RALEIGH – North Carolina State University will begin its pitch to secure public support tonight for its massive rezoning request to reshape Centennial Campus. Here is a summary of what the university is seeking as well as information about how to participate in the virtual meetings Tuesday night and Wednesday night.

This report augments WRAL TechWire’s in-depth report about the new Centennial Campus vision that was published last week.

This summary of the plan was provided by law firm Parker Poe, written by attorney Jamie Schwedler:

Project summary

The rezoning application includes the land that makes up NC State University’s Centennial Campus west of Centennial Parkway (i.e., not including the area known as the Spring Hill District). The specific property subject to this request include parcels owned by the State of North Carolina and allocated to NC State University as well as parcels owned by the Board of Trustees of the Endowment Fund of North
Carolina State University (jointly, the Applicant). The planned rezoning will advance the university’s three-tiered mission of teaching, research and state-wide outreach by creating a framework for future development of both university buildings and public-private partnership projects, while maintaining open spaces and campus recreation.

A map of the Centennial Campus rezoning plan.

NC State University’s Centennial Campus (“Centennial”) was established in 1984 through an initial land allocation by then Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. and envisioned a new type of research, innovation and public-private partnership campus. The campus was originally zoned in 1988 to enable educational, research and public-private partnership activities along with residential, and recreation uses through a phased-master plan. The zoning was incrementally updated in subsequent years to add additional land to the campus, but corresponding increases to the buildable area were not made in connection with those land additions.

Over time, the City of Raleigh updated its zoning code and approach to land use regulation, revising much of the City’s zoning districts in 2016 after adopting a new Unified Development Ordinance (“UDO”) in 2013. The UDO provided for a new type of district specifically envisioned for large scale campus planning, the Campus Master Plan (“CMP”) district.

This request seeks to update the existing zoning on Centennial to the Campus Master Plan (“CMP”) district. This CMP district was designed for institutional land such as Centennial, but has not yet been applied in the City of Raleigh.

In addition to outlining proposed uses, the application includes height and square footage guidelines for various districts on the campus, maintains recreation and reinforces public connectivity to Centennial Campus, Lake Raleigh and the Lake Raleigh Woods area. The request will also translate a series of legacy zoning conditions and designations into a more modern framework envisioned by the UDO, and to update the zoning to provide a more user-friendly structure for future development on Centennial. The opportunities presented in the updated Master Plan will pave the way for NC State to continue its positive contributions to the city, the region and the state.

A website has been established to share information regarding this rezoning application, which will be updated periodically as additional information is available, and can be accessed at https://centennial.ncsu.edu/zoning. For questions or other inquiries, please reach out via email at ncstatezoning@ncsu.edu.

Meeting notice

For specifics about the meetings, maps, a list of properties included in the project, and more, visit this website:


NC State unveils a new Centennial Campus vision – from 28 story towers to more density