REBIC FORUM Looks for Solutions to the Affordable Housing Challenge

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Keynote Speaker Wendell Cox

At last month’s REBIC Forum, keynote speaker Wendell Cox and a panel of local experts discussed ways in which local regulation and land use policies constrain the supply of affordable housing in a community, and limit the ability of middle-class Americans to achieve the dream of homeownership

Cox, an author and demographer who studies housing affordability across the United States and 8 other nations, argued that land use constraints such as urban growth boundaries, density caps and large minimum lot sizes make it increasingly difficult for private-sector builders and developers to deliver housing for middle- and working-class residents.

While anti-sprawl policies are popular with planners, community groups and elected officials, Cox argued they ultimately exacerbate the housing affordability crisis by reducing opportunity for buyers to find housing on the urban fringe, where land prices are far lower than in the urban core.

Following Cox’s presentation, a panel of local housing experts discussed strategies for improving Charlotte’s supply of affordable units. Multifamily developer John Porter, with Charter Properties, said ‘every regulation adds to the cost’ of housing, and encouraged City officials to look for ways to roll back burdensome development rules.

img_0053Pamela Wideman, Deputy Director for Charlotte’s Neighborhood & Business Services division, said the City is making progress on its proposal to expand the affordable housing supply by 5,000 units in the next 3 years, but acknowledged policymakers were still looking for new ways to meet the ambitious goal.

REBIC appreciates all the sponsors and presenters who helped make this year’s REBIC Forum such a huge success!

To download Wendell Cox’s Powerpoint Presentation, click here.

To view the presentation in its entirety, click here.

City Planning Department Announces Changes to Rezoning Schedule

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department recently announced some changes to the  City’s rezoning process and calendar. The key changes include:

  • Initial comments from staff to the petitioner will be sent one week earlier, roughly four to five weeks after the initial submittal.
  • Submittal of site plans for public hearing will be required one week earlier, to allow staff to get the list of outstanding issues to the petitioner earlier.
  • The site plan submittal deadline for Zoning Committee will occur on the Monday one week after the public hearing, instead of the Thursday of the week of the hearing, to allow for the petitioner to have additional time to address issues discussed at the hearing.
  • The Zoning Committee meeting has been moved back six days (to the Tuesday fifteen days after the hearing) to allow more time for staff to prepare for the meeting and to work with the petitioner to finalize any remain issues.

REBIC is continuing to work with planning staff to improve the rezoning and plan review process, and welcomes any feedback you can provide on your experience with the process.

To see the list of changes as well as the new 2017 rezoning calendar thru June, click here.

If you have any questions, please contact Tammie Keplinger, Rezoning Program Manager, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department at 704-336-5967 or tkeplinger@ci.charlotte.nc.us.