Additional Stakeholder Meetings Scheduled on Proposed Changes to Dilworth PED Overlays

PedOverlayZoningAmendment_600

Charlotte Planning Staff will host an additional meetings in the coming weeks to present recommended changes to the Pedestrian Overlay District (PED) along portions of Morehead St., and a second meeting will now be held to discuss similar changes to the PED along East Boulevard.

The prospect of changes to the East Blvd. PED represents a new and troubling wrinkle in this yearlong debate to modify zoning rights in one of Charlotte’s most desirable areas.

A meeting on changes to the Midtown-Morehead-Cherry PED will be held

Thursday, May 1st at 6:00 pm
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, Room 280
600 East 4th Street, Charlotte

A meeting on changes to the East Boulevard PED will be held

Thursday, April 24th at 6:00 pm
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, Room 267
600 East 4th Street, Charlotte

The recommendations to change the PED came as a response to additional concerns raised by residents of the Dilworth Neighborhood, following a January meeting in which proposed changes to building height limits were ruled out by staff.  The newly proposed changes included more restrictive design standards as well as an increase in the multifamily parking ratio.

Specifically, four amendments were presented and would apply to structures exceeding 200 feet in length:

  • Façade variations would be required to separating units in multifamily developments;
  • ‘Modulation’ would be required for 20 percent of all building frontage located adjacent to a public street.  This would be achieved by creating a building recession of 25 feet or greater from the setback line and would extend the full height of the building.
  • For buildings of four stories or more, the architectural base (not to exceed two stories) would need to be distinguishable from the rest of the structure.
  • The multifamily parking ratio would increase from 1.0 parking places per unit to 1.25 per unit.

You can download the most recent staff presentation HERE.

 
The PED was first approved in 1999 and has been utilized in numerous areas of the City to promote walkable, mixed-use development. In exchange for its higher-density by-right zoning, developers are required to meet enhanced building design standards and construct a pedestrian-friendly streetscape.  We are not aware of any other circumstance where the PED has been changed since its implementation nearly 15 years ago.

It is REBIC’s position that any changes to the PED would adversely impact those investors who purchased sites in the Midtown-Morehead-Cherry district with the expectation they could exercise the development rights provided by the Overlay District.  Altering those rights to appease a vocal neighborhood group would produce citywide economic uncertainty, deter real estate investment in Charlotte, and have lasting consequences for economic development and property values.

A public hearing will be held in May, and REBIC will continue to meet with City staff and members of Council to communicate our concerns.

CONNECT Our Future Needs Your Input!

CCOG

The 14-county greater Charlotte region in North and South Carolina, will almost double in population, and in the number of jobs, by 2050.  We are the fastest-growing large metro region in the country, and we are also the largest metro without a shared regional approach for growth.  This affects our ability to compete for jobs in a global marketplace, and may affect the quality of life and access to opportunity the region’s current and future residents enjoy.

How and where should we grow?  CONNECT Our Future is working with residents throughout 14 counties to get to that answer.  Over 4,000 people to date have provided their ideas about what is important to them, and what needs they see for their community and the region.  Even if you have not participated before, you can share your ideas about your priorities, and about four different ways this region could grow, now.

Just take 5-10 minutes to visit http://ConnectOurFuture.metroquest.com.

It’s easy to use the tool— tell us your priorities (on the Priorities page), do the star rating for each growth option (on the Consider Options pages), and to let us know what county you’re from (on the Stay Involved page), then hit Submit, and you’re done!

Help our region stay a great place for our children and grandchildren, by Growing by Choice, Not Chance! Pass this on to your friends and family members and ask them to provide their input online!!

Sushil Nepal
Project Manager
CONNECT Our Future
Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG)
525 N. Tryon St., 12th floor
Charlotte, NC  28202
704-688-6509
snepal@centralina.org
www.centralina.org  / www.ConnectOurFuture.org

City Council to Vote Next Monday on Proposed Extension of Stormwater Mitigation Fee Program

Charlotte Skyline

The Charlotte City Council will vote next Monday night on the proposed extension of a program that allows developers to pay a mitigation fee instead of constructing costly on-site storm water management systems — and one that can pay big dividends for urban redevelopment.

The Council’s Environment Committee earlier this month recommended a 6-month extension of the PCCO Mitigation Fee Program, to allow stakeholders to explore alternatives to the existing option, which can be elected by right. REBIC and city staff were asking for a 5-year renewal of the program, but will support the six-month proposal as an interim step.

