TREES IN THE UNIFIED DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE
How we incorporate trees in the Unified Development Ordinance is an important component of this project. City staff are working through 2021 to update and incorporate the City’s Tree Ordinance into the UDO. Changes to the trees article of the UDO will be informed by policy. In particular, the Tree Canopy Action Plan will supplement the policy direction in the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan.
2019 ADOPTED CHANGES TO TREE ORDINANCE
In 2019 City Council adopted changes to the Charlotte Tree Ordinance as an immediate UDO initiative. The adopted Tree Ordinance changes had a limited scope and focused entirely on urban zoned sites.
While an effective tool, the application of the Tree Ordinance standards to urban development can be challenging. The adopted changes, therefore, make the Tree Ordinance work better on these urban sites. Urban sites are those zoned: UMUD, MUDD, TOD, UR, NS, or any zoning district with a PED or TS overlay.
The adopted changes to the Tree Ordinance are:
- Codify flexibility – This amendment simply enacts the flexible administration of the Tree Ordinance that was already occurring. Consequently, we expect this change to provide greater transparency and predictability.
- Better integrate trees into urban sites – Urban-zoned sites have increased amounts of pedestrians and activity. Therefore, allowing more options to integrate trees on these sites provides valuable interactive and public trees.
- Result in no net loss of ordinance required trees – This was a guiding principle in drafting this text amendment.
TRACKING INNOVATIVE ORDINANCE APPROACHES
We want to know whether these changes make the intended impact. Therefore, as the City rolls out these new approaches, City staff will track their utilization and compare outcomes.
FUTURE COMMUNITY OUTREACH
As our draft of the article on trees in the Unified Development Ordinance advances, city staff will provide an opportunity for community dialogue. To ensure you are a part of that conversation, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org expressing your interest in future meeting notices.