Charlotte Proposes Tightening Noise Restrictions on Construction Sites

The City of Charlotte is considering revisions to its Noise Ordinance that would allow the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) to designate specific construction sites as ‘chronic noise producers’ and require a the creation of a formal plan to mitigate noise impacts on surrounding neighborhoods.

The changes, approved last week by City Council’s Neighborhood Development Committee, are part of an extensive update of the 2011 Noise Ordinance, which also include the creation of noise buffers around schools, churches or health care facilities, and tighter restrictions on the use of amplified sound. In addition to giving CMPD the authority to make the chronic noise designation, the ordinance would create escalating fines for repeat violations and add specific examples of construction equipment for greater clarity.

The  proposed Noise Ordinance changes are available on the City’s website. REBIC will be reviewing the ordinance with our general contractor members in the coming weeks to determine how to address the proposed changes.

City Council Approves New TOD Ordinance

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The Charlotte City Council last Monday night unanimously approved a new Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Ordinance, which sets standards for commercial and residential development in the city’s light rail corridor.

REBIC and our members worked closely with City planning staff on the ordinance over the past 18 months, and we are generally pleased with the final product. Many of our suggestions — from changes in maximum parking ratios to additional development incentives — were included in the final draft adopted by Council last week. Our only remaining significant concern remains the 130′ building height limitation, which can only be exceeded through the use of a bonus point system that encourages affordable housing investments, energy efficient construction, or the contribution of offsite infrastructure.

While we support each of these policy goals, we believe City Council should do everything possible to encourage density in our transit corridors, and not restrict itself from considering economic development opportunities that would otherwise be limited by the building height caps in each TOD district.

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Join us April 24th for the Charlotte Housing Policy Conference

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Housing Policy Summit

Join us for the Charlotte Housing Policy Summit on Wednesday, April 24 at UNC Charlotte’s Center City Campus. This event will address Charlotte’s housing policy implications based on the analysis discussed in the “State of Housing in Charlotte” report and summit.

kotkin-joel_smlOur keynote speaker will be internationally known author and demographer, Joel Kotkinwho will be talking about how communities around our region can reduce barriers to the construction of affordable housing. Joel is the author of six books on urban policy and population growth, including The Human City, and The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050

Other speakers include Nick Masinowith metro Atlanta’s Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, and Dave Fosterwith Community Solutions, a New York City nonprofit looking at innovative approaches to end homelessness.

The Summit will take place from 2 – 4:30 p.m. at the UNC Charlotte’s Center City Building in Uptown, with a reception following. There is no cost to attend, and you can register here. 

LUESA Proposes Dramatic Development Fee Hikes for FY 2020

LUESA logoMecklenburg County LUESA is proposing dramatic increases to its Land Development, Zoning and Floodplain Permitting Fees for FY 2020, as it seeks to end a longstanding practice of supporting Land Development Services with excess stormwater fee revenue.

The proposed increases, combined with the elimination of two vacant stormwater positions, will allow Land Development Services to cover 100% of its operating costs, says Land Development Director Dave Canaan. With the Town of Huntersville starting its own land development permitting operation this summer, the County’s Land Development Services division will handle projects in the five remaining towns and the ETJ. The City of Charlotte charges separate fees for land development permitting within its boundaries.

Both REBIC and the Greater Charlotte HBA have voiced our strong opposition to the proposed fees (listed below), which represent year-to-year increases of nearly 200% in some cases. Fees for multi-year projects will be phased in over two years, and new fees will be implemented for re-inspections and re-reviews of development plans.

REBIC is working with members of the Board of County Commissioners to try and find alternative budget approaches that will keep the fees at their current levels, as the proposed increases will dramatically impact housing affordability in the ETJ and five towns. The Commission will hear a presentation on the new fees at a Budget work session on Tuesday, April 9th, and we will be present for the discussion.

LUESA Fee Schedule