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Escaping the Density Anchor

 I have spent a lot of time in the Durham Unified Development Ordinance (aka "the code"). I am familiar with the number of units per acre that different zones allow (don't quiz me, though)! I realized recently that with so much focus on the Durham code, I have succumb to the classic cognitive bias of  anchoring . Outside of the downtown "design" districts and a few spots where previously, light rail stops were planned, the highest density a project can achieve is 20 units per acre. The project has to be zoned RU-M and a development plan needs to be submitted and reviewed to achieve that level of density. There are a few additional bonuses that you could use like the affordable density bonus (rarely, if ever used) and the major thoroughfare bonus, but for the most part 20 units per acre is the max. That 20 units per acre has been in my mind for a number of years now. Do I think certain situations call for more units per acre? Sure! But my mind dreams about 30 uni

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