City Releases TOD Ordinance Draft, Seeks Feedback from Development Industry

Light RailThe City of Charlotte has released a draft of its Transit-Oriented Development A (TOD-A) ordinance, which would allow higher-density, mixed-used development within a quarter-mile of transit stations like the CATS Blue Line.

TOD-A is the first of at least 4 transit-oriented zoning districts that the Planning Department plans to unveil in the next few months, and is intended to accommodate the highest-intensity development along the transit corridor, with allowable building heights as tall as 250′.

After setting base densities and building standards, the ordinance uses a voluntary points system to incentivize developers to meet aesthetic design, open space and affordable housing objectives through allowances for greater building heights.

City Planning is looking for feedback on the draft from the development community, before moving it though Council for adoption in early summer. Comments can be submitted online through the City’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) website, which also contains the full text of the ordinance.

If you have any questions in the meantime regarding the TOD Districts, please reach out to Monica Holmes in the Planning Department: monica.holmes@charlottenc.gov.

Comments are due to the City by Friday, March 23rd.

REBIC is in the process of reviewing the draft TOD-A ordinance, and will work with our partner organizations to submit formal comments before the deadline.

Charlotte Hosting Unified Development Ordinance Summit on March 24th

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The City of Charlotte is a little more than a year into a multi-year effort to draft a comprehensive Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), which will update the policies and regulations that guide land use and development in Charlotte. When finished, the UDO will combine zoning districts and development ordinances in a single document that should allow for more a streamlined regulatory process.

The two major components of the UDO will include:

  • Policies: Place Types are a classification of land that provides guidance for how future development should look and function. They describe types and intensities of land use as well as important characteristics such as scale, site design, and accessibility.
  • Regulations: The UDO will be the primary tool to implement Place Types and Charlotte’s other plans and policies through development regulations. It will combine multiple development ordinances, including the Zoning Ordinance, into one set of regulations.

REBIC has been working closely with City staff over the past year to provide feedback on the effort, and the real estate development industry is well represented on the UDO Advisory Committee.

To help community members understand the UDO process and broaden the opportunities for stakeholder input, the City will host a half-day Community Summit later in March. Realtors®, home builders, developers, and others in the real estate industry are encouraged to attend.

What Can UDO Summit

Saturday, March 24th

8:30 am – 1:30 pm

UNC Charlotte Center City, 320 E. 9th Street

The summit will give participants a chance to meet the City’s new Planning Director, Taiwo Jaiyeaba, and hear from keynote speaker Mitchell Silver, FAICP. Mitch Silver was previously the Chief Planning & Development Officer for the City of Raleigh and the President of the American Planning Association. He now serves as the New York City Parks Commissioner and is internationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to today’s planning issues.

The summit will also include two interactive workshops, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am, which are focused on “Living and Thriving in Charlotte.” The summit provides an important opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions about the project and share input regarding key issues such as how we’ll accommodate future growth in our community and respect established neighborhood character.

Please register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-can-udo-summit-registration-42720419926

Lunch will be provided for all registered guests. 

For more information on the UDO process, visit the City’s UDO website.

 

 

Energy Code Exemption for Industrial Buildings Takes Effect March 1

Code Enforcement

An Energy Code exemption championed by REBIC and NAIOP will finally take effect this week, after the Rules Review Commission set an effective date of March 1, 2018, for N.C. Session Law 2017-10, formerly known as SB131.

Language in the bill, which was signed into law during the 2017 session of the General Assembly,  excludes from state Energy Efficiency Code requirements any buildings with the following use classifications:

  • Factory Group F
  • Storage Group S
  • Utility & Miscellaneous Group U

Furthermore, language in the legislation introduced by Representative Bill Brawley ensures that the energy code exclusion ‘shall apply to the entire floor area of any structure’ included in the provision. This language was intended to prevent the office or showroom portion of a warehouse, industrial or manufacturing building from having to meet energy efficiency code requirements, when the majority of the structure does not.

Customers who plan to apply for permits to be issued on or after March 1 have the option of utilizing N.C. Session Law 2017-10. Again, this applies only to buildings with a primary occupancy of F, S or U.

For more information, please contact one of the following:

Patrick Granson, Director of Code Enforcement, 980-314-3434
Melanie Sellers, Director of Permitting & Plan Review, 980-314-3108
David Gieser, Director of Inspections, 980-314-3093

(Source:  Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement)

Congressional Budget Deal Contains Big Policy Wins for Real Estate

img_0100The federal budget deal signed by President Trump last Friday contains a number of wins for real estate, including a temporary extension of federal flood insurance and extension of tax provisions that include relief from debt forgiveness, the deductibility of mortgage insurance premiums, and several energy-efficiency related provisions.

Flood Insurance

Extends the National Flood Insurance Program until March 23, giving lawmakers time to work on longer term reauthorization and reform legislation. It also adds $27 billion in mitigation and resiliency funds to address issues arising from last year’s hurricanes. The extension makes $12 billion available under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to fund U.S. Army Corp of Engineers flood mitigation projects.

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City of Concord Defers Action on Sewer Capacity Fee

The Concord City Council held a public hearing last week on a proposal to adopt a System Development Fee for future sewer capacity needs, but ultimately decided to defer action until later this year.

The fee proposal was part of a recently released System Development Fee Report produced for the City by an outside consultant, in response to the passage last year by the General Assembly of S.L. 2017-138, the ‘Public Water and Sewer System Development Fee Act.’ This law authorizes local governments to adopt system development fees for public water and sewer systems within certain parameters, to ensure fees are tied to an Capital Improvements Plan and do not charge new development in excess of the revenue required to meet new demand.

During last Thursday’s hearing, members of the City Council received comments regarding potential impacts should the fee be adopted.  Following the presentation and public comment, Council Member Terry Crawford, who represents District 5, made a motion to table the discussion until budgetary impacts could be better understood. REBIC will continue to monitor this issue as it moves through the process.

 

 

Town of Cornelius to Hold Public Hearing on Changes to Land Use Code

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For the last four years, The Town of Cornelius staff have been working with a local citizen advisory committee to draft an update to the Town Land Development Code. Town Staff has periodically been meeting with local real estate companies, engineers, developers and neighborhood groups to review different portions of the proposed Code that may be of interest.

The Cornelius Town Board has scheduled a final public hearing and potential adoption for Monday, February 19th at 7 p.m. at Cornelius Town Hall.  REBIC is reviewing the Code and will be at the public hearing to make the Town Board aware of any concerns.

To review a PowerPoint presentation on the new Code, click here.

The new draft Code can be downloaded here. 

Source: Town of Cornelius

City Council Talks Affordable Housing, Economic Development at Durham Retreat

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Mayor Lyles opens the 2018 City Council Planning Retreat last week in Durham

DURHAM, NC — When Mayor Vi Lyles and the Charlotte City Council arrived in Durham Wednesday afternoon for the start of their 3-day planning retreat, the stage had already been set for a fascinating interplay between a series of emerging dynamics: Young vs. Old, Millennial vs. Boomer, Revolution vs. Status Quo. And with a menu of topics on their plate ranging from affordable housing and job creation, to sewer capacity and the completion of a new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), the conversation and debate was sure to be one for the books.

Affordable Housing dominated Day 2 of the retreat, which was held at the comfortable Washington-Duke Inn, just outside the Duke University campus. After an economic overview by the always-fascinating Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner, council members jumped into a full-throated discussion about affordable housing and creating ‘great’ neighborhoods — without once recognizing that the two goals may, in fact, be somewhat incompatible. Some of the highlights: Continue reading