UDO Day 15: What’s so special about special districts?

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Now that we’ve finally gotten through mixed-use districts, let’s move on to Chapter 4, which talks about special districts. We promise, Chapter 4 is a short one.

In the current code, specialty districts are generally overlay districts. The city already has a mobile home district because it is the only district that allows homes of this nature on it.

“In Specialty Districts you are limited to what kinds of uses are allowed,” said Christine Darges, UDO project manager with the city’s Planning Department.

There are six different kinds of special-use districts:

Conservation Management (CM)

We think most Raleighites can agree that no one wants to live in a concrete wasteland. The conservation management district creates, preserves and enhances land intended to be open space for walking, hiking, playing and plain enjoying the great outdoors.


A Conservation Management district.

Agricultural Productive (AP)

While there may not be farmland in the middle of downtown Raleigh, the Agricultural Productive district will protect areas of land used for light farming or for nurseries. Agricultural Productive would permit one home per tract. There is no change from the current code.

Heavy Industrial (HI)

A large-scale manufacturing plant, waste treatment facilities or any type of industry that could be considered a nuisance would be found in a heavy-industrial district. These areas, by their nature, aren’t compatible with a residential or mixed-use district.

Manufactured Home Park (R-MP)

This district is intended to create a suitable living environment for residents living in manufactured, modular and mobile homes.

Campus (CMP)

As its name implies, a campus district is intended for colleges, universities and hospitals. The provision allows for growth and development while protecting the neighboring districts. This flexible district has built-in transitional areas and limited retail.

Planned Development (PD)

Sometimes, strict applications of zoning codes lead to inflexibility. Planned development would encourage innovative uses of a space that meet common community goals, such as energy efficiency and environmental sensitivity. The UDO would require developers to have a specific plan in place before developing an area. Darges said right now, the regulations too generic.

Wednesday, we’ll learn more about the manufactured home park, campus and development districts as the UDO takes a more in-depth look at those districts.

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