UNC Charlotte Study Outlines Strategies to Expand Affordable Housing Options

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A report released this week by the Urban Institute at UNC Charlotte offers 12 strategies for expanding the supply of affordable housing in the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Prepared for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Advisory Board, the 66-page report outlines policies that ‘can be used to finance and facilitate the development of quality affordable housing, with a focus on long-term affordability.’

You can download the full report HERE.

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Early Voting to Begin October 20th

The Mecklenburg County Board of Elections has announced that early voting for the 2016 general election will open Thursday, October 20th, and close Saturday, November 5th.  The hours for early voting are as follows:

  • Oct. 20-21: 8 a.m-7 p.m.
  • Oct. 22: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Oct. 23:  1 p.m.-6 p.m.
  • Oct. 24-28: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Oct. 29: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Oct. 30: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
  • Oct.  31-Nov. 4: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Nov. 5:  10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Locations will be provided at a later date.  Check the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections website for updates.

Election Day will be on Tuesday, November 8th and polls will be open from 6:30 am until 7:30 pm.  For information on where to vote and to view a sample ballot click here.  If you want to avoid waiting in line, you may also vote from home beginning right now if you fill out this form and return it to the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections.  Absentee ballot request forms must be submitted by 5:00 pm on November 1st.  Ballots are usually mailed to voters within a couple of days after the request has been received.

If you live in Iredell County, you can find the schedule and locations for early voting here.  If you would like to vote from home, fill out this form and return it to the Iredell County Board of Elections.

Rock Hill City Council Hears Proposal on CIP, Improvements to be Funded By Increased Fees

Yesterday the Rock Hill City Council heard a proposal from Deputy City Manager, Jimmy Bagley, that would result in $340,000,000 of infrastructure improvements over the next ten years.  The enhancements would be funded by bonds issued in alternating years over the next decade and would be paid back through increased user fees and impact fees.

Under the plan, combined water and wastewater impact fees would nearly triple over the next two years while most users would see annual fee increases over the next eight years.  Separate from the CIP Proposal, but as part of the overall funding discussion, it was mentioned that the fire impact fee would go up nearly 50% over the next two fiscal years for single-family residential developments.  Commercial and industrial developments would see their fees increase roughly 300% during the same time frame.

Staff justified the impact fee and rate fee increases by referencing Rock Hill’s rapid growth over the last decade.  This growth has apparently brought the existing water plant to its maximum output level which could result in the Council considering alternate measures, such as a moratorium, if new funding is not approved.  Council will continue to meet over the next couple of weeks to finalize a plan to address current and future growth.

Gartner Phase 2 Report Now Available

City of Charlotte Crown Logo     Seal of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

The City is currently partnering with Mecklenburg County in contracting Gartner Consulting to assess current operations and develop a future state with a focus on improved customer satisfaction and high-quality, cost effective delivery of development services including planning, permitting, and inspections.

In March 2015, Gartner Consulting submitted its Phase I report with recommendations for improved development services. Subsequently, the City and the County in collaboration with the development community has achieved the following:

(1) established a joint City / County staffed Unified Development Services Committee to review and implement cross jurisdictional initiatives;

(2) initiated gateway checks across City and County to inform customers early in the plan review process of all City and County permitting requirements;

(3) developed a unified vision and shared responsibilities statement for customers and staff;

(4) began the automation of the rezoning process,

(5) developed a permitting business wizard to assist novice customers through the permitting process for commercial projects; and

(6) initiated the implementation of electronic plan submittal for Charlotte Water.

At the June Transportation and Planning Committee, staff provided an update of this work as well as a demonstration of the permitting business wizard.

Gartner Consulting has now submitted its Phase 2 Report with recommendations focusing on developing a future state delivery model. City and County staff has begun the analysis of the Phase II recommendations. Some of the recommendations reiterate Phase I recommendations including gateway checks; the implementation of a business wizard; and electronic plan submittal for Charlotte Water. New recommendations include:

(1) rebranding the names of services;

(2) standardizing the inspection request process;

(3) reviewing the pre-submittal meetings format;

(4) transitioning to a collaborative, concurrent and entirely electronic plan review process;

(5) creation of a single application and submittal point of entry; and

(6) the transition for both the City and County to a First-In, First-Out (FIFO) plan review process. Currently, the City utilizes the FIFO approach for all reviews.

City Staff will continue to provide updates to the Transportation and Planning Committee.

(Source:  City of Charlotte)