The purpose of the Neighborhood Protection Overlay (NPO) is to protect the established character of existing neighborhoods. The overlay modifies the standards requirements of the underlying base districts in order to require new development that better matches the density, intensity, or identifiable physical character of an existing neighborhood. There are currently two NPOs in Durham: Tuscaloosa-Lakewood NPO (see Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) paragraph 4.6.5) and Old West Durham NPO (see UDO paragraph 4.6.6).
A pre-petition conference (a meeting before the submittal of a petition to request the establishment of an overlay) and a pre-submittal neighborhood meeting (after the pre-petition conference but before the submittal of the petition), per the requirements of UDO paragraph 3.2.3 and paragraph 4.6.2, are mandatory.
Once submitted, a petition for an NPO is reviewed by the Planning Department to ensure compliance with the requirements of UDO Section 4.6. The applicant will be offered an opportunity to present the request to the Joint City-County Planning Committee (JCCPC) before the petition is placed on a meeting agenda for the appropriate governing board for consideration.
A petition for the establishment of a Neighborhood Protection Overlay is heard by the governing body for the jurisdiction in which the neighborhood is located (City Council for City neighborhoods and the Board of County Commissioners for County neighborhoods). The governing body must give approval of the initiation of an application and will then act as the applicant on behalf of the neighborhood, referring the item back to the JCCPC for consideration and further review by the Planning Department.
If an overlay is approved, the official zoning map must be changed, in accordance with the requirements in UDO Section 3.5, to show the approved boundaries of the neighborhood protection overlay. A text amendment must also be made to the UDO, per UDO Section 3.19, to incorporate the approved overlay requirements. A property may only be located in one Neighborhood Protection Overlay.