First adopted in 2011, the Post-Construction Controls Ordinance (PCCO) Mitigation Fee program is aimed at helping developers of small commercial sites by allowing them to contribute to the cost of public offsite improvements rather than installing onsite systems such as retention ponds, which often must be located underground because of site constraints. The fees collected ($60,000 for the first acre, $90,000 for each additional acre) are used by the City to make system improvements within the same basin as the development, from stream bank restoration to the purchase of private property in floodplains.

The program was adopted with a sunset provision of April 30, 2014, and city staff would like to see it extended for another 5 years. But because of a new state law that makes it more difficult for local governments to adopt environmental regulation, Council must give its unanimous consent for the initiative to continue.

Defeat of Proposed Mechanic’s Lien Legislation a Big Win for Commercial Real Estate

legbuildingIn a meeting that lasted less than 10 minutes, a legislative study committee in Raleigh today voted unanimously to shelve a pair of bills that would have allowed a mechanic’s lien on the owner of a leasehold interest to be extended to the fee interest of the property owner.

The committee action is a BIG WIN for commercial property owners around the state, who would have faced significantly greater liability for unauthorized improvements made by tenants. The proposed legislation was strongly opposed by REBIC, the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® (NCAR), the Charlotte Regional Commercial Board of REALTORS®, and the Charlotte Chapter of NAIOP.

Current law allows contractors to place a lien on a leasehold interest when a tenant fails to pay for the goods or services for which they contracted. The lien can be extended to the property owner or landlord only if the owner or landlord contracted with the provider for the work performed.

Representatives of the associations for electrical, plumbing and mechanical contractors had proposed that improvements authorized by a tenant should be automatically presumed to be authorized by the property owner. This conflicted with a longstanding N.C. Supreme Court ruling, which states that it is the contractor’s duty to exercise due diligence in determining whether they are contracting with a tenant or property owner.

Thanks to everyone who helped defeat this terrible legislation, particularly Cady Thomas and Robert Broome at NCAR! Thanks also to State Representative Dean Arp, who co-chaired the Study Committee and made the motion to shelve the proposed bills.

Code Enforcement Clarifies Setback Rules for Accessory Buildings

From Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement:

It has recently come to our attention that setbacks are being measured for all buildings the same, which is not the case for Accessory Buildings (i.e. Garages, Accessory Buildings and Accessory Dwelling Units) compared to the measuring of setbacks for principal dwelling structures.

In an attempt to clarify where setbacks are to be measured, we are providing the code sections below directly from the City of Charlotte Zoning Ordinance.  I have also included information regarding the allowance of mechanical equipment only a limited amount of setback encroachment and this applies to all structures.  This applies to all construction within the City of Charlotte zoning jurisdiction.

DWELLING STRUCTURES (Principal Residence)  Setbacks are to be measured from the property line, or from back of curb, depending on the information  listed on the permit in the NOTES section.    (See 12.106(5) below)

ACCESSORY BUILDINGS (Garages, Accessory Buildings, Accessory Dwelling Units)          Setbacks are measured from the property line to the most extreme architecture feature of the structure, usually a eave overhang.         (See 12.106(2)(a) below)                

Section 12.106. Uses and structures prohibited and allowed in required setbacks and yards.

(1) No principal building or principal structure shall be located within any setback or yard required by these regulations except as provided in this Section and elsewhere in these regulations.

Petition No. 2002-13, § 12.106(2), 4/15/02)

(2)        (a) No accessory structures, including architectural features, as cited in five (5) below, shall be located within any setback or side yard required of these regulations, or located within three (3) feet of a lot line in the established rear yard. No accessory structure shall be located within any established setback in any residential district, except as otherwise provided. If an accessory structure exceeds a height of 24 feet in the single-family, multi-family, urban residential and mixed use districts, it must be located at least 15 feet from the rear and side property lines. In all zoning districts, except as provided for in Section 12.108, if the accessory structure exceeds the height of the principal structure, it must meet the minimum side yard of the principal structure and be located at least 15 feet from the rear property line. In addition, no accessory structure, excluding the square footage of an accessory dwelling unit shall exceed the total square footage of the heated area located on the first floor of the principal structure.

(Petition No. 2009-079, § 12.106(2)(a), 1/19/10)

(d) Heating, ventilation, or air conditioning equipment are considered to be part of a structure and shall not be located in any setback, sight distance triangle, or required buffer or screening. Heating, ventilation, or air conditioning equipment may encroach into the required side yard or rear yard by no more than 50 percent of the required yard.

