Southeast Special Area

Zoning, Planning, and Development

Southeast Special Area Study

Project Details

Area Plans
Project Lead:
Don Belk



Don Belk
Planner II

Lead Department:
City Planning
Service Unit:
Long-Range Planning
Southeast Special Area Map

The Southeast Special Area Study is a planning project focused on the future land use, conservation and natural resources, transportation and public utility infrastructure of approximately 18 square miles in southeast Wake County. The study area is roughly bounded by southeast Raleigh, Wake County’s boundary with Johnston County, Poole Road, Smithfield Road, and Old Baucom Road.

Engagement Opportunities

Staff is conducting research to better understand the lay of the land; how it is to evolve as a result of upcoming projects; and any challenges that may be associated with development.

This research phase includes discussions across city departments, nearby municipalities, the county, and stakeholder organizations. It also includes community conversations through public meetings, an online survey, pop-up events, and including ones facilitated in Spanish.

View the survey results.

Why do a Southeast Study?

The Southeast Special Area Study is a response to guidance from the 2030 Comprehensive Plan. The Plan influences development and conservation decisions through policies such as the Future Land Use Map, which describes the desired future land use. In this map, several Special Study Areas are identified as areas that will require more focused community outreach to determine the preferred land use pattern. The Southeast Study is focused on one of the Special Study Areas.

In addition, the study area is experiencing changing conditions that make the time ripe for thoughtful planning. Located at the periphery of several cities and towns – including Raleigh, Garner, Knightdale, Wendell, and Clayton – what is now rural in nature will be affected by the nearby growth and development. This includes growing infrastructure, such as public and private utilities and transportation upgrades like the I-540 connection. Major questions arise as to how this growth will affect natural resources inside the study area, including the Neuse River, N.C. Mountains-to-Sea Trail, State-recognized natural and cultural heritage sites, and remaining active agricultural land. The goal of this planning process is to involve the community in shaping a response to these changing conditions.


Where are we in this process?

Understanding the Study Area – This phase involves research and discussion of the study area to establish a common understanding of the issues and challenges faced. Discussions among city departments, nearby municipalities, the county, and stakeholder organizations will help establish a foundation of information on existing conditions and known projects and opportunities on the horizon. This phase is ongoing and will include community listening sessions and an online survey in Spring 2019. Read the Briefing Book.

Community Ideas and Options – This phase will build on a shared understanding of the study area and consider ideas for land use, natural resources, transportation, and other issues. The input of residents and stakeholder groups will be integrated through public meetings and an online survey during Summer 2019. View the Community Meeting Presentation.

Final Recommendations – In this phase, the recommendations will be refined and prioritized. A draft report will be created and presented at several public meetings.

Adoption – The final phase includes a review of the draft report by the Planning Commission and City Council, which will be asked to adopt the plan recommendations.

How do I get involved?

Participate in public meetings or if you can’t make it to one, you can lend your voice at Check this page or follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) to receive notifications once dates are set.

And please don’t hesitate to reach out to Don Belk, the project manager, with any questions, comments, or concerns. Do you have a community group, business, or event you would like us to attend to provide more information? We’d love to hear from you!

Why should I get involved?

Plans such as the Southeast Special Area Study are a way to shape the future of an area. Planning affects many aspects of everyday life – what kind of housing is available, how we get around, the preservation of natural areas, and much more. Your involvement in the process helps build effective recommendations for the study area.

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