3.2.11 Traditional Neighborhood Development

Intent: The Traditional Neighborhood Development Districts are provided for the development of new neighborhoods and the revitalization or extension of existing neighborhoods, which are structured upon a fine network of interconnecting pedestrian oriented streets and other public spaces. Traditional Neighborhood Developments (TNDs) offer a mixture of housing types and prices, prominently sited civic or community building(s), and stores/offices/workplaces to provide a balanced mix of activities. Religious institution and pre-school/elementary school facilities are encouraged. A Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) has a recognizable center and clearly defined edges; optimum size is a quarter mile from center to edge. A TND-U is urban in form, is an extension of the existing developed area of the town, and complies with density measures of the Neighborhood Residential (NR) District. Minimum size of a TND-U is 40 acres. A TND-R will resemble a rural village, will usually be surrounded by a rural landscape, and must comply with the density limits and bonuses of the Rural and Transitional District. Minimum size of a TND-R is 65 acres.

a) Permitted Uses

Uses permitted by right

  • bed and breakfast inns
  • boarding or rooming houses for up to six roomers
  • civic, fraternal, cultural, community, or club facilities
  • commercial uses
  • congregate housing
  • conference facilities
  • family care homes
  • government buildings
  • hotels
  • multi-family homes
  • single family homes

Uses permitted with conditions

  • cemeteries, (9.7)
  • religious institutions, (9.8)
  • commercial marinas, (9.43)
  • day care centers, (9.4)
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • neighborhood gasoline stations, excluding major service and repair of motor vehicles (9.22)
  • parking lot as principal use (9.28)
  • schools, (9.35)
  • transit-oriented parking lots as a principal use, (9.49)
  • transit shelters, (9.39)
  • stalls or merchandise stands for outdoor sale of goods at street front (encroachment onto sidewalk may be permitted by agreement with town); outdoor storage expressly prohibited11.

11Items for sale are returned to building at end of each business day; goods not brought in at close of business day are considered outdoor storage.

Uses permitted with Special Use Permit

  • solar energy facility, minor residential, as follows: located on the facade elevation facing public street or common access; or located on the roof slope above the facade of the structure facing public street or common access (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor free-standing non-residential, (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor rooftop non-residential on roof slope facing a street that are noticeable (9.54)
  • wind energy facility, minor (accessory) (9.53)

b) Permitted Building and Lot Types

  • apartment
  • attached house
  • civic
  • detached house
  • mixed use12 up to 6,000 SF of first floor area; up to 65,000 SF of first floor area within 2,000 feet of a freeway interchange or the intersection of two major thoroughfares
  • storefront up to 6,000 SF of first floor area; up to 65,000 SF of first floor area within 2,000 feet of a freeway interchange or the intersection of two major thoroughfares
  • workplace up to 6,000 SF of first floor area; up to 65,000 SF of first floor area within 2,000 feet of a freeway interchange or the intersection of two major thoroughfares

12The mixed use building duplicates the shopfront building type and has at least two occupiable stories; at least 50% of the habitable area of the building shall be in residential use, the remainder shall be in commercial use. However, when an existing residential building is redeveloped to a mixed-use, at least 40% of the habitable area shall be in residential use.

c) Permitted Accessory Uses

  • accessory dwelling, (9.1)
  • day care home (small), (9.11)
  • drive through windows, excluding those associated with restaurants, (9.12)
  • home occupation, (9.19)
  • marinas accessory to residential uses, (9.42)
  • solar energy facilities, minor non-residential; on a flat roof, roof slopes not facing a street and building integrated solar panels on roof slopes facing a street that are not noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facilities, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes (9.54)
  • accessory uses permitted in all Districts (8.11)

d) General Requirements

1) Along existing streets, new buildings shall respect the general spacing of structures, building mass and scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings.

  • New buildings which adhere to the scale, massing, volume, spacing, and setback of existing buildings along fronting streets exhibit demonstrable compatibility.
  • New buildings which exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings may demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.
  • Nothing in this subsection shall be interpreted to conflict with the building design element provisions as found in GS 160A-381(h) for structures subject to the North Carolina Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings.

2) On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

3) A master plan in compliance with Traditional Neighborhood Development standards shall be provided with the subdivision sketch plan submittal for a general district TND or with the conditional district plan for reclassification to a parallel conditional TND zoning district. The master plan shall include a topographic survey and shall show the location and hierarchy of streets and public open spaces, location of residential, commercial, and civic building lots, street sections and/or plans, a master sign program, an outline of any additional regulatory intentions, phasing, and any other information, including building elevations, which may be required to evaluate the interior pedestrian environment and conditions at project edges.