(Petition No. 2010-078, § 12.106(2), (d), 2/21/11)

(5)        In respect to a principal structure, architectural features such as cornices, eaves, steps, gutters, and fire escapes may project up to three feet into any required yard, unless they would obstruct driveways, which might be used for service and emergency vehicles. This does not apply to accessory structures.

Allowable

Allowable Encroachment

DENR Now Accepting Public Comments on Wetland Standards Rules

DENR LogoN.C. Gen. Stat. §150B-21.3A, adopted in 2013, requires state agencies to review existing rules every 10 years. An initial review will be completed during the next five years, and thereafter rules will be reviewed on a 10-year review cycle. The NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ rules are located by subchapters in Title 15A of the NC Administrative Code. The Department’s rules will be reviewed on a schedule established by the Rules Review Commission.

Public comment period is now open for the following rules under review. The public may provide comments by clicking on the following links:

SUBCHAPTERS:

15A NCAC 02B – Surface Water and Wetland Standards
15A NCAC 02H – Procedures for Permits: Approvals
15A NCAC 02T – Waste Not Discharged to Surface Waters
15A NCAC 02U – Reclaimed Water

From each link, a list of subchapters under review are available on the left. Each subchapter is linked to a table that lists each rule by citation number, name, whether the rule implements or conforms to Federal Regulation and the agency’s initial determination. Clicking on the rule citation number will take the user to the rule itself.

Each row has a box that asks if the user agrees with the agency’s choice of category. Choose “yes” your comment will be recorded as agreeing. If you choose “no” a drop box will show other possible category choices for you to select. After choosing, you will be directed to a page that allows an opportunity to make a comment. In addition, there is another box allowing the user to make a public comment on the rule. An option to attach a document is also provided. Information regarding file size limitations are included. A public comment is defined as, a written comment objecting to the rule, in whole or in part, received by an agency from any member of the public, including an association or other organization representing the regulated community or other members of the public (G.S. 150B-21.3A(5)). In order for a comment to be considered by the Rules Review Commission, the comment must address the content of the rule.

The user may provide an affiliation in the boxes provided, although it is not required.

All comments submitted will be sent electronically to authorized staff.

The comment period for these subchapters concludes May 21, 2014.

The Department is required to evaluate each of the existing rules and make an initial determination from one of these three classifications:

Necessary with substantive public interest - the agency has received public comment on the rule within the past two years or the rule affects the property interest of the regulated public, and the agency knows or suspects that any person may object to the rule.

Necessary without substantive public interest – the agency determines that the rule is needed, and the rule has not had public comment in the last two years. This category includes rules that identify information that is readily available to the public, such as an address or telephone number.

Unnecessary - the agency determines that the rule is obsolete, redundant or otherwise not needed.

Note: the purpose of these comments is for the Rules Review Commission to determine which rules must be READOPTED by DENR under the procedures established by recent regulatory reform legislation. The Rules Review Commission does not evaluate the rules for their content, except within limited parameters such as whether the agency has the authority to adopt the rule or whether the language of the rule is clear and unambiguous.

Comments may also be submitted by mailing to: DENR Rule Comments, 1601 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699

If you would like to receive notices regarding rules undergoing rules review that are open for public comment, please subscribe to DENR’s mailing list by clicking on this link.

If you have any questions, please e-mail Lisa Martin (lmartin@nchba.org) or Steven Webb (swebb@nchba.org) at the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA), or call 800-662-7129.

Source: NCHBA

City Offering Training for Electronic Submittal of Subdivision Plans

Charlotte LogoBeginning Tuesday, April 1st, the City of Charlotte will require all new applications for subdivision plans, final plats, and sketches to be submitted electronically through Accela Citizen Access web portal.

Electronic Plans may be submitted through the current EPlan process via e-mail to the Land Development inbox, ldplans@charlottenc.gov until midnight on Monday, March 31st. Additionally, the resubmittal of plans originally submitted through the EPlan process should continue via email to ldplans@charlottenc.gov until the plans are approved.

The City’s Land Development Division will be conducting two training sessions to demonstrate the use of ACA for plan submittal:

Tuesday, March 25th at 9:00 a.m.
Room 267 in the Government Center

Thursday, March 27th at 1:00 p.m.
Room CH-14 (basement) in the Government Center

You can register online for either session on the Land Development website. Although the training is focusing on submitting a subdivision, this will also be an excellent opportunity to refresh your skills or to assist new staff members in your organization in learning how to submit plans to the city.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Land Development Customer Service at 704-336-6692.

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