Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about the Charlotte Place Types and Unified Development Ordinance. We will continue to update the FAQs based upon comments and questions received through the website comment form and ongoing public engagements.


What is the Unified Development Ordinance project about and why is it important?
The Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) is a city-wide effort aimed at updating the policies and regulations that guide growth and development in Charlotte.

  • Regulations: The UDO will be the primary tool to implement Charlotte’s plans and policies through development regulations. It will combine multiple development ordinances, including the Zoning Ordinance, into one set of regulations.

What is a Unified Development Ordinance (UDO)?
A Unified Development Ordinance is a regulatory tool that combines zoning regulations, along with other desired land development regulations (such as subdivision, tree, floodplain, and erosion control regulations) into one comprehensive document.

What is zoning?
Zoning is a regulatory tool used by local governments to control the physical development of land and the types of land uses that may be put on individual properties; it is a primary regulatory tool for  governing building and development. The purpose of zoning regulations is to implement local land development polices expressed in adopted plans and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the larger community.

Zoning regulations are typically found in a Zoning Ordinance. The ordinance defines a number of zoning districts that are used within a community.  The official Zoning Map identifies the zoning district for each property.   When a zoning ordinance is combined with other development-related ordinances (ex. subdivision, tree, and stormwater), this document is typically called a Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).

Which land development ordinances will be included in the UDO?
The Charlotte UDO will combine the Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Ordinance, Tree Ordinance, Street and Sidewalk Regulations, Floodplain Regulations, Erosion Control Ordinance, and Post Construction Stormwater Ordinance into a single ordinance.

Will all the land development ordinances included in the UDO be updated or modified?
Seven land development ordinances will be combined into one single ordinance to create the Charlotte UDO (see FAQ No. 3 for more details). Some, but not all, of the ordinances included in the UDO, such as the Zoning Ordinance, will be comprehensively updated and other ordinances may be slightly modified to be consistent with development regulations included in other sections of the UDO.

Why update the Zoning Ordinance?
The current Zoning Ordinance does not adequately implement the community’s vision because existing zoning district regulations don’t always result in the desired forms of development or reflect today’s best practices.

How will the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) address Affordable Housing?
Our vision and guiding principles support affordable housing by encouraging a range of housing choices, including those that meet the needs of people with different incomes, ages, physical abilities and lifestyle preferences.  From a policy perspective, our research has shown that supporting a greater mix of housing types is key to providing more opportunities for affordable housing.

In developing the UDO, staff is exploring a number of ways to support affordable housing including providing incentives, removing regulatory barriers, and providing additional moderate and high density housing opportunities.

How can I get involved?
There are a number of opportunities to get involved. Be sure to sign up for updates and visit the Get Involved webpage for opportunities to take a survey, learn about upcoming events, or see what the community’s been saying about the project.