space.

Developers requested a height change from 40 to 86 feet for the building to be constructed on the southeast corner of the intersection of Hillsborough and Concord streets.

In November, the Raleigh Planning Commission recommended Councilors approve the change. Neighbors, however, oppose the change, arguing a seven-story building will create problems with sunlight and traffic, turning Hillsborough Street into an urban canyon. Neighbors have asked for a five-story limit.

As a compromise, the developer offered to decrease the height of the building to 79 feet, which would put it at a similar visual level to the approved 75-foot, five-story Kerr Drugs building, nearby on Hillsborough Street and Friendly Drive.

Robin Currin, an attorney representing the developer, said her clients aren’t willing to commit to five stories.

“We worked long and hard to get the height of this building as low as we can,” Currin said. “We have done anything that we have been asked but for change the number of internal stories from seven to five.”

Council committee members Russ Stephenson and Randy Stagner said allowing this project will set a precedent for future seven-story buildings in the area. Councilor Bonner Gaylord, who favors the project, said such a precedent is fine; the density is necessary to bring future transit to the area, he said.

Councilors are considering a five-story maximum for Neighborhood Mixed-Use Districts as part of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), a revamp of the city’s zoning code. The UDO has not yet been approved.

What’s Next

The committee’s recommendation will get a final vote by the full Council at its regular meeting Tuesday.

4 thoughts on “Seven-Story Stanhope Denied by Council Committee

  1. Seven stories is too tall for that area directly next to the street. Cup A Joe would never see sunlight in the Winter, and probably not during the Summer. The Lulu building is only two stories and it shades the street most of the day.

  2. DH Hill Library just a block away on Hillsborough is already 9 stories, and several buildings on NC State’s campus are taller than 7 stories. This is not unprecedented height for the area. In my opinion, this is exactly the kind of density that area needs. Better to have more places for students and young professionals associated with the campus to live where they can walk to campus instead of staying in a suburban cul-de-sac and driving–contributing to the traffic.

    Rejecting this proposal is a planning disaster. Raleigh needs to stop building out and start building up. Unless there is some kind of serious architectural flaw with the project, I see no reason not to build 7 floors.

    also… Cup A Joe’s south facing windows have too much glare. This would actually improve that location quite a bit.

  3. @Vatnos, the DH Hill building is about 95′ from the edge of the road. This Stanhope building would be about 15′ I think. It would be a much more imposing structure to a pedestrian as well as to the Cup a Joe building.

    As a compromise, I think that the building should go up 5 floors at the edge of the sidewalk, step back at the 6th floor with a 12-15 foot terrace along the Hillsborough st elevation, and then have another 2 floors just with a smaller footprint. Win for all parties. Building appears to be 5 floors from street level, but the developer still gets added revenue from the additional floors.

  4. DH Hill is also on an actual *hill, magnifying its height further. Height close to the street is not a bad thing. Height in general is not a bad thing. If you’re afraid of tall buildings, move to Cary.

    I don’t consider a height reduction a win for all parties. I want to see more density on Hillsborough street and all throughout Raleigh inside the beltline. I’d be completely fine with 12 in that area, if the market could support such structures.

    Limiting the height to 5 stories sets a precedent that this is not going to be a city, that some people here want to pretend it’s still a small town, and it could discourage further urban development on this corridor. It’s a loss for urbanists. It’s only a win for NIMBYs.