3.2.5 Neighborhood Center District (NC)

Intent:  The Neighborhood Center District is provided for the location of shops, services, small workplaces, civic and residential buildings central to a neighborhood or grouping of neighborhoods and within walking distance of dwellings.  A neighborhood center shall be developed on an interconnected pattern of streets and is limited to approximately ¼ mile in radius.  Uses in the neighborhood center will have a primary market area of 1 mile and buildings compatible with surrounding residences.  If a neighborhood center is the focus of a planned transit stop, it should be designed to serve the neighborhood’s residential base plus transit riders.  

a) Permitted Uses

Uses permitted by right

  • bed and breakfast inns
  • boarding or rooming houses for up to six roomers
  • civic, fraternal, cultural, community, or club facilities
  • commercial uses
  • congregate housing designed within the “civic” building type
  • family care homes
  • indoor amusement
  • indoor recreation
  • multi-family homes
  • single-family homes

Uses permitted with conditions

  • cemeteries, (9.7)
  • religious institutions, (9.8)
  • commercial marinas, (9.43)
  • daycare center, (9.11)
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • government buildings up to 6,000 sq. ft. of first floor area
  • neighborhood gasoline stations, excluding major service and repair of motor vehicles (9.22)
  • parking lot as principal use (9.28)
  • parks, (9.29)
  • schools, (9.35)
  • temporary mobile food sales (9.37)
  • temporary outdoor sales of seasonal agricultural products and customary accessory products (example: farmers’ markets, Christmas tree/pumpkin sales), (9.37)
  • transit-oriented parking lots as a principal use, (9.49)
  • transit shelters, (9.39)

Uses permitted with Special Use Permit

  • wind energy facility, minor (accessory) (9.53)

b) Permitted Building and Lot Types

  • apartment
  • attached house
  • civic
  • detached house
  • mixed use2 up to 6,000 sq. ft.  of first-floor area
  • storefront up to 6,000 sq. ft.  of first-floor area
  • workplace up to 6,000 sq. ft.  of first-floor area

2 The mixed-use building duplicates the shopfront building type and has at least two occupiable stories; at least 50% of the habitable area of the building shall be in residential use, the remainder shall be in commercial use. However, when an existing residential building is redeveloped to a mixed-use, at least 40% of the habitable area shall be in residential use.

c) Permitted Accessory Uses

  • accessory dwelling, (9.1)
  • daycare home (small), (9.11)
  • drive-through windows, excluding those associated with restaurants, (9.12)
  • home occupation, (9.19)
  • marinas accessory to residential uses, (9.42)
  • solar energy facility, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes or façade. (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, non-residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes, (9.54)
  • stalls or merchandise stands for outdoor sale of goods at street front (encroachment onto sidewalk may be permitted by agreement with town); outdoor storage expressly prohibited3.
  • accessory uses permitted in all Districts (8.11)

3 Items for sale are returned to the building at end of each business day; goods not brought in at the close of a business day are considered outdoor storage.

d) General Requirements

1) Along existing streets, new buildings shall respect the general spacing of structures, building mass and scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings.

  • New buildings which adhere to the scale, volume, spacing, and setback of existing buildings along fronting streets exhibit demonstrable compatibility.
  • New buildings which exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings may demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.
  • Nothing in this subsection shall be interpreted to conflict with the building design element provision as found in N.C.G.S. 160D-702(b) for structures subject to the North Carolina Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings.

2) On new streets, allowable buildings and lot types will establish the development pattern.

3) In major subdivisions and planned developments, the aggregate number of dwelling units contained in attached houses, apartment buildings, and mixed-use buildings shall not exceed 30% of the total number of dwelling units in a project.

4) Notwithstanding the limitations of 3), above, the percentage of dwelling units contained in attached houses, apartment buildings, and mixed-use buildings is not limited when the dwellings are part of a mixed-use (office and/or commercial, residential) project provided that no more than 45% of the habitable floor area within the planned development project is for residential use.

5) New Construction favors retail first floor, office, or residential second floor

6) Maximum radius of neighborhood center = 1/4 mile

7) Incremental development of a neighborhood center is to be expected with individual sites developed in accordance with an approved, locationally explicit, town plan.

8) Every building lot shall have frontage upon a public street or urban open space.

9) See Section 8.16, Standards for Residential Lot Widths, Alleys, Garages, and Parking in Residential Districts

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