Charlotte City Staff Requests Go Ahead From Council to Revise Locational Policy

During yesterday’s meeting of the Housing & Neighborhood Development Committee, Pam Wideman, Housing Services Manager, briefed members of the City Council on the Housing Locational Policy and the need to make changes.  Initially established in the late 1980’s with the most recent version approved in 2011, the Housing Locational Policy provides a guide for the location of new, rehabilitated, or converted subsidized multi-family developments designed to serve households earning 60% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI).  The objectives of the policy are to:

  • geographically disperse subsidized multi-family housing developments;
  • support the City’s neighborhood revitalization efforts and other public development initiatives;
  • promote diversity and vitality of neighborhoods; and
  • avoid undue concentration of subsidized multi-family housing developments.

Over time the policy has inhibited the City from reaching its affordable housing goals and with its ambitious pledge of creating 5,000 units of workforce and affordable units in the next three years, it is looking at various ways of tweaking the policy so it is no longer a hindrance.  Moving forward, with the Council’s approval, staff plans to:

  • evaluate future proposed developments based on the current quality of life and updated geography; and
  • combine the broader review of the Housing Locational Policy and Community Engagement Strategy into the development of a Comprehensive Housing Plan.

Click to view the Housing Locational Policy Presentation.

Revisions Announced to Charlotte’s Stormwater Mitigation Payment Policy

The process by which Post-Construction Stormwater Ordinance (PCCO) mitigation payments are collected will change starting April 1, 2017.

Mitigation payments for stormwater management, stream buffer disturbance, and Natural Area will typically be required to be paid prior to release of approved plans from Land Development.  However, if a payment deferral is requested for a commercial or multi-family project it will only be approved if a Letter of Intent (found in Appendix N of the PCSO Administrative Manual) is executed and an applicable Certificate of Occupancy hold can be placed on the project through Mecklenburg County’s Winchester permitting system.

Payment deferrals for single-family projects will not be deferred past he approval of the first plat of the subdivision.

(Source:  Charlotte Mecklenburg Development Services)

City of Charlotte Updates Tree Ordinance Guidelines

Tree Ordinance Guidelines Available on Land Development Website

Urban Forestry staff has added two new documents to the Trees Webpage.  First is a Soils Guideline to clarify what staff will be looking for in right-of-way and on-site planting areas.  The second guideline is a Commercial Plan Submittal Checklist that will help those who might not be as familiar with the Tree Ordinance.  It lists the minimum items that need to be included on a plan submittal so nothing gets left out.  It is specific to each type of development, whether it’s an addition to an existing building or brand new development in a transit station area for example.

To provide feedback on both of these guidelines, please email Peter Grisewood at Peter.Grisewood@ci.Charlotte.nc.us.

(Source:  Charlotte Mecklenburg Development Services)

Building Permit Reform Legislation Introduced in General Assembly

Legislation introduced last week in the North Carolina General Assembly would build on initiatives from recent years to improve and reform the state’s building code process.

HB 252, ‘Building Code Regulatory Reform’, was introduced by Representatives Mark Brody (R-Union), Dennis Riddell (R-Alamance), Larry Potts (R-Davidson), and Rodney Moore (D-Mecklenburg). It contains the following provisions:

  1. Clarifies that counties and municipalities may not continue to enforce any ordinance or policy requiring the inspections of homes more than those specifically set forth in the North Carolina Building Code. Jurisdictions were prohibited from adopting such ordinances or policies by a law enacted in 2013 at the behest of NCHBA.
  2. Authorizes an employee under direct supervision of a licensed architect or licensed engineer to perform field inspections of the completed installation of an engineered component of a project.
  3. Clarifies that no architect or engineer certification is required for components that are engineered by the manufacturer when those components comply with the North Carolina State Building Code.
  4. Requires all local inspection departments to create and implement an informal review process of inspectors. Disagreements on interpretations or inspection issues will be subject to this process. Furthermore, the bill directs inspection departments to report annually to the Joint Committee on Local Government on the implementation of this provision.
  5. Subjects any future or existing codes to the process established in HB 255 for review and approval by the Residential Code Committee or the Building Code Committee of the Building Code Council before consideration by the Council.
  6. Clarifies that inspection agencies shall not apply any local or state interpretation of the building code to projects that are begun under a valid building permit.
  7. Finally, excludes lots with septic tanks or other on-site wastewater systems from dual meter requirements, if the cutoff valve and backflow prevention device are placed within 12 inches of the water meter.