4) See Section 8.16, Standards for Residential Lot Widths, Alleys, Garages and Parking in Residential Districts

e) TND Development Provisions

1) Minimum Development Size:

  • Generally 40 acres in the TND-U
  • Generally 65 acres in the TND-R
  • To allow for the gradual accretion of a TND, which may include the participation of several property owners over an extended period of time, a partial TND of less than the minimum number of acres may be considered for approval, so long as the project shows an integrated design for at least the minimum size and the potential to become a TND-U of at least 40 acres, or a TND-R of at least 65 acres.

2) Maximum Development Size: 200 acres

  • Tracts larger than 200 acres shall be developed as multiple Traditional Neighborhood Developments, each individually subject to all provisions.

3) Maximum Permitted Densities:

  • TND-U may be developed to the density permitted in the NR district (see Section 3.2.4)
  • TND-R may be developed to the maximum density permitted in the R and TR districts (see Section 3.2.1 and 3.2.2)

f) TND Design Provisions

1) Neighborhood Form

The illustrations of Traditional Neighborhood Street Typologies in Article 5 show the general arrangement and distribution of elements in a more urban TND (designated TND-U), and in a less urban TND (designated TND-R).
The area of the TND shall be divided into blocks, streets, lots, and open space.
Similar land uses shall generally front across each street. Dissimilar categories shall generally abut at rear lot lines. Corner lots which front on streets of dissimilar use shall generally observe the setback established on each fronting street.

2) Streets

  • Public streets shall provide access to all tracts and lots.
  • Streets and alleys shall, wherever practicable, terminate at other streets within the neighborhood and connect to existing and projected streets outside the development. Cul-de-sacs shall not exceed 250 feet in length, must be accessed from a street providing internal or external connectivity, shall be permanently terminated by a vehicular turnaround, and are permitted where topography makes a street connection impracticable. In most instances, a “close” or “eyebrow” is preferred to a cul-de-sac. Vehicular turnarounds of various configurations are acceptable so long as emergency access is adequately provided.
  • The average perimeter of all blocks within the TND should not exceed 1,350 feet. No block face should have a length greater than 500 feet without a dedicated alley or pathway providing through access.
  • A continuous network of rear alleys is recommended for all lots in a TND; rear alleys shall provide vehicular access to lots 60 feet or less in width.
  • Utilities may run along alleys.
  • TND streets shall be organized according to a hierarchy based on function, size, capacity, and design speed; streets and rights-of-way are therefore expected to differ in dimension. The proposed hierarchy of streets shall be indicated on the submitted sketch plan. Each street type in a TND shall be separately detailed. Street types illustrated in Article 5 represent the array of elements that are combined to meet the purposes of TND neighborhood streets: building placement line, optional utility allocation, sidewalk, planting strip, curb and gutter, optional parallel parking, and travel lane(s). Alternative methods of assembling the required street elements will be considered to allow neighborhood street designs that are most appropriate to setting and use.
  • To prevent the buildup of vehicular speed, disperse traffic flow, and create a sense of visual enclosure, long uninterrupted segments of straight streets should be avoided. Methods: (1) a street can be interrupted by intersections designed to calm the speed and disperse the flow of traffic (Article 5) and terminate vistas with a significant feature (building, park, natural feature); (2) a street can be terminated with a public monument, specifically designed building facade, or a gateway to the ensuing space; (3) perceived street length can be reduced by a noticeable street curve where the outside edge of the curve is bounded by a building or other vertical elements that hug the curve and deflect the view; (4) other traffic calming configurations are acceptable so long as emergency access is adequately provided.

3) Buildings and Lots

  • All lots shall share a frontage line with a street or urban open space; lots fronting an urban open space shall be provided rear alley access.
  • Consistent build-to lines shall be established along all streets and public space frontages; build-to lines determine the width and ratio of enclosure for each public street or space. A minimum age build-out at the build-to line shall be established on the plan along all streets and public square frontages.
  • Building and lot types shall comply with Article 4.
  • Large-scale, single use facilities (conference spaces, theaters, athletic facilities, for example) shall generally occur behind or above smaller scale uses of pedestrian orientation. Such facilities may exceed maximum first floor area standards if so sited.

4) Open Space

Open Space is defined as any area which is not divided into private or civic building lots, streets, rights-of-way, parking, or easements for purposes other than open space conservation. Design of urban open space shall comply with Article 7. In the TND-U, the open space requirements of the NR district shall apply. In the TND-R, the open space requirements of the R and TR districts, including rural open space, shall apply. Rural open space is site specific in its designation. Paragraphs d) 3 and 4 of Section 3.2.1 and 3.2.2, describe the site analysis required to identify qualifying rural open space.

5) Parking and Landscaping

Parking and landscaping shall comply with Article 6.

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