Streetscape Plan Application Preparation and Submittal Staff Review, Planning Commission, and City Council
A Streetscape Plan is a document adopted by the City Council that provides prescriptive treatment for the streetscape within a defined area. The Streetscape Plan can identify customized street cross-sections, the treatment and design of sidewalk pavement and sidewalk width, design, spacing and installation of street furniture and street lighting, and the spacing and installation of street trees.
A request for a new Streetscape Plan can be initiated by a property owner within the intended area of application or by the City. The entirety of the right-of-way width adjacent to the intended property or area for the Streetscape Plan shall be included as part of the request.
Following submission, a Streetscape Plan petition goes through a review process that includes neighboring property owners, City staff, the Planning Commission, and finally the City Council.
This page provides an overview of each of these steps as well as links and documents that may be useful to rezoning applicants. The information provided here is not exhaustive nor does it constitute legally binding city code. The complete legal requirements for the rezoning review process can be found in Chapter 10 of Raleigh’s Unified Development Ordinance.
Application Preparation and Submittal
A Streetscape Plan applicant must conduct a neighborhood meeting and attend a pre-application conference before they may submit a Streetscape Plan application. The applicant is required to provide records of these meetings with their completed Streetscape Plan application form.
The neighborhood meeting is a way for the applicant to initiate a conversation with the community members most directly affected by the proposed Streetscape Plan. Applicants must invite owners of all parcels within 100 feet of the area under consideration for the plan. Neighborhood meetings should be scheduled at a time and place that is convenient to the invited property owners. Meeting notices must be mailed at least ten (10) and no more than twenty-five (25) days before the meeting. The applicant may deliver addressed, stamped envelopes containing the meeting notice to City staff. Staff verifies the information and addresses and places the notices in the mail. These envelopes must be provided to staff at least one day prior to the mailing deadline by 1 p.m. Conversely, the applicant may choose to send the meeting notices by certified mail. If this delivery method is used, the delivery certification must be submitted to staff with the rezoning application. Applicants should consult UDO Section 10.2.1.C.5 "Content of Notice” for the required contents of mailed notice. The Streetscape Plan application must be submitted within 6 months of the neighborhood meeting.
City staff provides pre-application conferences for Streetscape Plan petitions free of charge. The pre-application conference is an opportunity for applicants to learn about the streetscape plan process and consult with staff about potential impacts of their proposal. To schedule a pre-application conference, fill out the Pre-Application Conference form and submit to Planning and Development staff.
Streetscape Plan Application:
After completing the Streetscape Plan Application, the applicant may submit their application to the Raleigh Urban Design Center, Suite 100 of One Exchange Plaza. Completed Streetscape Plan applications can be submitted at any time during normal business hours. Staff will review the application for completeness.
Staff Review, Planning Commission, and City Council
A submitted and accepted Streetscape Plan application is assigned a case planner as well as staff reviewers from various City departments such as Development Services, Engineering Services, Transportation, and Public Utilities. The staff report analyzes the consistency of the petition with the City’s Comprehensive Plan and identifies potential adverse impacts to nearby properties, public infrastructure, and the environment. Staff reviewers may find, based on analysis of potential development impacts, that additional materials are required before the case may proceed. The applicant will receive a letter notifying them of the reviewers’ comments and whether they need to provide any new materials.
Planning Commission Review:
Following staff review, the Planning Commission will hold a public meeting on the proposed Streetscape Plan. Planning Commission meetings take place twice a month on the second and fourth Tuesday. The case planner assigned to the case presents the staff comments, and the applicant can also make a presentation on the case. These meetings are open to the public and time is allotted for public comment. The Planning Commission has 90 days to make a recommendation to City Council and may refer the request to a sub-committee for further deliberation during that period. If the review cannot be concluded within 90 days, the Planning Commission may request a time extension from the City Council.
City Council Public Hearing:
The City Council will schedule a public hearing within 60 days of receiving the recommendation of the Planning Commission. The public hearing takes place during a regularly scheduled City Council meeting. These meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of the month, and most public hearings are heard at the evening meeting on the first Tuesday. During the public hearing, the applicant and members of the public may speak for or against the Streetscape Plan being heard. The City Council can render a final decision at the public hearing, defer the case, or refer the request to a sub-committee for further deliberation.