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Charlotte Mayor pushes back 2040 plan timeline as residents weigh-in

Updated: Mar. 23, 2021 at 12:13 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles announced the timeline for the 2040 Comprehensive Plan is being pushed back to address some of the most divisive parts of the document.

During a city council meeting Monday evening, more than 100 people signed up to voice their take on the plan. Originally, city staff would have incorporated the feedback into the plan for council approval in April.

Now, Mayor Lyles has pushed back the date to June 30th.

Opinions on the plan were largely split among residents, industry heads and neighborhood leaders who spoke during the meeting.

Some of the consistent themes during the meeting were also addressed by Mayor Vi Lyles in an email to city council members on Sunday announcing the delay of the plan.

  • Allowing duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes in areas where single family homes are currently zoned.
  • Impact fees and Community Benefit Agreements that currently aren’t allowed under state law.
  • “10 minute neighborhoods” that provide shopping and services within a short walk.
  • Conflicting policies in the 2040 plan and other city goals, such as the tree canopy.
  • Anti-displacement policies incorporated within the plan.

Read the entire 2040 Comprehensive Plan here and the executive summary here.

Some residents in favor of the 2040 plan said that being able to rent in a duplex in more exclusive neighborhoods helped their own career paths.

“Those duplexes and triplexes are another path to homeownership,” Meg Fencil said.

“If we don’t act boldly now our children may end up moving to the cities that will be bold,” David Lewis said.

A handful of residents from far east Charlotte said they would not support a plan for higher density without significant promises of improved infrastructure in their neighborhoods.

Real estate professionals and developers were widely in support of delaying approval of the plan.

Tim Sittema of Crosland Southeast, which is a partner with the city in on the Eastland Mall redevelopment project, was one of the sharpest speakers against the plan saying it would cost jobs and not help economically.

During a city council meeting two weeks ago, most council members cast doubt on the plan’s timeline after hearing from constituents who voiced concerns about the plan. Some of them said that voting on the plan less than a month after the public hearing session was not giving the feedback provided by residents enough credit.

Under the new timeline, Mayor Lyles said the council committees will review some of the main issues identified and that council members will host weekly virtual meetings to hear from people in the community.

“The goal is to have the elements of communications, engagement and governance resolved, and a recommendation on the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan before the full Council by June 30th,” Lyles wrote.

At the end of the meeting Lyles said that it was clear what people in the community were in opposition to about the plan.

“Now is the time to pivot to what you want to see,” Lyles said.

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