Members of the development industry learned last week that City zoning administrator Katrina Young had been reassigned to other duties, and that planner Shad Spencer was replacing her as Interim Manager.
The change was made just a few days before the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission held its annual retreat at ImaginOn in Uptown. During the event, planning staff provided a presentation to commissioners that, among other things, described some of the changes the department plans to make during the next couple of years. The presentation was broken into three main sections entitled ‘Leading With Vision’, ‘Engaging Partners’, and ‘Building A Great City’.
Under the ‘Leading With Vision’ section, staff described their intention to more proactively engage the public on zoning issues, better utilize technology for communication purposes, and reconsider how planning is done. It was also mentioned that staff would begin responding to the Zoning Ordinance Assessment recently completed by outside consultant Clarion & Associates. This process, which will likely consume much of the next year, will focus on making recommendations to Planning Commission members and City Council on how to move forward with revisions to the ordinance.
In the ‘Engaging Our Partners’ section, staff described how their work relies on successfully engaging and collaborating with citizens, stakeholders, elected officials, and members of appointed boards. They mentioned plans to look at a rezoning process update and some future enhancements of the Planning Department’s website.
Finally, under the ‘Building A Great City’ banner, staff mentioned several new initiatives including: eliminating outdated zoning regulations, creating a process to better link area plan policies with plan implementation, improving customer service, and better responding to market and demographic changes. Staff also described how they needed to do a better job of getting out of the way of the right kinds of projects so they could be planned, approved, and built in a more timely and thereby more cost effective manner.
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