Economic Development Equity Housing Land Use

Zoning 101: Mixed Use Districts

Howdy y’all, welcome back! Last time we took a deep dive into residential zoning districts. This week we’re back for more on mixed-use districts. Read up and feel all the wiser!

Mixed-Use Districts:

As the name implies, Mixed-Use districts provide a greater flexibility in the types of uses that are permitted.  In addition to a larger number of allowed uses, they also allow for much higher density development as compared to Residential.  Almost all zoning districts in the city which aren’t strictly residential will be some type of mixed-use district.

There are multiple types of mixed-use districts currently defined.  The city’s intent for each district can be found here:

Sec 3.1.1 District Intent Statements

Residential Mixed-use (RX-) Example: Pace and Blount, RX-3-DE

Office Park (OP-) Example: Highwoods Blvd

Office Mixed-Use (OX-) Example: OX-4-CU (William Peace)

Neighborhood Mixed-Use (NX-) Example: Person Street District: NX-3-NH

Neighborhood Mixed-Use (NX) transitioning to (RX) Residential Mixed-Use

Commercial Mixed-Use (CX-) Example: Yellow Dog Plaza: CX-3-SH-CU

Downtown Mixed-Use (DX-) Example: DX-7-UG (Seaboard Station)

Industrial Mixed-Use (IX-) Example: Dock 53

All mixed-use districts follow a similar pattern, and the main difference generally centers around what the primary/allowed uses will be.  Some uses, for example an office building, are allowed in nearly all Mixed-Use districts. Whereas something like vehicle repair on commercial vehicles is only allowed in Industrial Mixed-Use districts.

Each Mixed-Use District is comprised of a use and height, and optionally a frontage:

1. Base District (RX-, OP-, OX-, NX-, CX-, DX-, IX-)

2. Height (in stories) (-3, -4, -5, -7, -12, -20, -40)

3. Frontage (Optional) (-PK, -DE, -PL, -GR, -UL, -UG, -SH)  

So for example, you may see one district as CX-7-PL.  This means, Commercial Mixed-Use with a 7 story height limit and a parking limited frontage.  Another example would be DX-20-SH. This would mean Downtown Mixed-Use with a 20 story height limit and shopfront frontage.  

Frontages are additional categories of requirements. Frontages are usually established by the City of Raleigh through a public process or applied for at rezoning. Generally, these additional requirements apply to the form of the development which can be allowed on the property.

For reference, DX-20-SH covers the property which contains city hall.  If you’ve ever been past city hall, you can probably notice that the height of the district is only the limit of what can currently be built under the current zoning, not necessarily what the current development looks like.  This limit of what is possible under the current zoning is commonly referred to as what can be built “by-right”. Meaning, the property owner(s) are allowed to change the development on the property to anything allowed under the current zoning limits, without a rezoning case.

Further info:

Article 3.3 Height Requirements

Article 3.4 Frontage Requirements

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