We must make sure we are promoting high-quality growth that also protects neighborhoods. Those two goals are not mutually exclusive. In fact, accomplishing both goals is the difference between growing a big city and growing a GREAT city.

Quality growth begins with quality planning.

With Raleigh’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan, we have assured Raleigh a route to smart, sustainable growth. We must now follow that carefully crafted policy guide up with smart Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) zoning rules. Raleigh’s new UDO rules are a vast improvement over the old zoning rules and a big step toward implementing the Comp Plan’s vision of growth that will keep Raleigh healthy and competitive in the long run.

Livable spaces and people-friendly infrastructure create quality of life.

Many of us agree that we want a more compact and walkable city, with vertically mixed uses and more car-free mobility options. We must be thoughtful, however, to prevent that overarching drive to urbanize from stripping our beautiful city of its cultural heritage, historical character, charm, and the vibrant neighborhoods we call home. 

Strong, safe neighborhoods are the backbone of our city.

A few important neighborhood protections have been removed from the new UDO zoning rules. Russ strongly supports reinstating mixed-use buffer districts and Transitional Protective Yard buffers. These buffers promote redevelopment at neighborhood edges while preserving neighborhood character and stability.

Sustainable development is essential to all these objectives for quality living.

Responsible, quality growth should promote economic development, environmental protection, social equity and the adopted strategic policies of Raleigh’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan.

Citizen engagement is vital to a strong city that provides for its citizens.

Russ has always felt that our Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) leaders are Raleigh’s most important frontline advocates for strong neighborhoods. Accordingly, Russ continues to work hard to make sure they have the staff, financial support and respect they need to do their jobs effectively.