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Zoning, Planning, and Development

Dix Edge Area Study

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the original project schedule for the Dix Edge Area Study has been modified. The public kickoff and engagement events and activities have been tentatively rescheduled for October 2020. Staff will conduct background research and other data collection tasks in the meantime and will update this project site with the latest on the planning process. When it is safe to gather, we will kickoff the study.

In July of 2015, the City of Raleigh acquired the 308 acres of the Dorothea Dix Park Campus from the State of North Carolina with the goal to develop a master plan for a park that will serve as a local and regional destination. The execution of the Dix Park Master Plan, the plans for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along Western Boulevard, the area’s designation as an opportunity zone (areas designed to provide tax benefits to spur economic development) and other regional growth pressures will have an impact on the surrounding communities.

The goal of the Dix Edge Area Study is to explore issues and opportunities related to transportation, transit, the naturally occurring affordability in the area, and how the surrounding communities may be impacted by the large-scale investment planned for the park.

Once the study has been completed, it will provide policy direction that can help guide future development, investment, and capital improvement funding in a manner that will benefit all residents in the area, regardless of income or homeownership status.

Project Details

Area Plans
Date Range:
Project Lead:
Sara Ellis



Sara Ellis
Planner II

Lead Department:
Planning and Zoning
Service Unit:
Comprehensive Planning



The Dix Edge Area Study is an 18-month planning study managed by the Raleigh City Planning Department that will focus on issues of affordable housing, transportation (bus, pedestrian and car), what should be built in the area (policy recommendations) and much more. The study will focus on the areas shown in the map below:

What is the goal of the Dix Edge Area Study?

Dix Edge Aerial

The approval of the Dix Park Master Plan, Bus Rapid Transit and population growth in Raleigh are great opportunities for the City, but unplanned growth can have unintended consequences on the surrounding neighborhoods and the people who live there. The Dix Edge Area Study will provide policy guidance for issues related to land use, affordable housing and displacement, transportation by bike, foot, car and scooter, stormwater, and more.  The goals of this study are to:

  • Understand the needs, wants, and hopes of the community and then use that information to
  • Study the current conditions of the area, which may include a real estate market assessment, a sidewalk or bike lane audit, or stormwater assessment which is shared with the community to help
  • Develop Strategies to mitigate displacement and gentrification, improve the transportation network for all users, address the health of the creek and stormwater, and create policies to encourage good urban design in a way that respects the character of the area. We then take this information and
  • Create a plan that outlines strategies, policy changes, funding sources, and Departments who will come together to help make the plan a reality.   

To learn more about the area planning process, visit the "What is an Area Plan?" page

What is the role of the City Planning Department in this project?

We understand that the construction of the Dix Park Master Plan and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will have an impact on the communities near the park. The role of the City Planning Department is to guide future growth and development in Raleigh to make sure it meets the needs of all people, regardless of income, race, homeownership, or rental status. Our goal is to provide everyone with the same level of access to parks, public transportation, water, sewer, and other city services. One of the ways we achieve this goal is by making a plan. We carry this goal out by studying the needs of different Raleigh communities and working with that community to develop a plan that will shape how the area grows.

Curious about other area plans? Check out this page for a full list.

Where are we in the planning process?

The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) has been released.

How was the study area determined?

Council Member Crowder directed staff to begin a land-use study for the communities on the edges of the Dix Park with a focus on the Lake Wheeler Road side of the park. The neighborhoods to the north and west of the park are currently being studied through the Western Boulevard Bus Rapid Transit Study. The area to the west and south of the park include Centennial Campus and the State Farmer’s Market, which are proactively planned for by NCSU and the NC Department of Agriculture, respectively.

For more information about Wake BRT, visit the Western Boulevard Corridor Study webpage. For more information on the future planning efforts at NC State, also visit the Centennial Campus webpage. 

What is the timeline of the study?

Studies of this type typically take around 18 months to complete after a consultant has been hired.

  • The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was released on December 13.
  • The timeline below shows the next steps and an estimated timeline of project kickoff.

RFQ Release

December 13, 2019

Deadline for proposal submission

January 17, 2020

Review of proposals

January 17, 2020 – January 31, 2020

Consultant shortlist contacted, Interviews and Selection

February 5, 2020 – February 12, 2020

Recommendation to City Council

March 2020

Contract negotiations

April / May 2020

Award contract

June 2020

Internal Project Kickoff

July 2020

Public kickoff

October 2020

How can I stay involved and up-to-date on the study?

Thanks for your interest in this study – your input is essential! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to planning staff with any questions, comments, or concerns. You can reach Sara Ellis, the project manager at Sara.Ellis@raleighnc.gov or 919-996-2234, and Matthew Klem at Matthew.Klem@raleighnc.gov or 919-996-4637. They’d love to hear from you.

In addition, you can stay informed of future updates by signing up for the Dix Edge Area Study communications through MyRaleigh Subscriptions. Communication will include details for future public meetings and surveys. We are excited to meet you soon!

You can also check this page or follow us on social media @RaleighPlanning Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to stay plugged into the study.

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