City Council Holds TOD Public Hearing Monday Night

qkN8sxKYR4m00izfcke05g_thumb_1e57The Charlotte City Council will hold a public hearing this Monday night on the new Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Ordinancethe first zoning district to be completed in the City’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).

REBIC and our members have been closely engaged in the process of drafting the new TOD ordinance over the past 18 months, and the City planning staff, have incorporated many of our suggestions into the ordinance — from changes in maximum parking ratios to reduced open space requirements. And while we are pleased with many aspects of the TOD, we remain concerned that its limitations on building height could negatively impact economic development in Charlotte’s transit corridors. Continue reading

UNC Charlotte Study Shows Region Has a Substantial Housing Deficit

bcob_ckcre_2019q3_housing-summit

A comprehensive report issued last week by the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate (CKCRE) at UNC Charlotte offered a sobering picture of the State of Housing in the eight-county Charlotte Region. Using a wide range of housing data from 2010 – 2017, the report concludes that our region is woefully under-producing both for-sale and rental housing, leading to a growing affordability crisis that is most directly impacting middle-income families.

Speaking at the Regional Housing Summit Thursday afternoon, where the study results were unveiled, CKCRE Director Dr. Richard Buttimer said the study showed almost every county in the region was suffering from a growing supply gap in every segment of the market, but most dramatically in the lower end of the price distribution. The result is that middle-income housing affordability is becoming a growing challenge that could eventually impact Charlotte’s ability to attract economic development.

“The bottom line is that region is not producing enough housing to meet the demands of population growth,” Buttimer said. “As a result, prices are rising for all housing faster than inflation.”

Screenshot_2019-02-24 State of Housing in Charlotte Report 2019_FINAL pdf(4)

Continue reading

REMINDER – City of Charlotte offering PROWAG Training this week!

Public Right of Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) Training

The City of Charlotte will be conducting PROWAG training on Thursday, March 21st and Friday, March 22nd.

Please note:

  • There will be two sessions each day.  The morning session is 8:30 to 12:00.  The afternoon session is 1:00 to 4:00
  • The morning session will focus on design for engineers, designers, and developers.
  • The afternoon session will focus on construction for the contractors.
  • Attendance is limited to two (2) registrants per firm.
  • If you have specific question that you would like answered, please include it in your registration application.  This will assist in the agenda/curriculum preparation.

To Register and to Submit Questions, please click on this link:  https://charlottenc.seamlessdocs.com/f/PROWAG

Additional Questions, please contact Tracy Van Tassel (CDOT) at tvantassell@ci.charlotte.nc.us

Association Health Care Bill Passes NC Senate

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Last week,the NC Senate approved legislation that would allow for the creation of Association Health Plans, providing a needed option for independent contractors, like REALTORS®, to receive health insurance through plans supported by associations.

SB 86 — “Small Business Healthcare Act” passed out of its last Senate committee and proceeded to the Senate floor. The bill received votes on Wednesday and Thursday, passing by votes of 40-8 and 38-8 respectively. The bill now moves on to the House of Representatives.

We are very appreciative of the support of Senators Dan Bishop, Joyce Krawiec, and Chuck Edwards on this important issue. You can see how your Senator voted here by clicking “PASS” in the vote section on the right side of the page.

Check out the following editorial on the value of the legislation from two of its sponsors.

Source: NC Realtors®

 

Davidson Pursues Tree Ordinance Legislation that Would Negatively Impact Housing Costs

State Senator Natasha Marcus (D-Mecklenburg) has introduced legislation that would grant the Town of Davidson the authority to adopt an ordinance that would prohibit the removal of heritage trees, defined as a native tree with a diameter greater than 30 inches at breast height, from a property being developed for single family or duplex housing.

The Davidson Board of Commissioners has long complained about its inability to prohibit tree removal on residential development, per its local authority under state law. If adopted, SB 259 would dramatically increase the cost of single-family development in the Town, which already imposes illegal design and inclusionary zoning requirements on home builders.

Local government tree ordinances across North Carolina have proven to be restrictive and burdensome in many instances. While some local governments have obtained authority to adopt tree protection ordinances by local act, others have enacted tree ordinances without such authority. In general, some tree ordinances are far too restrictive and have a major adverse financial impact on housing. Look for more on this topic in future weeks.

REBIC opposes this legislation, and will work our colleagues at the North Carolina HBA and the NC Realtors® to ensure it does not become law.

Huntersville Establishing Land Development Department June 1st

Beginning June 1st, the Town of Huntersville will operate a local development review and permitting agency, bringing in-house a variety of services now provided by Mecklenburg County.

The main services the Town will take over from LUESA include development plan review; zoning, development and erosion control inspections; and bond administration. Five new positions have been created to provide these services, and the Town expects to have them in place within the next two months. The positions include a Street Inspector, an Erosion Control Inspector, a Bond Administrator, a Stormwater Plan Review and a Zoning Inspector.

Last week, the Town Board adopted a new development fee schedule, which will add the fees now charged by LUESA to those charged by the Town.

Town board members have expressed their hope that bringing land development services in house would improve efficiency and reduce plan approval time for developers. REBIC is continuing to meet with staff and Commissioners to ensure the handover doesn’t negatively impact development services.

South Charlotte Partners Hosts Transportation Summit March 25th

South Charlotte Partners

South Charlotte Partners will host an interstate Regional Transportation Summit on Monday, March 25, 2019, from 9am-2pm at the Ballantyne Hotel. As transportation and infrastructure are two of the most pressing issues affecting this region along the North Carolina/South Carolina border, this summit will bring together federal, state and municipal stakeholders and business leaders to discuss how best to address current and future transportation needs.

Speakers at the Summit include: Governor Henry McMaster (R-SC), Congressman Ralph Norman (R-SC), Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC), Rep. John Torbett, Mayor Jack Edwards (Pineville), Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt, NC Transportation Secretary Trogdon, SCDOT Planning Director Brent Rewis, NCDOT Board Member At-Large Tony Lathrop, NC Board of Transportation Division 10 Member Sam Bowles, CRTPO Secretary Bob Cook, RFATS Director David Hooper, NC Turnpike Authority Director, CATS Director John Lewis, CDOT Director Liz Babson, Assist Charlotte City Manager Tracy Dodson (Economic Development), Lancaster County Economic Development Director Jamie Gilbert, York County Economic Development Director David Swenson and key business leaders from both states.

For more information, visit www.southcharlottepartners.org – or CLICK HERE to register.

As TOD Ordinance Advances, City Planners Turn Attention to Tree Ordinance Revisions

As Charlotte’s revised TOD Ordinance nears a March 18th public hearing and a possible late-Spring adoption, city planners are turning their attention to the next portion of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) initiative: updating the Charlotte Tree Ordinance.

“Specifically, we will be considering ways to update Tree Ordinance standards for urban sites to allow better integration of trees in these developments,” read an committee invitation from planning staff.

REBIC has long argued that the Tree Ordinance, originally adopted in 1978, is a poor fit for the type of urban development now prevalent in Charlotte. Commercial developers typically elect the ordinance’s Payment-in-Lieu option, as the ordinance makes it difficult to preserve trees on small infill sites.

The committee will hold its first meeting on March 14th, and meet weekly for at least the next month. REBIC members will be participating in the process, and will continue to advocate for effective tree regulations that allow for the construction of affordable housing and urban development.