NoDa NBA Rezoning Process FAQ
Q: What is a rezoning petition?
A: A rezoning petition is a request by a developer to change what type of building is allowed on a given property. If already zoned to their needs, a developer has wide freedom to build whatever they want within those zoning rules. Fortunately for us, the vast majority of NoDa is not zoned for what developers want to accomplish. That means they have to show their plans and make a case for approval before they begin. Rezoning petitions are one of the few ways the City and developers allow us to provide our input.
Q: What happens when a property owner or developer files a rezoning petition?
A: The City requires developers to conduct or participate in a neighborhood meeting to gauge community opinion on their plan. Many seasoned developers already know to contact the NoDa NBA for this. The Board also monitors the city’s zoning website for newly filed petitions. Petitioners are expected to hold a community meeting and have dialog with neighborhood organizations affected by the rezoning.
Q: How does the NoDA NBA work with these developers?
A: Typically, a petitioner has the opportunity to come before the NBA twice at our monthly meeting (the first Tuesday of each month). The petitioner may present an overview of their project and answer audience questions. After the final presentation, we conduct a poll of NBA members to gauge support of the project. The Board then votes at their next meeting and prepares a written letter to the City outlining our position and the reasons behind it. At least one Board member attends the City Council Rezoning Meeting. If we, as the NBA, oppose the rezoning our representative will have an opportunity during the meeting to briefly speak to why we oppose.
Q: Does the City Council listen to our opinion?
A: Over the past ~20 years, the City has agreed with the NoDa NBA opinion on over 95% of the petitions that come before them and us. This is often due to two reasons: 1) The City and NoDa both understand smart growth and tend to come to the same conclusions on what is sensible; 2) We work hard to negotiate with developers to make the changes to their plan we feel are important well before they come before City Council.
Q: What are we as a Neighborhood and Business Association supporting?
A: The NBA has a written Vision Plan that we created ourselves. In short, we support growth that preserves the integrity of the mill villages that make up the heart of NoDa. As a practical example, we would oppose tearing down original mill housing stock or historic business properties. Conversely, we have supported many high-density projects as infill on vacant or underutilized industrial land.
Aesthetically, we support designs in keeping with an urban mill village. This includes front porches, large windows, heavy eaves, uniform setback along the street front, no front-loading garages, on-street parking, natural materials, pedestrian-oriented lighting, and an urban streetscape. We push developers to overtly support public art and the arts community, provide sufficient parking, and follow green building practices, and we advocate for affordable housing and to help make the neighborhood more bike and pedestrian friendly. Perhaps most importantly, we encourage developers to take risks and to use imagination to bolster NoDa’s uniqueness. When we invite the petitioner to the NBA meeting we ask them to speak to these and other topics.
Q: What can we do and should we do as NoDa residents to make sure our voice is getting heard?A: Join the NBA and come to our monthly meeting (the first Tuesday of each month) or contact the Board directly via the contact section of this website.