Good planning is a major reason that Raleigh is the prosperous and beautiful city that we all enjoy. It is critically important that we continue to plan carefully for future growth, providing opportunities and choices in how we live, work and play. Good planning, strong neighborhoods, housing affordability, and collective creativity are what make Raleigh consistently rank amongst the best place to live in America!
Sustainable development is key to successfully navigating growth, we cannot sacrifice our area’s future for short-term gains. Investment in infrastructure should be based on a clear vision, managing our resources for the long-term vitality of Raleigh. Mayor McFarlane understand how important it is to protect and grow open space, including Dix Park downtown and expanded greenways and trails. All of this work is making Raleigh a top-ranked sustainable city.
Maintaining housing affordability is one of Mayor McFarlane’s top priorities. She led City Council to approve a permanent $6 million increase in annual funding that grows with the city, contributing hundreds of millions over the coming decades, and tripling affordable housing production.
Quality growth is essential for the long-term vitality of Raleigh and the surrounding region. While servings as Chair of the Council’s Comprehensive Planning Committee, Nancy played a pivotal role in developing Raleigh’s widely praised Comprehensive Plan which was approved by the Council in October 2009. That plan took 18 months, and was the result of a careful evaluation of citizen, municipal and business interests. Mayor McFarlane has also been instrumental in developing the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) which guides the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan. Nancy is committed to a UDO that protects neighborhoods, while providing direction, flexibility and certainty to zoning. She is working with citizens across Raleigh to update the ordinance, and make sure the plan meets those goals.
Encouraging Economic Development
As a City Councilor, Nancy established a Small Business Office within City Government with unanimous support from fellow council members. The office serves as a single point of contact where existing businesses and entrepreneurs can go to learn all they need to do to start a business, find mentorship, coordinate inspections, and streamline the permitting process necessary to open and expand small business in Raleigh. The community has many great resources to help businesses succeed, and the Small Business Office brings those resources together for easy access.
Improving Quality of Life
Our future depends on protecting and enhancing the benefits that living in Raleigh offers. Safe neighborhoods, clear air and water, vibrant parks, great schools, energy sustainability, arts & culture, a range of transportation options, and a strong business climate will always be priorities for Mayor McFarlane. Businesses are attracted to well-rounded communities that offer a high quality of life for their employees and their families.
During her years on City Council, Nancy has supported new recreation and senior centers, expansion of parks and over 75 miles of new greenways, additional police and fire stations, stepped up acquisition of water supply land buffers, and other measures that led the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to name Raleigh the Most Sustainable Mid-Sized City in the Nation.
As Mayor, Nancy was instrumental in securing an agreement with the state to turn the Dorothea Dix property into a world-class destination park for generations to come.
Strengthening all Neighborhoods
Raleigh is made up of hundreds of small neighborhoods, each with their own character and needs. Mayor McFarlane works with police, schools, local nonprofits, neighborhood leaders, places of worship, parks and recreation and community centers to ensure the vitality and stability of our diverse Raleigh neighborhoods.
Mayor McFarlane has advocated for more citizen involvement in the zoning process, and has been a consistent voice for neighborhood concerns. One vital component to this are our many Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs). Nancy also strongly supports the role Raleigh’s 18 Citizens Advisory Councils (CACs) play in helping our city determine the future, keep our Neighborhoods strong and are “a connecting point between a municipal government and its residents.” The CACs provide a way for the City to share information about government activities and to receive feedback from the community. Through CACs, residents and neighborhood groups participate in decisions directly affecting them.
Raleigh has grown from 270,000 people in 2000 to almost 450,000 people today. That 50% growth rate is a reflection of Raleigh’s economic vitality and quality of life. Conservative projections have Raleigh growing by another 100,000 people by 2020. Over next several years, we have to address the fact that an effective and accessible transportation infrastructure is vital to our continued success. We need more transportation options – including walkable and bike-friendly communities, improved traffic calming designs, and more public transportation options.
Raleigh is a diverse set of communities, each with their own unique transportation challenges – from Wakefield to Wake Med, from Walnut Creek to Brier Creek, from Pullen Park to Renaissance Park, from Lake Wheeler to Westlake, from Durant Road to South Saunders Street. Addressing each will require developing transportation options such as expanded bus service and moving forward with regional rail.
In 2015 the City broke ground on the new Union Station which will serve Raleigh as a transportation hub for decades to come. Nancy has consistently advocated for more funds dedicated specifically for bus stop shelters and benches.
Under Mayor McFarlane’s leadership, the City has incorporated complete street models, recognizing that streets need to function for more than just cars. Sidewalks, pedestrian, bikes, and alternate forms of transit all need to be considered when developing a transportation plan.
Protecting the Environment
Mayor McFarlane has long been recognized as a leader in environmental stewardship for Raleigh and North Carolina. As President of the Greystone Homeowners Association, she was active protecting and cleaning up Greystone Lake from stormwater runoff. As a City Councilor, she successfully advocated for stricter stormwater standards that protect our local waterways from runoff pollution. She has also been active in establishing the Falls Lake Rules to protect the quality of our drinking water. Nancy is invested in upholding the City Council’s mission statement to “conserve and protect our environmental resources through best practices and cutting edge conservation and stewardship, land use, infrastructure and building technologies.”
Nancy has served as Council liaison to many environmental advocacy groups including the Upper Neuse River Basin Association, Storm Management Advisory Commission, and the Environmental Advisory Board. Mayor McFarlane believes that we can maintain integrity of our environment and accommodate our current needs.
Some of Raleigh’s environmental initiatives during Mayor McFarlane’s time in office include:
- Raleigh is a certified 4-Star community and the first community in North Carolina to achieve certification through the national STAR Community Rating System
- LEED Platinum standards for the city’s new solid waste services facility
- LEED Silver standards for the city’s new water treatment plant
- Designated parking spaces for electric plug-in vehicles
- Solar-powered trash compactors downtown
- Expansions to the city’s reusable water system
- Water quality and wildlife habitat improvements such as the Longview Lake Project
- Plans for a hydroelectric facility at Falls Lake Dam
- Construction of a solar farm at the city’s Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Joint purchase of 640 acres along the Seven Mile Creek, Falls Lake and Swift Creek watersheds for conservation
- City streetlights replaced by energy-efficient LED fixtures
- One of the cleanest cities in America according to Forbes
- PTI honored Raleigh with six awards
- City of Raleigh Police Vehicle Propane-Hybrid Conversion to reduce carbon emissions and saved the City $80,000 in the first year of implementation.
- Preserving 325 acres of green space in downtown Raleigh to serve as a destination park for our city, county & state