What is the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO)?

The Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) is a regulatory tool meant to guide future development so that it results in the types of community and places defined by the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan policies. The UDO will also be instrumental in implementing other City policies such as the Transportation Action Plan, the Urban Street Design Guidelines, and the Urban Forestry Master Plan.

Regulations from eight different development ordinances will be combined into a single comprehensive document. The UDO will consolidate and update regulations currently found in the City’s Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Ordinance, Tree Ordinance, Chapter 19 (Streets and Sidewalks), Floodplain Regulations, Erosion Control Regulations, Stormwater Regulations, and Driveway/Access Standards.


A few short-term initiatives were completed in 2019 ahead of the remainder of work on the UDO. These included revisions to the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) zoning districts and the subsequent rezoning of over 1,500 parcels along the Blue Line light rail corridor to one of the new TOD districts (TOD Alignment Rezoning No. 2019-102). In addition, the City’s sign regulations (Chapter 13) were revised, and a small but significant text amendment was approved to the Tree Ordinance, focused on allowing better integration of trees into urban sites.

In the coming year, as City staff drafts and refines the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan, the City’s UDO staff team will work with the UDO Advisory Committee to develop the various components of the Unified Development Ordinance. The first public draft of the complete UDO will be available by early 2021.