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Charlotte City Council makes changes to 2040 plan, new single-family policy moves forward

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 11:05 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - During a marathon meeting Charlotte City Council voted to make changes to the controversial 2040 Comprehensive Plan, including the policy that would allow duplexes and triplexes in areas currently zoned for single-family housing.

Last week, council looked poised to vote the policy allowing multi-family units in all placetypes down, but Monday night Councilman Greg Phipps changed his vote, giving the majority to councilmembers who wanted to keep the proposed policy.

Councilwoman Victoria Watlington made a motion that would allow some single-family zoning within Charlotte. Watlington and other members made the argument that it does not have to be an all or nothing policy but Mayor Vi Lyles said passing it would be the status-quo.

Councilwoman Victoria Watlington proposed a policy that would grant one zoning district within...
Councilwoman Victoria Watlington proposed a policy that would grant one zoning district within the new UDO to allow single-family only.(WBTV)

The vote on Watlington’s substitute motion failed 5-6 with Phipps staying on the side of the original 2.1 policy.

The 2.1 policy was upheld and will be part of the 2040 plan if passed in June by city council
The 2.1 policy was upheld and will be part of the 2040 plan if passed in June by city council(WBTV)

The 2040 conversation turned hostile at one point. During the debate on Watlington’s motion Councilman Braxton Winston unloaded on Watlington and other members who had been speaking over Mayor Vi Lyles during the meeting.

“This has been very disrespectful and, I might get in trouble for this, but if you guys want to be mayor run for mayor. You guys have been disrespecting the mayor all night and for two weeks in a row. And this is incredibly wrong!” Winston said,

“That’s really rich coming from you of all people,” Watlington responded.

After the altercation council took a break from 2040 discussions to go through zoning hearings.

Councilmembers also made a number of other changes that could prove consequential.

A motion made by Councilman Ed Driggs to remove restrictions on block lengths passed. Driggs provided a scenario in which Amazon would want to build in Charlotte but would be prohibited.

Another motion made by Councilman Larken Egleston to remove height restrictions on Uptown buildings failed. Instead, an alternative motion that would tie height requirements to benefits such as affordable housing passed.

Council also passed a plan to conduct an “economic analysis prior to implementation” of the 2040 plan. However, it’s not clear yet exactly when that will take place.

All of this is contingent on the 2040 plan passing council at their June 21st meeting. City staff is scheduled to release a new draft of the plan on Wednesday. The planning committee will review the new draft on May 20th and city council on May 24th,

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