Plans to help guide downtown development


City staff and the Planning Board are reviewing plans to help guide downtown redevelopment


Staff Writer

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Rocky Mount City Council is mulling over plans for downtown enhancement.

City staff and the Planning Board also are reviewing two documents meant to help guide revitalization and redevelopment in the area around the Downtown Event Center.

The draft Downtown Implementation Strategies Plan focuses on creating distinct identities for specific areas of downtown and encouraging appropriate uses to maximize redevelopment potential, said JoSeth Bocook, the city's interim director of planning and development.

“The Downtown Overlay District Ordinance would establish guidelines to ensure new development proposed in our downtown as it adds to its existing urban character,” Bocook said. “The ordinance would also encourage mixed-use development.”

The ordinance would add a district to existing land use regulations without having to undergo the process of rewriting underlying zoning regulations. The ordinance would also mean new development or redevelopment is compatible with existing development, allowing a broader mix of uses to facilitate desired changes.

The ordinance also would amend the text of the Land Development Code, which regulates how land may be developed within the city limits.

The overlay area concentrates on areas near the Downtown Event Center, designated as the Northeast Quadrant and roughly bounded by Holly Street, Atlantic Avenue, Hill Street, Western Avenue and Church Street.

The Planning Board held a public hearing on the matter Tuesday and will consider a recommendation at its Nov. 14 meeting. The City Council will consider adoption of the plans at a future meeting if a positive recommendation is received from the Planning Board.

For more information about the plans, contact Jackie Turner at 919-821-0805 or via email at downtownmanager@rockymountnc.gov.