Falls of Neuse Area Plan Update
The Falls of Neuse Area plan is one of 22 area plans currently incorporated into the City of Raleigh Comprehensive Plan. The Falls of Neuse plan was adopted in 2006. It contains policies that cover land use, roadway improvements, and balancing development in an urban watershed area.
On June 21, the city hosted a community workshop for the Falls of Neuse Area Plan update process. The workshop included a discussion of existing market, transportation, and land use analysis findings and how those factors relate to the area. It also included small group discussions about potential development scenarios for key sites along the corridor. Input from that meeting and a prior public meeting will be used to shape a set of recommendations for land uses and potential transportation and parks improvements in the corridor.
The next step in the process will be the presentation of a draft set of recommendations. That meeting will take place in August.
The Falls of Neuse Area Plan update began with a project kickoff meeting on Wednesday, May 24. Several dozen participants provided their thoughts on issues and opportunities along the corridor. Input provided at the event is available in the “Project Information” box at the top right of this page.
A “Confirmation Group” – a body of 15 residents, property owners, and representatives of institutions along the corridor – has been selected by City Council. The Group will provide oversight of the planning process to ensure that it reflects the input of community stakeholders. The group’s orientation meeting took place on May 1. The first formal meeting, as well as a tour of the area with the group and project consultants, took place on May 18.
Purpose of the Plan
Since the plan’s adoption, there have been several changes along the corridor that merit taking a fresh look. These include:
- The widening and realignment of Falls of Neuse Road, which has gone from concept to completed project.
- New recreational resources have opened, including the Neuse River Greenway and Annie Louise Wilkerson MD Nature Reserve, with further facilities planned or now under development.
- The Wake County Transit Plan proposes all-day, hourly service between downtown Raleigh and Wake Forest utilizing this corridor. There is no transit service along most of the corridor today.
- Much of the land within the plan area has been classified as a drinking water supply watershed, subject to overlay zoning that limits development intensity.
- The corridor is largely built-out, with only a few undeveloped sites remaining. Those are surrounded by residential development.
- Recent land use controversy involving two of those sites has cast doubt on current land use plan designations.
- New residential redevelopment in and around the Falls community, of non-contextual character.
The City of Raleigh is initiating a study and market analysis of future land uses along the corridor, to assess by-right and potential development in balance with area residents’ interests and public investment in environmental protection and recreation infrastructure.
The plan update seeks to focus on four main topics:
- Opportunities created by planned expansion of transit service.
- Lessons learned from the implementation of the roadway project, and potential future changes.
- Land use policies consistent with watershed protection.
- For the remaining undeveloped sites, identification of future land uses and scale of development that are viable in the marketplace as well as acceptable to the community.
This winter, the city issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) toward hiring a project consultant. The formal awarding of the project contract is expected by May, with project completion and a written report to be presented to City Council this summer.