CLT residents weigh in on 2040 plan as Monday hearing looms

Updated: Mar. 19, 2021 at 6:46 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - This Monday promises to be one of the most important Charlotte City Council meetings of the year. A long list of people are signing up to have their opinions heard about the city’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

Most controversially, the plan would allow duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes in neighborhoods that are currently only single family.

The 2040 plan started hitting some speed bumps two weeks ago when councilmembers were concerned that feedback from residents, developers and neighborhood associations wasn’t being reflected in the plan. In response the city set up listening sessions to hear what people had to say about the plan.

On a Thursday afternoon, real estate leaders, environmentalists and artists gathered virtually to tell city staff what they thought about the 2040 plan.

One of those people was Charles Breitbart.

One of the main big ideas of the plan is to allow duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes where single family is currently permitted, to make neighborhoods more affordable, more walkable and reduce segregation.

Breitbart says that already exists in his neighborhood.

“There are some things that need to be fixed,” Breitbart said.

“It’s something that the community can’t do, we’re relying on the city for that, and I’d be most happy to invite anybody that would like to come out here that we can share that with,” Breitbart said.

WBTV took him up on that opportunity.

Breitbart is President of the Park Ridge Homeowner’s Association. Park Ridge is right on the border between Charlotte and Pineville and has a mix of single family, duplexes and condos that we drove around to see.

“When you add all of that in there and multiple families, there are a lot of challenges that come about that also become challenges for code enforcement,” Breitbart said.

Some of that is parking. Multifamily units mean more people and often more cars. City ordinance doesn’t allow parking on front yards unless there’s gravel or asphalt but often that isn’t maintained too well.

Then there’s rental units that are often changing owners or tenants, and not always cleaning up what’s left behind, leaving clutter lining the street.

As Breitbart points out, there won’t always be an HOA to help oversee these issues because not every community can afford one.

“That’s the difference between them being able to live in the community and not,” Breitbart said.

Breitbart is hoping that council will delay passing the comprehensive plan to work out some of these issues. In the meantime, he’s inviting policy makers to come out and visit just like we did.

“It will give them an opportunity to take a peek into the future and get an idea of what they need to do and help our community at the same time as well as others,” Breitbart said.

The original timeline was for city council was to adopt the plan in April but there’s been significant pushback on whether that leaves enough time to incorporate people’s feedback. Expect discussions on Monday and over the coming weeks about a new timeline for how the comprehensive plan moves forward.

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