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.

Read Time: 1 minute

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

Green bike lane with flexible delineators and textures paint in Hoboken, New Jersey

America’s Best New Bike Lanes

PeopleForBikes highlights some of the most exciting new bike infrastructure projects completed in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - PeopleforBikes

Walkable, mixed-use neighborhood in Barcelona, Spain

Conspiracy Theorists Discover the 15-Minute City

USA Today debunks the false claim that the United Nations’ call for enabling 15-minute cities is a coded plan to institute ‘climate change lockdowns.’

February 8, 2023 - USA Today

Aerial view of MBTA commuter rail station in Concord, Massachusetts among green trees

Massachusetts Zoning Reform Law Reaches First Deadline

Cities and towns had until January 31 to submit their draft plans for rezoning areas near transit stations to comply with a new state law.

February 1, 2023 - Streetsblog Mass


Washington Could Legalize Single-Staircase Buildings

Supporters of ‘point access blocks,’ which are common in Europe and other parts of the world, say the design maximizes living space and lowers the cost of construction.

February 8 - The Urbanist

View of downtown San Francisco from top of windy street at sunset with Coit Tower in distance

San Francisco Housing Plan Gets State Approval

The city cleared a major hurdle as its housing plan, which paves the way for 82,000 new homes by 2030, is certified by the state.

February 8 - KALW

Green Line, Los Angeles

Rail Transit Plans Would Connect L.A.’s South Bay to the Regional Rail System

Two new transit extensions promise several new routes for South Bay residents to access the Los Angeles region’s transit system.

February 8 - The Source