“Is planning like cooking?” and Other Great Questions

We introduced Charlotte Place Types/UDO to the community in late 2016 and continue the conversation each time someone Requests A Meeting.  If you’re interested in learning more about Charlotte Place Types/UDO, check out Request A Meeting under Get Involved on our home page.  Here are some recent highlights of people we’ve met and questions they’ve asked.

University Area Neighborhoods

February 15, 6 p.m.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, Sugar Creek Branch
4045 N. Tryon St.

University Area neighbors are curious about what kind of impact CATS’ LYNX Blue Line will have when it opens in 2018.  About 40 people attended the meeting and asked questions focusing on factors that may affect the timing of development.  While the light-rail line may be opening in 2018, its interaction with land use and urban design policies (Charlotte Place Types), and ultimately zoning (Unified Development Ordinance), will evolve into the future.

Planning staff noted the relationship between land use and transportation in a 20-minute presentation that introduced the audience to Charlotte Place Types (policies) and the Unified Development Ordinance (rules).  These are two parts of one effort: making sure our land use/design policies support our rules for development.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Youth Council

Feb. 21, 7 p.m.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center
600 E. 4th St.

“Is planning like cooking?  If building and street standards are your ingredients, then developers and residents can mix them together in a number of different ways.”

This was a great question and comment from one of 50 high school students learning about Charlotte Place Types/UDO during a presentation from Planning staff.  The Youth Council helps teens take an active role in learning how to solve challenges impacting Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, and growth/development is definitely worth learning about, as today’s teens will be part of Charlotte’s 1-million person city in the near future. (see below)

1_million_by_2040Today’s teenagers will live in much bigger city in the future, so it’s important for them to learn about and have a voice in their future.

policy_rulesMandy Vari (left) and Catherine Mahoney (right), Charlotte-Mecklenburg planners, explain the two main steps in planning – Policy (Charlotte Place Types) and Regulation (UDO)

During the 45-minute presentation and interactive game, students also asked questions including:  How does development happen?  Who do planners work with? Do planners only work with developers?  The Charlotte Place Types/UDO presentation noted that planners work with many different groups in the community, not just developers, and that good development happens when plans/policies are in place and zoning implements the intent of plans/policies.

kids_at_tableStudents play an interactive game, part of Meeting in a Box, to learn about how Charlotte Place Types inform the look and feel of different parts of our city.

Cherry Neighborhood Association

Feb. 27, 6 p.m.
Pleasant Hill Baptist Church
517 Baldwin Ave.

How will Charlotte Place Type relate to a fairly recent and detailed Area Plan?

This question came up as over 60 neighbors from Cherry asked about the Midtown Morehead Cherry Area Plan (2012) and how it would interact with Charlotte Place Types and the UDO.  This quarterly neighborhood meeting provided a great venue to start the community discussion on how Charlotte Place Types will update and enhance land use and urban design policies citywide.

kathy_cornettKathy Cornett (center), a Charlotte-Mecklenburg planner, introduces Charlotte Place Types and Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to the Cherry neighborhood.

More recent Area Plans like Cherry’s contain greater detail and direction, notably on urban design, so plans like it should not anticipate a lot of changes in the near future.  For areas of the city that have Area Plans over 10 years old (73% of City’s land area, see below), Charlotte Place Types aim to provide neighborhoods across the city with better detail and direction on both land use and urban design.