Welcome to our series of blog posts about the Unified Development Ordinance (abbreviated as UDO)! Perhaps you have heard that in October of 2021, the city released the first Unified Development Ordinance document (and yes, we have been just as dazed with 608 pages of it as probably were you!) that, when finalized, will determine the way Charlotte will develop for the coming decades.
Perhaps, some of you have even participated in the development of the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan that was adopted by Charlotte City Council in June 2021. The previous plan that this one replaced had been adopted in 1975. With the tremendous growth that the region has been experiencing for the past several decades, it was clear that the old one was no longer adequate to plan for growth in a way that would meet the needs of residents. Charlotte was long overdue for a new plan!
While city staff were working to create the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan, the community gave public input that resulted in several guiding principles of how Charlotte should grow. See the image below.
Based on the Guiding Principles and Visions Elements, residents and city staff have identified 10 plan goals:
1) 10-Minute Neighborhoods
2) Neighborhood Diversity and Inclusion
3) Housing Access for All
4) Transit- and Trail-Oriented Development
5) Safe and Equitable Mobility
6) Healthy, Safe, and Active Communities
7) Integrated Natural and Build Environments
8) Diverse and Resilient Economic Opportunity
9) Retain our Identity and Charm
10) Fiscally Responsible.
All the goals are important and the achievement of each and every one of them will be needed to achieve the vision of a complete city. Sustain Charlotte has specifically turned our focus on advocating for several goals that are closely aligned with our mission, such as 10-minute neighborhoods, transit- and trail-oriented development, as well as safe and equitable mobility.
With the comprehensive plan adopted, now the real work begins, and we need your help! The Comprehensive Plan is a vision or in other words, a scenario of what the ideal city should look like in the future and how it should function for people who live, work, and play here. But how will Charlotte achieve that vision? The UDO is an implementation tool that would make this vision a reality.
How to get involved
Recently, the city has announced the extension of the public comment period on the first draft of the UDO to March 18th. The adoption of the plan by the City Council is still scheduled for July 2022. We would like to use this opportunity to talk again about why this document is so important, why is it important to act now, and how you can help us turn a watercolor image of our city into a blueprint.
Each week before the end of the public comments period on March 18th this year, we will publish a blog post covering key UDO topics that are critical to Charlotte's growth in a sustainable way.
Learn more about the UDO and ways to get involved at: