Regional Growth

Question 1: The Charlotte metro was recently named the fifth most sprawling large metro in the nation.  The high economic, environmental, and public health costs of sprawl are well known.  Given the fact that Charlotte remains one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, what will you do to ensure our further growth and development does not continue this pattern of sprawl?  How can the planned update to our zoning ordinance play a role in this? 

 

Position Name Response
Mayor Jennifer Roberts (D) Did not return survey
Mayor Edwin B. Peacock III (R) We have to balance our growth with sound fiscal policy.  Our popularity is certainly not a bad thing, but as we manage growth, we must do in a responsible manner and being sensitive to the conservation & preservation of our natural resources (trees, air, water, natural habitat) can not be last on our priorities.   
At Large Julie Eiselt (D) We need to increase density while preserving historic neighborhoods. By working for better public transportation like light rail and commuter rail, we will naturally bring more density.
At Large Claire Green Fallon (D) Did not return survey
At Large Vi Lyles (D) We need a good process and an inclusive citizen engagement to plan for growth. The Connect Our Future and Mecklenburg County Livable Communities Plan are representative of the participatory planning by the community including professional and community standards to create our best future.  Incorporating policies that build a city in concert with our vision in the zoning rewrite is important.
At Large James "Smuggie" Mitchell (D) I think we need to establish new guidelines/checklist in our new zoning ordinance. The new zoning ordinance needs to reflect the balance between good development and negative impact to the surrounding community. A “sprawl” checklist on further growth could be a new tool we should consider.
At Large Pablo Carvajal (R) Propose and support measures that would promote STEM Studies (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and attract private and public institutions of higher learning to Charlotte. As an example, create a partnership attracting these institutions to establish operations in the Eastland Mall Area. We need to focus more on short distance development, whereby promoting walking and biking and less sprawl. Participating in our zoning with these goals in mind is essential, and I will contribute my time and efforts to ensure that happens.
At Large John K. Powell Jr. (R) The zoning ordinances are very old and outdated. I know because I serve on the Zoning Board of Adjustments and hear cases from variance applications to appeals. I would make it a priority of City Council to work with the Zoning and Planning Department to write and implement "common sense" zoning ordinances that to manage and protect Charlotte.
At Large David Michael Rice (R) Did not return survey
District 1 Patsy Kinsey (D) Did not return survey
District 2 Alvin "Al" Austin (D) Did not return survey
District 2 Justin Dunn (R) Did not return survey
District 3 LaWana Mayfield (D) Did not return survey
District 3 Eric Wayne Netter (R) Did not return survey
 District 4 Greg Phipps (D) One of the unintended consequences of the NCGA’s action to prohibit further involuntary annexations by municipalities has a direct bearing on controlling further sprawl to outlying areas of Mecklenburg County.  Unless these ETJ areas seek voluntary annexation, Charlotte’s reach into unincorporated areas is significantly restricted.  Increasingly, more dense development in uptown, along the Blue Line and expanded BLE, and in major employment corridors like South Park, Ballantyne, and University City, will attract and accommodate more urban growth capacity to meet residential and employment patterns.  Projected strong absorption should hopefully concentrate a critical mass of growth and development within these core areas to mitigate the effects of sprawl. By ensuring that land-use categories are flexible enough to encourage more mixed-use development that compliments an appropriate blend of residential, retail, and business/office uses that promotes walkability, bike-ability, and a less car-centric focus.
District 4 Michael O'Hara (R) We need more effective city planning and more integrated city planning.  We can no longer take the current silo approach to planning where we develop one area and not realize the impacts on other or the cascading impact on transportation. We need economic and residential growth hubs around the city. Places designed to live, work, and shop without long vehicle commutes.  We focus on the right balance of density in these hubs that provide a vital mix while maintaining a high quality of life and livability. 
District 5 John Autry (D) Did not return survey
District 6 Kenny Smith (R) Did not return survey
District 7 Chris Turner (D) I’m committed to encouraging and making it possible for our city planners to build public transportation systems that are accessible in all corridors of Charlotte. I want all our citizens to have safe, dependable and affordable transportation. Good transportation improves income opportunities. It connects communities, makes vital services more accessible and is necessary for the health of our environment and our economy. The City’s current zoning ordinance is outdated. The Transportation Planning Committee has begun the process of updating the zoning guidelines. Since this has just begun I would not want to comment on how it may play a role this.
District 7 Edmund Driggs (R) Did not return survey

 Question 2: How do you define sustainability? Do you think this is an important planning concept for Charlotte as we grow?

