South End Vision Plan, Vision Zero, and a New Approach to Charlotte’s Zoning Update
SouthEnd Vision Plan
Monica Holmes from the city’s Planning Department gave an overview of changes incorporated into the SouthEnd Vision Plan since the previous Transportation and Planning meeting. Check out the full presentation here. During the April Transportation and Planning meeting, members voiced their concern about the absence of affordable housing language in the plan.
Photo courtesy of: Charlotte AgendaRead more
Why Charlotte needs new development rules and what Sustain Charlotte is doing
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
City Council seeks clarity on zoning ordinance process
At Monday's City Council Transportation and Planning Committee meeting, members asked Planning Department staff a lot of questions about how the Unified Development Process is going.
Planning Director Taiwo Jaiyeoba, who has only been in his role for a few months, admitted that the UDO process is long, complicated, and overdue. He said, "Our ordinance and policy documents have not really been consistent."
This slide from the meeting shows the relationships between various groups working on the UDO.Read more
Charlotte’s new Planning Director explains vision for the City’s growth
Over 120 people joined us at Resident Culture Brewing for launch of our new monthly event series, Grow Smart CLT! We were thrilled to have Dr. Doug Shoemaker of the UNCC Center for Applied GIScience and Taiwo Jaiyeoba, Director of Planning for the City of Charlotte, as our two speakers for the launch event.
Photo credit: Grant Baldwin PhotographyRead more
Update on the new rules shaping Charlotte's growth!
It's often missing from Charlotte's development process. If we expect to grow sustainably for decades to come, we must create a vision now of what growth should look like in different parts of the city. Both developers and residents need to have a clear understanding of that vision and how the zoning ordinance works to support it.
Why update our zoning?
Development in Charlotte is anything but predictable. City Council handles mountains of time-consuming conditional rezoning requests each month. Our zoning ordinance is a massive and complex beast at 15 chapters. Contradictions even exist among all of the various development-related ordinances. Many projects being built throughout Charlotte are entirely inconsistent with area plans.
Most importantly: "The current Zoning Ordinance does not adequately implement the community’s goals for smart growth and sustainability." (UDO website)
The Unified Development Ordinance creation process was discussed at the April 10 Charlotte City Council Transportation and Planning Committee meeting. Charlotte's overhaul of its outdated ordinances related to development includes two key components:
First, the Vision: Place Types define the places we want to create.
Second, the Implementation: The Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) will establish the rules to create those places.
Moving towards a Place Types Palette
A few of the many potential Place Types to be included in the final palette.Read more
City Council Discusses Zoning Update
The City of Charlotte is about to embark upon an extensive review and update to its Zoning Ordinance and Policy. At today's (August 10) Transportation and Planning Committee meeting, Planning Department staff talked about the upcoming process and gave committee members a chance to discuss their concerns and ideas.
One of the key recommendations for the update process is to strengthen the linkage between vision plans and implementation tools in order to build the type of people-oriented places that will be desirable to current and future residents. The process will include significant external stakeholder engagement. A public engagement strategy will be part of the consultant's scope of work.
The Centers, Corridors and Wedges Growth Framework guides Charlotte's growth & development.Read more
Corrective Re-zonings for University City on Hold
At the April 23 meeting of Charlotte City Council's Transportation and Planning Committee, Council Members voted unanimously to recommend that the full Council adopt the University City Area Plan (UCAP). The corrective re-zonings within 1/4 mile of University City light rail stations that 230 of you asked for by signing our online petition will likely not be voted on when Council votes on UCAP approval. Instead, the appropriateness of corrective re-zonings will be evaluated by the Transportation and Planning Committee separately following a report from Planning Department staff in four to six months.
Planning Department staff presented a summary of comments received in the past several weeks and at the April 13 public comment session (click here to read what we told Council on behalf of more than 200 residents). Staff revealed resident and landowner concerns about building heights, transition areas between stations and neighborhoods, providing active uses for ground-level buildings, and other topics.
At the conclusion of the presentation, Council Member David Howard asked the same question we had: "Why weren't corrective re-zonings included (as a topic in the presentation)?"
A rendering of the University City transit station areas.Read more