Charlotte Puts Neighborhood Character District On Hold

In response to concerns raised by REBIC, the Charlotte Chamber and other local organizations, the Charlotte Planning Department has decided to put its consideration of a Neighborhood Character District ‘on hold’ for reassessment.

The proposal was first presented to members of the Charlotte City Council in January, and would have allowed neighborhood groups though a simple majority petition to request the establishment of an Overlay District that could regulate building elements like home size, building height, setbacks, or lot dimensions — over and above the existing zoning district standards. REBIC raised strenuous objections to the proposal, which we believe would allow older neighborhoods around the City to restrict or prohibit the construction of necessary infill housing, and have a negative impact on the supply of affordable housing.

The City’s Planning Director, Taiwo Jaiyeoba, told City Council’s Transportation & Planning Committee this week that the proposal had been put ‘on hold’ until staff could re-evaluate its impact and direction. REBIC will continue to work with City staff and Council to ensure the rights of property owners are protected.

REBIC Hosts Industry Roundtable to Discuss Developer Issues with Duke Energy

DukeAn industry roundtable meeting with officials at Duke Energy this week provided a clear perspective into the wide range of frustrations Charlotte-area builders and developers have been experiencing with the utility company’s plan review and installation process.

Builders openly shared their frustration with what they described as Duke’s lack of communication, poor customer service, and cumbersome plan review process. They told company officials they missed having a single point of contact on a project, much as they do when working with other utilities like Piedmont Natural Gas.

Duke representatives at the meeting, including Senior Vice President Jeff Corbett, apologized for the broken plan review and utility installation process, and committed to make improvements within the next six months. They told builders that 100 new project engineers were hired in January, and that the plan review backlog should begin coming down in the next few weeks.

Some of the changes they promised include:

  • Establishing a clear point of contact for each development project, and ensuring customers get a response within 24 hours;
  • Providing specific timeframes for underground utility installation;
  • Giving at least a 2-day notice before contractors arrive on site;
  • Reviewing the Load Sheet process for possible revisions;

REBIC will continue to work with Duke Energy on these and other improvements to the plan review process, and will hold a follow-up meeting in before the end of 2018. Builders having specific issues with project installation should contact us for more information on who to contact at Duke. E-mail us at Joe.Padilla@REBIC.com