“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.



No Deadline to Help Us Out

Whether you’re meeting us In Person or Online, take a minute to fill out a questionnaire as part of our “Meeting In A Box” – a collection of information that you can explore to learn more about the UDO. It also includes two online tools for sharing your voice, the “What is this Place Type?” Questionnaire and the “What is your favorite place in Charlotte” interactive map.

The questionnaire had a January 30, 2017 deadline, but we’re now making the response period open-ended in response to community workshops planned for 2017.  More information on these will be coming soon.

Westover Hills meeting introduces Charlotte Place Types/UDO

How can planning address noise?  Who takes care of parks?

These were a couple of questions neighbors from Westover Hills asked planning staff during a presentation on Charlotte Place Types/Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). Noise can be addressed by zoning, requiring separation distances between residential and industrial uses.  Parks are maintained by Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation, but park and greenway land is often acquired through the City of Charlotte’s land development process.

Our conversation at Westover Hills’ monthly neighborhood meeting on January 10, 2017 is yet another way we’re reaching out to the community.  If your organization’s interested in learning more about Charlotte Place Types/UDO, check out Request A Meeting under Get Involved on our home page.

Here’s What We Heard

If you’re one of 159 people that recently attended Community Workshops or one one of 2,005 people that visited us online, thank you for your interest in the UDO. Check out our Photo Gallery for scenes from the Community Workshops.

These meetings, held across the city Nov. 29 – Dec. 15, 2016, started some important conversations between City staff and the community (click and zoom in on graphic below). Housing was a popular conversation topic, ranging from housing affordability to housing design in both historic districts and newly developing areas.

People shared their favorite places in a variety of formats including paper surveys at meetings and online via our “Meeting in a Box”.  This includes an interactive map where you can Share Your Favorite Place.

The community workshops and online exercises introduced Charlotte Place Types to the community, so our next step will be to start mapping these Place Types. Mapping Workshops are planned for Spring 2017 and more information on these will be coming shortly.