Position Name Answer
Mayor Jennifer Roberts (D) Did not return survey
Mayor Edwin B. Peacock III (R) Sustainability should not be a buzzword, but a way of doing business and conducting ourselves in all aspects of the five focus areas of the city of Charlotte.   
At Large Julie Eiselt (D) For Charlotte, I define sustainability as being able to continue to grow indefinitely as a livable, diverse community. This is an important planning concept for Charlotte, and we have to make preserving, reclaiming and promoting natural resources, farmland, and green spaces a priority.
At Large Claire Green Fallon (D) Did not return survey
At Large Vi Lyles (D) Sustainability is the preservation of the environment from protecting our beautiful tree canopies to reducing our carbon footprint to safeguarding our water supply. Creating sustainable communities allows us to build a city where people can thrive and enjoy a high quality of life. Developing sustainable communities requires collaboration between business and political leaderships to throughout the region to ensure that our growth has minimal impact on our natural resources. 
At Large James "Smuggie" Mitchell (D) I define sustainability as the ability to have the basic needs to experience a good quality of life. Absolutely I think sustainability is an important planning concept for Charlotte. Sustainability has changed from water, roads, sidewalks, public safety to include access to internet, commercial development, and work opportunities.
At Large Pablo Carvajal (R) Charlotte is a growing so fast as the statistics and Census show. Sustainability is the ability to continue healthy populational growth within a particular community through economic and residential development; transportation of ideas, services, goods, and people; preservation of natural resources. We must learn from cities like Detroit and Atlanta, where reliances on one particular industry and no diverse energy, economic and even residential housing options, do not set up a population in that community to sustain growth. Charlotte must diversify its economy by beginning to foster more startup companies and small businesses, our City must commit to a low tax and low fee environment in order to continue to improve mass transit, and focusing on facilitating access to education for our next generation into the main discussion; they are our future!
At Large John K. Powell Jr. (R) As a Small Business Owner, I define sustainability as managing the triple bottom line - financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities. These three impacts are sometimes referred to as profits, people and planet. Yes, I believe our elected “Representatives” are “hired” to ensure responsible, ethical and ongoing success of our cities, states and our country.
At Large David Michael Rice (R) Did not return survey
District 1 Patsy Kinsey (D) Did not return survey
District 2 Alvin "Al" Austin (D) Did not return survey
District 2 Justin Dunn (R) Did not return survey
District 3 LaWana Mayfield (D) Did not return survey
District 3 Eric Wayne Netter (R) Did not return survey
 District 4 Greg Phipps (D) Yes! An earthly environment that promotes balanced co-existence and preservation of our natural resources with the collective activities of daily living among people, and business. 
District 4 Michael O'Hara (R) Sustainability is finding ways to maximize our dwindling resources in a repeatable and renewable way.  We can no longer use and discard, but must use and recycle and minimize waste. We must find the optimal way to educate and change our culture to be more eco-friendly and not continue to use energy, food, and natural resources as if it were a never-ending supply. Our population is growing, our efficiency is increasing, but not at the pace necessary to accommodate the growth. On the importance of this as a planning concept for Charlotte, it is critically important, our population growth in the city has outstripped our transportation capabilities, stretched our water supply, and impacted our tree canopy, and air quality. 
District 5 John Autry (D) Did not return survey
District 6 Kenny Smith (R) Did not return survey
District 7 Chris Turner (D) Sustainability can be associated with the environment, economy, financial, etc. All of these factors need to be considered when planning for Charlotte’s future growth.
District 7 Edmund Driggs (R) Did not return survey

 

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