Charlotte Seeking Public Comment on Proposed Storm Water Fee Hike for Commercial Properties

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services held a public meeting yesterday to discuss a proposal that would increase storm water fees for hundreds of commercial property owners in Charlotte.

City and County staff is proposing capping existing storm water fee credits at 71% which is similar to a plan offered in 2012 that would have capped the credits at 75%. You can view the presentation they provided here. They contend that newly built basins established under newer ordinances are currently not given credit for the extra flood control and surface water quality benefits they provide when compared to older basins and that this creates fee disparity. The City estimates that roughly 350 properties will be impacted through lower fee credits, resulting in higher annual storm water fees for those property owners and their tenants.

Several property owners were on hand to express their concerns. They asked about the possibility of grandfathering the older and more established properties and staff responded that their attorneys had cautioned against doing that. Staff was also asked if these diminished credits could be fazed in over a period of time and were told that was a possibility. Staff also told the group that if the credit caps are implemented, the earliest it would likely occur would be July of 2016.

If you were NOT able to attend yesterday’s meeting, you are encouraged to comment online through November 19th, when the plan will be presented to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Advisory Committee (SWAC). If you’d prefer to speak at the SWAC meeting, please contact the clerk at Vivian.Love@mecklenburgcountync.gov.

You can find more information on the proposal here.

For additional information, please contact Rob Nanfelt with REBIC at (720)771-3825.

Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement Launching New Apprenticeship Program for Vets

code enforcement

Building With Our Veterans is an innovative new initiative in Mecklenburg County that helps qualified veterans spend a year taking courses and apprenticing alongside Mecklenburg County code officials. At the conclusion of the program, graduates who successfully complete the state code official certification exams and satisfy the hiring requirements of Mecklenburg County can join the team at Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement.
The program was born of a need to remedy two issues in Charlotte-Mecklenburg – an under-utilized workforce of military-trained men and women, and a public sector occupation that is struggling to find qualified, skilled candidates. Veterans with experience or interest in construction, the built environment, and life safety issues can be trained and certified to meet the public sector need for code officials.

Frequently Asked Questions

• How will Building with our Veterans help veterans become code officials?
Building with our Veterans participants will spend one year taking 335 hours of required courses through Central Piedmont Community College, and train with Mecklenburg County code officials for 664 hours, an average of 20 hours per week. Participants pay no tuition or fees for the courses, and receive a stipend of $15/hour over the course of the year. At the conclusion of the program, students who have successfully completed the coursework will be eligible to take the state certification exam to become Level I code officials in their trade of choice. Building with our Veterans graduates who become certified and satisfy Mecklenburg County hiring requirements will become part of the Code Enforcement team.
• How many years of experience is necessary to apply for the program?
Applicants should have a high school diploma or equivalent and two years of experience working with a licensed contractor. Program participants should have a valid North Carolina or South Carolina driver’s license and the ability to obtain and maintain a county operator permit (employee driving permit).
• What kind of work will program participants be doing during the apprenticeship? Participants will assist and learn to complete construction inspections in one- and two-family residential projects, townhouses, residential day care facilities and residential care homes. They will also learn to research and answer technical questions from contractors on N.C. Building Code and the inspections process.
• How do interested veterans apply for the program?
The position will be listed on Mecklenburg County’s website in the next few days. Go to job listings on mecklenburgcountync.gov and search for the “Inspector Trainee” position. From there, interested veterans can submit their applications online. The first class of Building With Our Veterans participants will be selected in December.
• When does the program begin?
The program will start in January 2016 and run through December.

For more information, visit MeckPermit.com.

(Source:  Mecklenburg County)

Cities and Towns Amend Ordinances Following Passage of Aesthetics Bill

A recently enacted state law, S.L. 2015-86, is requiring many local governments across North Carolina to amend their planning and zoning ordinances. Formerly known as SB 25, the new law makes it clear that cities, towns, and counties do not have the authority to impose design standards on single-family homes, townhomes and duplexes. Home builders had pushed for the legislation because some municipalities had made it difficult to provide affordable housing due to the rigorous standards. Continue reading

Charlotte Considering Modifications to Rezoning Process

Charlotte planers are evaluating potential modifications to the rezoning process that are intended to streamline the procedures for project review, shorten the time between application and approval, and improve collaboration between developers, staff, and members of the community.

Continue reading

LUESA, Code Enforcement to Relocate Soon

code enforcement

Renovation is underway for Phase I of the Bringing Mecklenburg County to You (BMC2U) facilities master plan, which begins with the relocation of LUESA, including Code Enforcement, to 2145 Suttle Avenue in Charlotte.

This 100,000-square-foot facility, located on the corner of Suttle and Wilkinson Boulevard, formerly served as the home of the Charlotte School of Law. It will contain a Customer Service Center (CSC) on its main floor and will reflect the changes Code Enforcement and other LUESA agencies are using to better meet the needs of their customers. The intent is for most departments to move to the new facility over the winter holiday season, with the CSC being fully functional on the first business day of the new year.

There’s a website where you can track their progress, if you like.

Updates include videos explaining the plan, progress updates and pictures from the work in progress at LUESA’s new home.
They plan to host a ribbon cutting and grand opening on Jan. 4, 2016.

(Source:  Mecklenburg County) 

U.S. Court of Appeals Enacts Nationwide Halt to EPA’s Waters of the U.S. Rule

On October 9th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit enacted a nationwide stay of the Environmental Protection Agency’s final regulations that dramatically expand the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) commended the court on its action.

“We applaud the Sixth Circuit for taking this action to suspend the EPA’s water rule,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. “NAHB has been working diligently on the legislative and legal fronts to overturn this EPA rule that raises housing costs, tramples states’ rights and adds unnecessary regulatory burdens to small businesses.” Continue reading

Real Estate Industry Wins Big in Longest General Assembly Session in Ten Years

The curtain finally came down this week on a 10-month General Assembly session that delivered the real estate industry some of its biggest legislative wins in decades.

When legislators adjourned shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, they concluded an historic session that saw the passage of key bills to spur economic development, cut regulation, and protect consumer choice. Here’s a summary of the biggest legislative wins for home builders, Realtors®, commercial and multifamily developers, and brokers: Continue reading