Pat Thompson has called Oak Forest Estates in Raleigh home for nearly 50 years.
“I’m here to stay,” he said. “It’s always been a good neighborhood.”
Horace Clemmons said the neighborhood drew him in one year ago.
“Where else in Raleigh would you find lots from an acre to a half-acre in a quiet, secluded enclave,” Clemmons said.
Both men joined their neighbors meeting with Raleigh city planners Thursday night about their neighborhood, and where it stands in the city’s 2030 comprehensive plan.
“That has a range of policies that talk about how the city should grow and develop, or in some cases, not change very much, and if we want to preserve particular neighborhood characters,” Raleigh City Planner John Anagnost said.
City officials show the plan currently designates the neighborhood as community mixed-use on the future land use map.
“That recommends that there could potentially be a higher density residential uses there, offices uses or shopping centers,” Anagnost said.
Residents like Clemmons said they’d like to see the neighborhood stay the way it is.
“When I came to Raleigh, if I wanted to live there, I could’ve bought a place in one of those neighborhoods,” Clemmons said. “I came here and invested here because of the character of this neighborhood.”
City officials and residents agree its important to meet and talk about these issues.
“We’d like to learn more on what the residents would like to see for the future of their neighborhood,” Anagnost said.
Meanwhile, Clemmons doesn’t mind change as long as it happens later rather than sooner.
“The doctor says I may have 25 more years,” he said. “I would hope that the change would come gradual.”
The neighborhood is currently zoned for Residential 6 (R6), meaning single-family and duplex housing is allowed with a maximum of six units per acre. People in the neighborhood brought up the idea of applying to change the zoning all together, or modifying the original zoning.