We are taking steps to bring more green stormwater infrastructure to Raleigh. This will help reduce water pollution to our streams and lakes. The goal is to move from using 'gray' infrastructure to more 'green' features that mimic nature.
Where we are now:
Mostly using pipes/drains to carry stormwater runoff through the city when it rains.
Here's how we plan to advance how we (and the community) use this type of infrastructure. Read the full plan.
1. Lead by Example
Create a policy that encourages the use of this infrastructure with City projects in a cost-effective way.
- Ensure we are doing our part to reduce water pollution;
- Help people understand the benefits of these projects; and,
- Encourage others to use this infrastructure on private development.
2. Support and Incentivize Private Developers
A City employee will serve as an advocate to coordinate with private developers on these types of projects. Together they will explore different incentives for including 'green' features with land development.
- Identify when these features are a good fit for a project.
- Remove barriers to adding these features to a project. (i.e. Easier access to plan review process)
3. Include GSI in Rezoning Decisions
Provide applicants with examples of where this infrastructure can be used in rezoning decisions.
City staff will be more involved with rezoning cases to:
- Streamline the process; and,
- Show you how the infrastructure can be included in these development projects.
Take a look at this diagram to see a sample site showing where infrastructure can be added to a project.
4. Include GSI in City’s Planning Reports
Form a City workgroup that will determine how we can include this infrastructure in long-range plans, like road improvements, parks development, and neighborhood planning.
5. Propose Regulation Changes to Support GSI
A stakeholder group made up of developers and their designers will:
- Explore incentives for those who use this infrastructure on development projects; and,
- Work with City staff to propose text changes in the Unified Development Ordinance to support the use of this infrastructure with development projects.
6. Build a Program for Maintaining City-owned GSI
Use funding and management tools to help maintain City-owned GSI projects in a functional way.
Types of Maintenance
- Remove trash and weeds from features.
- Refresh mulch.
In August 2019, City Council requested the Stormwater Management Advisory Commission help develop a GSI plan.
The Commission and City staff worked together to develop the plan, which was approved in July 2021. Other statewide partners include the North Carolina Coastal Federation with support from The Pew Charitable Trust.