Tim Niles is a founding member of Livable Raleigh and has been a resident of Raleigh for over 30 years.

At the July 5, 2023 City Council meeting he delivered these public comments:

A recent report noted that Raleigh is facing a housing deficit of 17,000 units.

I was interviewed by ABC11 for their report on the issue and gave them several relevant data points that ultimately weren’t included in the report.

In response to the 17,000 unit deficit I noted that between Dec 2019 and Mar 2023 Raleigh’s City Council approved zoning cases for over 70,000 residential units. 
Over 4 times the reported deficit.
Unless those cases were speculative and only intended to raise the property values for resale purposes, Raleigh is NOT lacking the entitlement to build residential units.
Before you approve cases, don’t you verify the applicants really plan to build something and you’re not just rewarding them for their campaign donations to you?
In response to the reporter’s question about Raleigh’s rapid growth, I said that Raleigh’s Comprehensive Plan was created to accommodate the anticipated growth and noted that actual growth has been far less than predicted.

According to the Comprehensive Plan’s Growth Framework, Raleigh was expected to grow from a population of 450,000 in 2015 to 580,000 by 2030. An increase of 130,000.

Raleigh’s actual growth rate based on census data has been much lower.

From 2015 to 2022 we grew from 450,000 to 477,000. 
An increase of 27,000 in 7 years versus the estimate of 130,000 in 15 years. That’s less than half the estimate.
And, growth is actually slowing down.
According to census data from 2010 to 2020 Raleigh’s population grew from 404,000 to 468,000. 
From 2020 to 2022 we grew to 477,000

So our growth has slowed from a rate of over 1.5% per year to under 1% per year now.

What this shows is we can follow the plan and grow in a coordinated manner adding density where the Comp Plan calls for density — in the Central Business District and in defined Growth Centers where we can take advantage of transit opportunities and infrastructure capacity, instead of haphazardly adding density anywhere a developer has a dream for making a buck. 
We can follow the Growth Framework and the approved Land Use policies. They were designed and approved for success.
We don’t need to eliminate the plan’s built-in protections such as Transition Areas designed to protect neighborhoods from the intense development of the Central Business District as you  did recently with the Shaw University case.
Let’s not overreact to sensational news reports especially when those reports ignore the most relevant data in favor of hype.

NOTE – Since the time this comment was delivered to City Council, new reporting has come out in the N&O making it clear that Zillow’s report of the 17,000 unit deficit in housing is NOT specific to Raleigh. It is instead a report of the deficit for the Raleigh “Metro” Area. The Raleigh Metro Area consists of Wake, Franklin and Johnston counties. The total population of the Metro Area is over 1.5 million. That’s more than 3 times the population of Raleigh. This new informmation makes the comments to City Coucnil even more relevant.

N&O report here – Developers rush to buy land

Zillow study here – Recent Zillow Study

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