City Council Holds TOD Public Hearing Monday Night

qkN8sxKYR4m00izfcke05g_thumb_1e57The Charlotte City Council will hold a public hearing this Monday night on the new Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Ordinancethe first zoning district to be completed in the City’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).

REBIC and our members have been closely engaged in the process of drafting the new TOD ordinance over the past 18 months, and the City planning staff, have incorporated many of our suggestions into the ordinance — from changes in maximum parking ratios to reduced open space requirements. And while we are pleased with many aspects of the TOD, we remain concerned that its limitations on building height could negatively impact economic development in Charlotte’s transit corridors. Continue reading

NC Home Builders Support Continuing Ed Legislation

legislative_building_5One of the top legislative priorities of the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA) took a big step forward last week as Representatives Larry Potts (R-Davidson), Mark Brody (R-Union), Julia Howard (R-Davie) and Ashton Clemmons (D-Guilford) introduced HB 162 – Continuing Education for General Contractors, (i.e., “CE for GCs”).

The bill would require all general contractors, home builders, and anyone with an unclassified licence to complete eight hours of continuing education annually. Two of those hours would have to be a mandatory course approved by the State Licensing Board for General Contractors, while the remainder can be approved electives.

HB 162 has been referred to the House Regulatory Reform Committee, but no hearing has yet been scheduled. There is also a companion Senate bill, SB 55 Continuing Education for General Contractors, sponsored by Rick Gunn (R-Alamance), Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus), and Don Davis (D-Greene).

The Carolina Associated General Contractors (CAGC) is also supportive of the legislation, which would take effect January 1st, 2020, if it becomes law.

County Code Enforcement Issues New Guidelines on Townhome Egress

A new Mecklenburg County interpretation of a section of state building code means builders of many urban townhomes will have to adopt one of two approaches to ensure compliance with life health safety requirements.

The issue involves language in IRC Code Section R310.1 – Emergency escape and rescue required. One provision in that section states that ‘Emergency escape and rescue openings shall open directly into a public way, or to a yard or court that opens to a public way.’ In late 2018, Mecklenburg County code officials began interpreting that provision to mean that an easement agreement was required in either the community Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCRs) or on the recorded plat. Continue reading

New State Law Exempts Charlotte Redevelopment Projects from Stormwater Controls

State legislation passed last month at the conclusion of the 2018 session of the General Assembly means redevelopment sites in Charlotte are no longer required to include on-site stormwater controls if no additional impervious surface is created. A provision in SB 469, a Technical Corrections bill initially vetoed by Governor Cooper but ratified through a legislative override, specifically mandates the change to local stormwater ordinances, regardless of where a local government obtains its regulatory authority.

While a redevelopment exemption for stormwater has been state law for years, the City of Charlotte has previously required controls on all projects, citing its adherence to a federal NPDES stormwater permit that called for higher local standards. REBIC has long argued that stormwater controls should not be required on redevelopments where no additional impervious surface is created.

The provision in SB 469 also allows development within a vegetative buffer, as long as the runoff from the entire impervious area of the project is collected, treated, and discharged through a portion of managed vegetative buffer. Of course, stormwater controls will continue to be required on sites whenever additional impervious surface is created.

Thanks are due to the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA) and State Representative Dean Arp (R-Union) for their support of this critical legislation!

 

 

What a Government Shutdown Means for the Real Estate Industry

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As of midnight on December 21, 2018, the President and Congress were unable to agree on the provisions of a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government. As a result, a partial shutdown of some government operations has occurred. This partial shutdown includes some federal housing, mortgage, and other programs of interest to the real estate industry. A summary of the impact on selected agencies is provided below.

Continue reading

REBIC Board of Governors Meets with Charlotte Planning Team

rebic meeting 2Earlier this week, the REBIC Board of Governor hearing from Alyson Craig, Deputy Planning Director at the City of Charlotte. Alyson recently joined the City of Charlotte’s Planning Department from the UNC Charlotte Childress-Klein Center for Real Estate, where she spent 4 years running the University’s MSRE program. She previously worked as an Investment Associate with Grubb Properties, and has experience in land acquisition and site analysis for both commercial and residential real estate.

Alyson updated the Board on Charlotte’s Unified Development Ordinance, the Planning Department Reorganization, TOD Ordinance Revisions, and the Expedited Permitting Process.

REBIC will continue to stay engaged with City staff on all proposed changes and keep its membership updated on progress.

City Planners Release New Draft of TOD Ordinance

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The Charlotte Planning Department has released an updated draft of its new Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) ordinance, after hearing concerns from REBIC and other industry groups that the initial proposal was too restrictive. The new draft is still not complete — city planners are still working on additional sections that will be released with later drafts.

The four new proposed TOD districts have been renamed TOD-H1 (High Intensity), TOD-H2 (High Intensity – Transition), TOD-M1 (Moderate Intensity), and TOD-M2 (Moderate Intensity – Transition). Each district is described in greater detail beginning on Page 2 of the draft.

Planners will set up an online Comments form in the next few days where you will be able to provide your feedback on this draft. We’ll add this link to our Blog as soon as it becomes available.

The City is also hosting an information meeting on Transit-Oriented Development next Tuesday, August 14th at 6 p.m.  at the CLT Powerhouse, 1507 Camden Road. This is intended only to provide a general overview of TOD, but will be valuable for developers interested in learning about this land use type.

REBIC members and staff are in the process of reviewing the new draft, which will be discussed later this month at the City’s Ordinance Advisory Committee meeting.

You can learn more about the development of the TOD ordinance on the City’s website.