Anderson Heights Historic Neighborhood Study

Last updated May 31, 2019 - 3:24 pm
Anderson Heights Map

Some residents of Anderson Heights expressed interest in historic overlay zoning as a possible tool to preserve neighborhood character amidst a wave of infill development. A Historic Neighborhood Study was commissioned for a portion of the neighborhood (as depicted above in light grey). Based on comments received at public meetings and a petition, most owners within the study boundary are opposed to any sort of character protection overlay zoning for Anderson Heights. After considering various options and in response to City Council direction, the study proceeded. However, regardless of the findings of the study, city staff will not be submitting an application for historic overlay zoning.

Status Update

The Anderson Heights Historic Neighborhood Study is complete. The study concludes that the Anderson Heights study area has undergone significant change and is not a candidate for historic overlay district zoning. It also provides a thorough report on the development and architecture of the neighborhood and will serve as documentation of the city’s architectural history and change, and future historians of the area will find it a valuable resource.

Process / Steps

  • Anderson Heights Study Group is formed to investigate listing in the National Register of Historic Places. (Late 2015)
  • Anderson Heights Study Group hires architectural historian Ruth Little who determines that the neighborhood may be eligible for the National Register. A Study List application is prepared and submitted. The State Historic Preservation Office determines that the district is not eligible for listing in the National Register. (January 2016)
  • Based on Ruth Little’s report and guidance from preservation staff, the Anderson Heights Study Group polls the neighborhood to gauge interest in preserving neighborhood character. Support is shown for approximately 1/3 of properties. (May 2016)
  • Anderson Heights Study Group votes and formally requests funding to prepare an architectural report and investigation of the Anderson Heights neighborhood. (October 2016)
  • Anderson Heights Study Group meets with staff several times regarding next steps. (2017)
  • The Planning staff hosts a public meeting at Five Points Center for Active Adults. (April 9, 2018)
  • Raleigh Historic Development Commission (RHDC) sponsors an investigation and report at the request of the Anderson Heights Study Group. (Summer/Fall 2018)
  • The Planning staff hosts a public meeting at Five Points Center for Active Adults. (October 1, 2018)
  • Architectural historians begin work on the study. (November 2018)
  • The initial draft of the study was received by staff. (March 2019)
  • The final draft of the neighborhood study was presented to and accepted by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission at its May 21, 2019, regular meeting.


  • October 1, 2018 Meeting
    • Publicized with postcards and letters mailed to property owners in the study boundaries as well as signs posted in the neighborhood.
    • Attended by 67 citizens and one councilperson.
    • Staff presented on the historic neighborhood study – what it is and the process.
    • MdM Historical Consultants introduced themselves and explained their process for performing the study.
    • Staff answered questions from the attendees on various topics including the potential impacts of Historic Overlay District zoning on property owners (time and cost), what type of work would need a Certificate of Appropriateness, and what happens after the report is complete.
    • Comments were made by attendees in opposition to historic overlay designation as well as overlay zoning in general.
  • April 9, 2018 Meeting
    • Publicized with postcards mailed to property owners in the potential historic district boundaries.
    • Attended by 26 citizens and one councilperson.
    • Staff presented on Streetside Historic Overlay Districts including the impacts of designation on the neighborhood and property owners, the steps for creating Historic Overlay Districts, and what constitutes a designation report.
    • Staff answered questions from the attendees on various topics including boundary creation, the regulatory design review process (Certificates of Appropriateness), and impacts to property values.
    • Although there was not a consensus that most property owners would ultimately support a Streetside Historic Overlay District, sufficient support was shown from attendees to proceed with the preparation of a draft historic designation report, with the understanding that the report will be the basis for future neighborhood discussion.


Q – What are other ways to preserve neighborhood?
A – Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts (NCOD) and Historic Overlay Districts (HOD) are available. View the Character Preservation Overlay Districts page for more information.

Q – How is an HOD created?
A – It is a multi-step process that includes an architectural investigation and report, demonstration of neighborhood support, and petitions to City Council. See the Historic Overlay Districts (HOD) Checklist.

Q – Has a rezoning application been filed for Anderson Heights?
A – No. After completion of the report and review by RHDC, the neighborhood may request the City Council direct staff to begin the rezoning process. City Council generally requires the request to show support from more than 50% of the property owners.

Q – Where can I learn more about the HOD creation process?
A – Historic Districts Overlay FAQ

Q – Where can I learn more about the impacts of Streetside HOD designation?
A – Historic Districts Overlay FAQ

Q – Why are these specific streets included on the study boundary?
A – The current boundaries for the potential Anderson Heights historic overlay district were determined based on an initial study prepared in 2016 by an architectural historian. The study looked at plats and included a visual reconnaissance survey. The boundary was drawn around the largest concentration of properties with historic and architectural integrity associated with the history of the area.

Q – Who is funding the process?
A – The architectural report and investigation of the potential district is funded by the City of Raleigh with funds intended for such studies.

Q – How can I voice my opinion? Will there be public meetings?
A – There will be many opportunities for public comment. The number and format will depend on decisions made by City Council and other public bodies along the way.

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