REBIC supports the bill, although we will work with the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA) to ensure that favorable code interpretations MAY still be applied to projects with a valid permit at the applicant’s discretion.

The legislation has been assigned to the House Regulatory Reform Committee, but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

 

 

NAHB Examines Future of EPA’s WOTUS Rule

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Courtesy NAHB

Now that President Trump has ordered an extensive review of the “waters of the United States (WOTUS)” definitions in the Clean Water Act, many home builders and developers have questions about how this executive order changes the stormwater and wetlands permitting processes they have been following all along – and what the next steps are. Continue reading

NAIOP, Realtors®, Voice Support for HB2 Repeal Legislation

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Durham commercial developer David Green speaks on behalf of NAIOP North Carolina at Tuesday’s press conference at the General Assembly

Two North Carolina industry trade groups this week voiced their support for legislation introduced in the General Assembly to repeal HB2, which has cost the state thousands of jobs, millions in local tax revenue, and significant amounts of economic development opportunities.

NAIOP North Carolina, representing commercial real estate developers, brokers and other industry professionals in Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, and the Triad, joined the North Carolina Association of Realtors® (NCAR) to strongly urge members of the North Carolina General Assembly to embrace HB 186 as a bipartisan solution that repeals HB2 and allows our state to recover from the economic damage suffered over the past year.

During a press conference at the General Assembly this past Tuesday morning, representatives from NAIOP and NCAR joined business leaders and trade associations from across the state, including the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, to speak in support of HB 186, which would repeal HB2 and give local governments the authority to adopt nondiscrimination ordinances in their communities. These ordinances could not regulate access to multi-occupancy bathrooms, shower rooms or changing rooms, and could be repealed through local referendum if a petition threshold is met.

With Democrats and Republicans at an impasse over the bill’s referendum provision, HB 186 did not gain any traction this week, and remained stuck in House Rules.

You can read NAIOP’s statement of support HERE, and NCAR’s position HERE..

Charlotte NAIOP Members Advocate for Commercial Real Estate Issues on Capitol Hill

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NAIOP members meet with U.S. Senator Thom Tillis on Capitol Hill

Members of the Charlotte Chapter of NAIOP recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress about issues critical to North Carolina’s commercial real estate industry. The Capitol Hill visits were part of NAIOP’s annual Chapter Leadership and Legislative Retreat, and gave Charlotte developers a chance to advocate on a range of topics, including:

 

  • Preventing the taxation of Carried Interest compensation at ordinary income rates;
  • Protecting tax-deferred 1031 Like-Kind exchanges in any effort to reform the federal Tax Code;
  • Advocating for increased federal investment in our national infrastructure, including roads, ports and bridges; and,
  • Ensuring that capital markets and financial institutions are able to address the current and future credit needs of the commercial real estate industry.
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Charlotte commercial developers meeting with Congressman Patrick McHenry, The House Chief Deputy Whip, in his office in the United State Capitol.

During the course of the day, NAIOP members met with Senators Thom Tillis, and congressmen Robert Pittenger, Richard Hudson and Patrick McHenry.

Thanks to Charlotte NAIOP members Brendan Pierce (Keith Corporation), Jim Gamble (Bohler Engineering), Jason Moore (Rodgers Builders), Cheryl Steele (Horack, Talley) Chris Thomas (Childress-Klein), and  Scott Harris (Choate Construction) for taking time out of their busy schedules to make the trip to Washington!