Duplexes and Townhomes Legalized in Raleigh

Raleigh, North Carolina is the latest city in the United States to relax zoning restrictions in residential neighborhoods as a component of a housing affordability strategy.

July 8, 2021, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


An image of the Raleigh skyline, with older residential buildings in the foreground and taller commercial buildings in the background.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

"Duplexes and townhomes will now be legal to build by right throughout most of [Raleigh]," reports Anna Johnson.

The Raleigh City Council voted 6-1 to approve the new rules on Tuesday night earlier this week. The changes will "allow different types of housing in traditionally single-family neighborhoods without a rezoning."

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, who campaigned on a pro-development housing affordability strategy in 2019, is quoted in an earlier article by Johnson describing the intended goal of the approved rule changes:

“We empathized there would have to be some change to zoning to allow for more housing choice, especially what I call gentle density,” she said. “This is what I call gentle density, and it will allow for more homes to be built in our city. It’s a positive thing.”

Planetizne picked up news of Raleigh's ongoing planning and zoning reform efforts in June, when the topic was parking requirements—after the council voted 6-1 (again) to begin the process of removing parking minimums and changing parking maximums around the city. Planetizen also previewed Raleigh's work toward legalizing missing middle density in January 2020.

Raleigh's zoning and planning reform efforts follow closely on the heals of similar news from Charlotte, in the same state, and Charlottesville, in neighboring Virginia.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021 in The News & Observer

A group of people gather in front of a row of small homes.

Georgia's First Tiny Home Village Now Open, and Sold Out

Eight single-family houses on a half-acre of land.

July 25, 2021 - Urbanize Atlanta

Tall buildings in Downtown Phoenix.

Arizona's Tallest Building Will Soon Be Vacant

The tallest building in the Grand Canyon State will enter a new era.

July 21, 2021 - KJZZ

Raleigh, North Carolina

It's Good to Be a Small Business in These 6 U.S. Cities

Here are six U.S. cities where small companies are thriving.

July 20, 2021 - Devin Partida

Junior Designer

Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates

Executive Director/Administrator of City Planning

Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency/City of Chattanooga

Assistant Planner

City of Willits

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.