Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to the more than 50 people who responded to our action alert by emailing or calling their Charlotte City Council members to voice support for a complete sidewalk network.
Together, we did it! At last night's meeting, Council voted 9-2 in support of two amendments to the sidewalk ordinance that close critical loopholes. The amendments will ensure that quality sidewalks are built when re-development occurs on high-traffic streets.
Quality sidewalks support all street users! (photo from Charlotte WALKS Plan)Read more
Did you know that the average American household spends $1,500 on food that ends up uneaten? Sustain Charlotte recently partnered with Livable Meck to co-host a workshop on the topic of food waste and sustainability.
Our program director Meg Fencil explains the connection between food waste, sustainability, and equity.
Household expenses, health, and environment
The median Charlotte household spends 29% of their income on housing and another 22% on transportation. For many households, food is their third-highest expense. When a large percentage of that food is wasted, it places an extra financial strain on the household. That means less money is available for other household needs.
Denada Jackson from Solid Waste Services and David Valder from Crown Town Compost educated the audience about the environmental and health impacts of excessive food waste. When food and other organic material decomposes in the landfill, it generates methane, which is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. However, when food is composted and decomposes in the presence of oxygen, it generates carbon dioxide instead of methane. In other words: a composted banana has a much smaller carbon footprint than a landfilled banana.Read more
Ask a resident of Greater Charlotte what issues they see within our region, and you’ll likely get traffic or transportation as a top answer. Last week we brought together a panel of transportation experts from local government and the private sector to discuss the mobility challenges we face, and some potential solutions.
The City of Charlotte is in the process of overhauling the regulations that govern land use, zoning, planning, and development in our community. While the city has changed dramatically since 1992, the zoning codes have not been fully updated since then. The current rules contain hundreds of amendments that have caused the document to swell to over 830 pages of text and 109 separate zoning designations. There are separate ordinances for different topics that often result in confusing and even contradictory guidelines. Currently, the rezoning process is primarily handled on a "conditional" basis, which is cumbersome and time-consuming, as each rezoning is handled on a case-by-case basis and exceptions are regularly made to the approved rules.
Charlotte’s current zoning rules aren’t adequately supporting the type of development that aligns with the city’s own vision for growth. So the Planning Department is creating a better way forward. The new set of rules that will govern development is referred to as the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). It aims to bring together all the planning, zoning, and development codes into one unified document with clear rules that are easy to navigate for developers and community members alike. This process began in 2013, but little progress has been made over the past five years. We wrote this editorial in December urging the City to make this a higher priority in response.
Photo courtesy of PlanCharlotte.orgRead more