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kermit

Planning in Charlotte

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The CBJ's current poll asks the question "is Charlotte zoning to restrictive or too leniant on developers." provide your input here:

http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/poll/poll/9433552?ana=e_du_pub&s=article_du&ed=2012-09-26

Even though I think I know where we will end up it seems like this question is worthy of some discussion.

My perspective: why bother to make detailed neighborhood plans if they are chronically ignored.

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The city needs to tighter and clearer controls. the city needs to rezone huge swaths of the city in my opinion. I know they rezoned a lot of land along South Blvd for the light rail, but the city needs to rezone everything from uptown to the Charlotte Route 4 road and allow for denser, non-suburban development within that boundary. I think also implementing a master plan of a street grid within the Charlotte Route 4 boundary is a good idea. This way when empty land or exiting neighbors get developed/redeveloped, the developers will have to follow the master plan for the road system.

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The city needs to tighter and clearer controls. the city needs to rezone huge swaths of the city in my opinion. I know they rezoned a lot of land along South Blvd for the light rail, but the city needs to rezone everything from uptown to the Charlotte Route 4 road and allow for denser, non-suburban development within that boundary. I think also implementing a master plan of a street grid within the Charlotte Route 4 boundary is a good idea. This way when empty land or exiting neighbors get developed/redeveloped, the developers will have to follow the master plan for the road system.

I agree that city codes should enforce the creation of a grid system to the extent practical. There are some areas where subdivisions may be the proper choice if the available land does not allow for the creation of the grid, but I would like to see the city do some major densification. Dense urban development makes so much more sense in the context of a city. Transit alternatives such as light rail will obviously be key in creating added density.

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The plans in Charlotte are to convert the CORRIDORS only to denser land use. You can't just decide that all of a 4mi radius is now open to high density. There are vast areas of some of our cities most charming pre-WWII neighborhoods that are highly walkable, stable communities and feed into and can support the densification and urbanization of the corridors. You don't want to just erase them, because we all know that the development community is not capability of replacing those neighborhoods with something that would be equally positive and liveable.

Instead, we know we have corridors that were once primarily (and declining) industrial and warehouse districts that have much more infrastructural support for denser development and transit. So by building transit in those corridors, correcting the grid, streetscaping the roads, and zoning properly, the city is allowing for NEW growth in urban development that does not erase neighborhoods that people love or have fond memories of over the last 100 years.

Even the land in those corridors are difficult for the development community to absorb. SouthEnd, Uptown, Midtown/Elizabeth has seen dramatic growth, but there are still vast areas that are underdeveloped or fallow that cannot be absorbed.

We all know that eventually development pressures will hit the old neighborhoods, but I'd rather see a concentration of the dense buildings along transit corridors than in the middle of Myer's Park.

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Like the "transect" concept of form-based codes, Charlotte could follow a gradient of density that implements its Centers-Corridors-Wedges Growth Framework. Uptown is a more intense Center than South Park, which is a more intense Center than Park/Woodlawn. However, a Wedge inside Route-4, like Myers Park, should also likely be more intense, than a Wedge outside, especially those closest to the Catawba River.

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