Expanding Housing Choice Project Update

Expanding Housing Choice Project Update

The Durham City-County Planning Department has received, and continues to receive, numerous comments regarding the set of proposed changes to the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) known as the “Expanding Housing Choice” initiative or “EHC.” EHC is intended to create additional housing opportunities in the highest demand neighborhoods in Durham, while preserving the character and quality of these neighborhoods. This should help stabilize housing prices and allow for greater housing access in high-opportunity neighborhoods. 

Information on the EHC was presented for discussion at November 2018 open houses, at neighborhood meetings, and available online at https://durhamnc.gov/3679/Expanding-Housing-Choices (please see full list of public engagement meetings below).   

Additionally, two separate surveys of residents regarding their thoughts and opinions on expanded housing choice were conducted. Summary and detailed information regarding the first survey performed during the summer of 2018, which received over 1,300 responses, is available under “June-August 2018 Questionnaire Results” at https://durhamnc.gov/3679/Expanding-Housing-Choices. The Open House Questionnaire, which was open for participation from November 26, 2018 thru January 28, 2019, is now closed. Results will be published shortly. Responses to this questionnaire totaled 115 with 337 comments.

The anticipated date of the Planning Commission public hearing for the EHC project is March 12, 2019, with the complete set of proposed UDO amendments publicly available by February 25. The Planning Commission is charged with making a recommendation to the City Council and the Board of Commissioners, who will also hold a public hearing and ultimately make the final decisions on the UDO amendments proposed through the EHC.

The following is the anticipated schedule for this project heading toward the Planning Commission hearing date:

  1. February 15, 2019 - Last day for neighborhood meetings (subject to staff availability).
  2. February 20, 2019 - Last day that public comments regarding the EHC UDO Text Amendments to the Planning Department will be accepted. Any public comments after February 20, 2019, can be made to the Planning Commission (advisory body to the City Council and the Board of Commissioners) and/or City Council and/or the Board of County Commissioners.  The Planning Commission, City Council, and/or the Board of County Commissioners can provide direction to staff to make edits, additions or modifications to the EHC UDO Text Amendments after February 20, 2019.
  3. February 25, 2019 - Release of Proposed EHC UDO Text Amendments
  4. March 12, 2019 - Planning Commission public hearing

Public outreach to date

Planning Staff, beginning in the summer of 2018, has performed a variety of public outreach and meetings. They were as follows:

  1. Summer Pop-up Events: Includes emails, press and social media notifications, “Bull City Today” episodes, and website.
    1. Rock the Park - June 9 from 6-8 pm Duke Park
    2. Durham Farmers Market – June 23 from 9-12
    3. Rock the Park - July 7 from 6-8 pm at Forest Hills Park
    4. Rock the Park - August 4 from 6-8 at Southern Boundaries Park
    5. Latino Festival – August 11 from 12-5
  2. Summer Online Survey - Active June through August
  3. INC meeting - July 24
  4. Appearance Commission - August 15
  5. Work sessions:
    1. City Council - August 22
    2. BOC - September 4
  6. EHC Housing Practitioners’ Panel: March 9, June 5, October 30, February 7
  7. Triangle J COG Housing Practitioners’ Quarterly Meeting - June 8
  8. November open houses - November 27 and 29
    1. Open House Online questionnaire- active from November 26  thru January 28
    2. Online documents
    3. News release (https://durhamnc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/21936/Durham-Seeks-Input-on-Zoning-Changes-to-Expand-Housing-Choices); @CityofDurhamNC social media notifications on Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor; “Bull City Today” and “Bull City Wrap” video segments (https://youtu.be/5_M8RMNWetg; https://youtu.be/U3WWS7RvaUM; https://youtu.be/1op1J-IqIfE)
  9. Meetings with Coalition for Affordable Housing and Transit - November 19 and December 18
  10. Meeting with Duke Office for Durham and Regional Affairs - Affordable Housing Group - December 20
  11. Development Community Stakeholders Quarterly Meeting- December 6
  12. City Council Work Session - December 6
  13. Planning Commission info item - January 3
  14. BOC Work Session - January 7
  15. Watts-Hillandale Neighborhood Association - January 7
  16. Old West Durham Neighborhood Association Board - January 16 and  January 30; General meeting scheduled for February 4
  17. Tuscaloosa-Lakewood Neighborhood Association Board - January 24
  18. Trinity Park Neighborhood Association - scheduled for February 3
  19. Morehead Hill Neighborhood Association - scheduled for February 5

For additional information, contact Durham City-County Planning Department staff as follows:

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