FAQ for Zoning Translation

What is the TOD Alignment Rezoning Initiative?

The City intends to proactively rezone parcels along the length of the Blue Line light rail corridor to one of four new Transit Oriented Development (TOD) zoning districts.

Why is the City rezoning this property?

The City is being proactive to ensure that the zoning for properties along the Blue Line is consistent with the type and form of development recommended in City Council-adopted station area plans. The new TOD districts will encourage and enable the development of moderate to high-intensity, compact, mixed-use urban neighborhoods near transit stations where people can live, work, shop, dine, and pursue cultural and recreational opportunities while enjoying a range of mobility choices.

How many parcels will be rezoned?

There are almost 2,000 separate parcels totaling over 2,200 acres proposed for rezoning.

When will the rezoning take place?

The rezoning is currently scheduled for a decision by Charlotte City Council in October, after a September public hearing.

How was the proposed district for my property determined?

A number of factors were considered in determining recommended zoning districts, including market conditions, walk distance from a transit station, proximity to single family residential zoning, and area plan policies for height. What this means for your property

What are the benefits of the new zoning for property owners?

The new TOD zoning provides flexibility in uses by creating broader use categories, and it creates more by-right development entitlements with less process and more predictability.

How will the new TOD zoning affect what I can do in the future?

New development, such as construction of a new principal building or demolition and new construction, is subject to all applicable requirements of the TOD district.

How will the new TOD zoning affect my existing building?

As of the effective date of rezoning to TOD, all legally established existing principal structures, signs, parking lots, and parking garages are considered legally nonconforming or grandfathered in regard to the dimensional and design standards of the TOD District that they may not currently comply with. Once the principal structure or parking structure is demolished, this legally nonconforming status is null and void.

How will this affect the market value of my property?

We believe that there are many benefits to the new districts for property owners and, because each site is different, suggest that property owners speak with a real estate expert for more information.

My building is legally nonconforming. Can I add on?

Yes, but the addition would have to meet some or all of the development standards of the TOD district, depending on the size of the addition.

What about renovations?

Renovations are allowed. However, alterations to legally nonconforming structures cannot increase the structure’s nonconformity.

How will the new TOD zoning affect the uses in my building? Can my existing business continue to operate?

A legally established nonconforming use of land or buildings may continue to operate. Normal repair and maintenance may be performed to allow the continuation of a nonconforming use.

Can I expand my use if it is not allowed in my new TOD district?

A one-time expansion of a nonconforming use is permitted that increases the square footage devoted to such nonconforming use by no more than 10% of the area or 1,000 square feet, whichever is greater.

Can I change the use of my property?

A legally established nonconforming use of a structure may be changed to another nonconforming use of the same or lower intensity, or to a conforming use. Additional information and owner feedback

Where can I get more information?

There is additional information on the project website www.charlotteudo.org. You may also email any specific questions or comments to CharlotteUDO@CharlotteNC.gov or call the Planning, Design & Development Department (704-336-2205) and ask to talk with a staff person about the TOD alignment rezoning.

I want to provide feedback on the proposed rezoning. How can I do that?

There is a comment form that you can fill out tonight, or you can go to the project website and fill out an online comment form.

How will staff use my feedback?

Staff will review each comment and provide a response before to the September public hearing.

Will I receive more information prior to the decision about rezoning my property?

Yes, when the public hearing has been set, you will receive mail notice about the hearing date.

What does “by-right” mean?

“By-right” simply means that anything allowed by the current zoning regulations, such as a specific use or a permitted building height, may be developed or built without seeking any additional permissions such as a rezoning or a variance.

How does one get the height bonus on new development?

Additional building height in excess of the permitted maximum height may be achieved through a development bonus point system. Bonus points are earned through actions that provide a community benefit, such as affordable housing, environmental benefits, or transportation improvements.

What constitutes affordable housing?

An affordable rental housing unit must have a monthly rent that does not exceed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Market Rents and Area Median Income (AMI) - adjusted for household size. The 2019 AMI in Charlotte is $55,300 for a single-person household and $79,000 for a four-person household.

What if my redevelopment doesn’t include housing - how can I get the height bonus?

If a development project does not include residential units (for example, an office building), it may still earn affordable housing development bonus points by providing affordable housing within one-half mile of the development, or by donation of land to be used for the development of affordable housing, or by paying a fee-in-lieu to the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which will be used to develop affordable housing.