Charlotte Postpones TOD Ordinance Hearing as Draft Undergoes Revision

Posted on February 12, 2019

The Charlotte planning department has postponed a public hearing for its new Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) zoning ordinance from February 25th to March 18th, as it revises the proposal to incorporate feedback from REBIC and other stakeholder groups.

While the updated draft isn’t scheduled to be released until the week of February 18th, it is expected to include an expanded menu of incentives to encourage developers to include affordable housing, make infrastructure investments, or participate in the City’s Minority, Women and Small Business Enterprises (MWSBE) program. The current draft only offers developers an opportunity to increase their building height, which REBIC cautioned could be of limited value to developers. In a letter to City staff last month, we encouraged the inclusion of incentives that would provide variances on building length, building articulation, or required open space.

Other elements of the TOD ordinance that raised concerns include:

  • Open space, garage placement, and perimeter buffer requirements for Townhomes.
  • The inability to request a building height variance in the optional TOD-EX distruct.
  • Active-use requirements on parking decks
  • A problematic requirement that finished floor elevations on interior spaces must meet grade along many building exteriors

While planning staff reworks the ordinance, the City’s Economic Development office, now overseen former Lincoln-Harris executive Tracy Dodson, is working on an economic impact analysis intended to ‘validate components of the bonus structure and specific design standards.’ The analysis will look at two prototype projects, including a high rise office building and a surface parked mid-rise apartment building.

REBIC appreciates the willingness of planning staff to consider our concerns with the OD ordinance, and looks forward to reviewing the revised draft upon its release.

Full details on the TOD ordinance, including the draft Text Amendment, are available on the City’s UDO website.

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