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.

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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.

Charlotte Planning Department Launches Comprehensive Reorganization

The Charlotte Planning Department is undergoing a comprehensive reorganization, in an effort to streamline the development approval process and reduce the number of conflicts that arise between final rezoning and site plan review.

The initiative is moving forward even as Charlotte’s Unified Development Ordinance takes a step back, to allow staff to begin work on a Comprehensive Plan to guide the City’s growth over the next two decades.

Charlotte Planning Design Development - Reogranization Chart Continue reading

Mooresville Approves Mixed-Income Zoning Ordinance

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners earlier this month unanimously approved an ordinance to encourage Mixed-Income Residential development through by-right density bonuses and development fee refunds.

The ordinance, a product of the Town’s Comprehensive Housing Strategy, was approved after the Board heard supportive comments from members of the public, including both the Executive Director of the Mooresville Community Foundation and Madeline Keeter, REBIC’s Government Affairs Manager.

The voluntary program provides incentives for developers to include affordable units within new subdivisions. Developers using the ordinance can obtain a by-right increase in zoning density without a Conditional Use Permit as long as the total number of additional units yielded by the increase are priced for residents earning between 50% and 100% of Area Median Income (AMI), currently around $43,000 for a family of four. The ordinance would apply to the Town of Mooresville, as well as the ETJ.

REBIC supports Mooresville’s Incentive-based approach to producing more affordable housing, and looks forward to working with Town planners and elected officials to ensure it produces the desired results.