Update: The winner of the Republican Primaries Stephanie de Sarachaga-Bilbao has not provided responses to our questionnaire.
Question # 1 Planning and Development
Last year, City Council adopted the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which sets the vision for how our city will grow in the coming decades. This summer, Council will vote to adopt Charlotte’s first Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), which are the regulations needed to implement the comprehensive plan. Recently, Council approved a rezoning petition to allow drive-through establishments in the areas that were previously zoned as transit-oriented development (TOD) districts. These TOD areas are meant to be walkable, and therefore would not have allowed a drive-through to be built by-right. This is not the first time the city council has diverted from adopted plans and regulations. One of the goals of the soon-to-be-adopted UDO is the reduce the number of exceptions and be a plan-making city instead of a deal-making city. If elected, will you help to end the practice of granting exemptions to adopted plans and ordinances?
Vi Lyles (D, Mayor)(i): "I have supported and will continue to support the 2040 Plan and its accompanying processes; however, as new plans are implemented, I will also look for areas of inconsistency and unintended consequences to ensure equity in the implementation of our projected plans."
Question # 2 Transformational Mobility Network
In 2020, the Charlotte Moves Task Force recommended a “transformational mobility network” (TMN) of transportation projects and proposed a funding strategy for the network that centers on a “One Cent for Mobility” countywide sales tax. However, there has been little visible progress on moving this forward, even as new federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill will create time-sensitive opportunities for our area to compete for federal dollars that will require a local match. Do you support the need to secure a local funding source to build the TMN? If so, what will you do as an elected official to move the process forward? If not, what do you propose as an alternative to support mobility for all residents?
Vi Lyles (D, Mayor)(i): "Yes, I support a public referendum for a one percent sales tax for the strategic mobility plan. I hope and believe the voters will support this effort, and remain optimistic for their support. I enjoy discussing the public benefits of this tax with my constituents and, as Mayor, I will continue to work to get this plan before the voters."
Question # 3 Vision Zero
In 2018 Charlotte adopted a Vision Zero goal to end traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030, and CDOT staff are working with Vision Zero Task Force members to achieve this goal. What investments and actions do you believe are most important for Charlotte to fulfill its commitment to Vision Zero and ensure that our streets are safe and well-connected for people of all ages and abilities to walk, bike, and ride transit?
Vi Lyles (D, Mayor)(i): "I believe additional funding provided by the Strategic Mobility Plan is essential for Vision Zero’s success. The whole city must come together to make our streets safe and accessible, and I remain optimistic that our people are up to the challenge. It takes more funding, more support, more cognizance, and faster implementation to see results and make Vision Zero possible."
Question # 4 Access to Parks and Greenways
Although building parks and greenways is primarily the responsibility of Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte has partnered with Mecklenburg County to build the Cross Charlotte Trail and also supports access to parks and greenways by providing bikes, pedestrian, and transit connectivity. What would you do as an elected official to support residents’ access to outdoor recreational opportunities and green spaces?
Vi Lyles (D, Mayor)(i): "Just as people do not have to work as an island, our city does not have to work as an island. Wonderful things are possible when the city, the county, and even the state work together to achieve our goals. As Mayor, I will continue to support intergovernmental collaboration on initiatives such as park and trail improvement and taking care of our public, outdoor spaces."
Question # 5 Bus Network
CATS is working on the Envision My Ride Bus Priority Study to increase the reliability of bus service. Do you support the goal of increasing frequency on all core bus routes to run every 15 minutes or less, and pursuing dedicated bus lanes and shared bus/bike lanes in areas identified as suitable by the study results?
Vi Lyles (D, Mayor)(i): Yes