Raleigh’s New Unified Development Ordinance (UDO)


Raleigh’s City Council Passes the New UDO!

After nearly three years of planning and 47 public meetings, the Raleigh City Council approved a new development code on Monday, February 18, 2013.  The new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) promotes a walkable, bikable, transit-friendly city with high density, mixed-use districts.  Many thanks to the City Council for their hard work on the new code!  If you would like to personally thank the Council members, you can find their email address here: http://www.raleighnc.gov/government/content/BoardsCommissions/Articles/CityCouncil.html

Although the code must still go through a mapping phase, the unanimous vote will make the new code effective September 1, 2013. The 300-page document has guidelines governing everything from open spaces to bike parking, even determining how close buildings should be to the street.


Objectives for the UDO

1. Predictability of Process- Developers and community members alike should be able to read the New Code. The New Code must include common language and visual diagrams to improve legibility and accessibility.

2. Form-based zoning- The current code is heavily dependent on property use (residential, public, commercial, etc.) and less dependent on form (height, scale, character, etc.). The New Code must place greater emphasis on form in order to strengthen the character of existing communities as they expand.

3. Sustainability- The current code fails to recognize the shifting trend toward sustainable development, often penalizing efforts to outfit new development with green technologies and better management practices. The New Code must encourage sustainable development through incentives and mandates for environmental efficiency.

4. Transit-oriented & Complete Streets- The Triangle is in the midst of creating a new regional transit system. New development in Raleigh must align with future transit options and should therefore should be encouraged in areas with future transit infrastructure – bus stations, greenways, light-rail stations, and arterial roads.

5. Mixed-income housing everywhere- Affordable housing is a key issue that must be addressed as our population doubles over the next 20-25 years. New development must provide living opportunities for citizens representing a range of income levels. A variety of housing options must be available throughout the city, particularly in rapidly urbanizing areas where affordable housing options are becoming scarce with redevelopment.


Proposed Remapping of the Zoning District

The City of Raleigh is accepting comments from citizens on the City’s Zoning District Remapping Project. Approximately 30 percent of Raleigh’s land area is proposed to be rezoned. The public comment period on the initial draft runs from May 19, 2014 until September 30, 2014. The website, www.RaleighUDO.us, offers a comparison between existing and proposed zoning districts. Furthermore, the City of Raleigh staff members will be available to answer questions throughout the process. For information on how to comment, click here! 


Learn more about form-based codes and examples of high quality, compact development in our region:

New Development Code aims to remake Raleigh’s urban core

Raleigh Unified Development Ordinance

October 2009 New Code Meeting Presentation- New Code Kickoff PDF

New Code Challenges & Hitting the 18-month Target – Video of City Council Listening Session

Form-based code – What is it? How does it work?

 Raleigh 2030 Comprehensive Plan – Raleigh’s new Unified Development Ordinance seeks to encourage more compact, high quality buildings and public open spaces by codifying much of the 2030 Raleigh Comprehensive Plan. The new code will adopt form-based standards.


What does WakeUP have to say about the new UDO?  Read our comments:

Highlights of WakeUP’s Comments on the UDO 2/21/2012

WakeUP’s Full Comments on the UDO 2/21/2012