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New single family zoning policy considered as Charlotte council continues to debate 2040 plan

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 11:21 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A new version of the most controversial proposal in Charlotte’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan is starting to circulate among elected leaders . According to sources and councilmembers, the goal of the newly worded policy is to convince more councilmembers to end up supporting the plan during a final vote on June 21st.

The provision, known as policy 2.1, would allow duplexes and triplexes to be built in areas currently zoned for single family. The new version currently making the rounds among some councilmembers has some changes in language from the current version but would keep in place the possibility of building multi-family units in areas currently zoned for single family.

New Proposed Version: “Policy 2.1: End exclusionary zoning practices that further housing segregation and displacement, exacerbate sprawl, and drive up housing costs.

Allow single family, duplex and triplex units - as well as small-footprint homes and accessory dwelling units (ADUs) - within residential place types, subject to site development standards that will be specified within the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) including residential lot size; setbacks; scale; height; parking; number of units per lot; rules for -plex, accessory dwelling, and multifamily units, proximity to transit and amenities; and others.”

Current Version: Allow duplex and triplex housing units in all place types where single-family housing is allowed (subject to mapping of Future Place Types (Volume 2, Section V2.3), as well as metrics and measures in the Equitable Growth Framework (Section 1.2)) and site development standards specified within the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) including residential lot size, setbacks, scale, height, parking, and others .

This new language is still being developed and is likely to change before it is presented publicly.

WBTV spoke with Planning Director Taiwo Jaiyeoba following Monday night’s Charlotte City Council meeting about the newly proposed 2.1 policy. Jaieyoba quickly distanced himself from the new language.

“I did not develop this. No one in our staff developed it,” Jaiyeoba said.

Jaiyeoba would only say that a member of the Planning Commission brought the policy to their office for review.

The Planning Commission could decide to vote on the policy at their meeting next week and it would be sent to council for their final vote on the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

Councilman Greg Phipps said he is supportive of finding common ground on policy 2.1 so the final vote on the 2040 plan isn’t down to the wire.

“We’re still looking at it,” Phipps said.

“So it’s a possibility that we could have some language there that we could get more agreement on.”

During straw votes, Phipps initially voted against policy 2.1 before switching his vote during the next round. His swing vote advanced the policy in a narrow 6-5 vote.

Phipps said he is likely to support the final 2040 Comprehensive Plan regardless of whether any changes are made to 2.1

“I’m not going to sink a plan based on one little thing so I’m leaning toward supporting the plan,” Phipps said.

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