Homeowners concerned about Charlotte’s new UDO zoning changes

Some residents are concerned that the new zoning rules could impact property values.
Some residents are concerned that the new zoning rules could impact property values.
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 10:54 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Less than a week ago, the new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) went into effect throughout the City of Charlotte.

The UDO is a way for Charlotte to guide the city’s growth through rules and goals.

Leaders are examining updates to address duplexes and triplexes on some properties throughout the city.

As the city considers changes to the UDO, some homeowners are not satisfied with their homes being rezoned in the process. One homeowner reached out to WBTV about the issue.

Her home was zoned mixed-use, but the new changeover of a city ordinance now classifies it as being in a commercial zone.

“It’s not fair, you didn’t notify us, we never got a chance to voice our opposition to you zoning us as commercial property,” Ella Matthews said.

People living in her south Charlotte neighborhood feel wronged by the new UDO that took effect June 1.

“It leaves me concerned about my property value, resell value,” Matthews said. “It leaves me concerned, whether I choose to sell or keep my home.”

Matthews is worried the new ordinance is a step to rid her neighborhood of mostly affordable homes. With the new designation, she fears a developer will buy up the area and bulldoze the houses.

“It’s my understanding that property has no residential use in it and that it requires a 10-acre minimum to develop into a business campus, so that means all of our homes here have to disappear for that 10-acre requirement to be met,” she said.

WBTV asked Charlotte City Councilmember Ed Driggs about the likely cause of the rezoning change.

“There will be a lot of instances where maybe the details of a certain location weren’t taken into account,” he said.

Driggs believes UDO problems could be fixed through what’s known as an ‘alignment process.’

“The alignment process is going to create area plans, it’s going to look harder at the circumstances of individual locations and then make changes where necessary in order to be more sensitive to what exists there now,” he said.

While Councilmember Driggs believes it could be an error, Matthews is not convinced.

“I’m not confident it’s an error because I’ve called the planning office, I’ve gone twice and their response is, ‘it’s just how it is,’” she said.

Driggs encouraged constituents to speak up about the process if they believe there’s an error with the UDO.

He said the best approach is to reach out to the elected leaders in the area, whether in writing or by coming to a public comment meeting.

Related: Charlotte’s unified development ordinance goes into effect