kermit

Unified Development Ordinance

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Jaiyeoba has proposed that the city ‘pause’ UDO development so it can develop a vision plan first — the hope being that a defined vision would make the change needed in the UDO more palatable to residents (it would also help sell a big transit bang). He suggests that would delay the UDO by about 6 months.

http://plancharlotte.org/story/hit-‘reset’-udo-and-find-vision-planning-director-says

While I think the UDO should be done yesterday, this extra step does seem fundamentally necessary to me. This delay is certainly an  example of why its a bad idea to go 2+ years with only interim planning directors.

A second, sorta related, Plan Charlotte article discusses a Millennial vision plan for the city created by some UNCC architecture students. Lots of word clouds and broad concepts, but kinda interesting nonetheless. I am a bit gobsmacked that (according to the first word cloud) “Horse Tracks” are considered to be more important than “Decent Schools”. 

http://plancharlotte.org/story/charlotte-vision-plan-millennials

Edited by kermit
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1 hour ago, kermit said:

While I think the UDO should be done yesterday, this extra step does seem fundamentally necessary to me. This delay is certainly an  example of why its a bad idea to go 2+ years with only interim planning directors.

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Could not agree more.  

A lesson to learn from this is in Buffalo NY.  They spent years on their UDO (GreenCode) only to have a couple of late minute (last few months of a 5+ year process I think) changes that now are coming home to roost.  The biggest issue I have seen is the UDO has placed some strict restrictions on building height that has stunted some development...in a region where new development is few and far between.  

My dream is that the vision is simply an extension of the Centers Corridors and Wedges framework that was adopted in 2010.  What I think the city should do is build an interactive website that sits on top of Google Maps or similar that shows the expectation for growth in 10-year increments.  With tools like Sketch they could show buildings massing and orientation along the Centers, Corridors and Wedges.  For example, show what Elizabeth is supposed to look like in 2020, 2030, 2040 and beyond.  Allow all residents to see not only what the city sees as the future for their neighborhood but the future for the city as a whole.  Create an overlay of this map with anticipated transit options and a layer for density.  This might come as a shock to many of course, but not to those who actually look at the city as a whole rather than the view from our front door.  I think it would be a good and necessary conversation to have.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, kermit said:

Jaiyeoba has proposed that the city ‘pause’ UDO development so it can develop a vision plan first — the hope being that a defined vision would make the change needed in the UDO more palatable to residents (it would also help sell a big transit bang). He suggests that would delay the UDO by about 6 months.

http://plancharlotte.org/story/hit-‘reset’-udo-and-find-vision-planning-director-says

While I think the UDO should be done yesterday, this extra step does seem fundamentally necessary to me. This delay is certainly an  example of why its a bad idea to go 2+ years with only interim planning directors.

A second, sorta related, Plan Charlotte article discusses a Millennial vision plan for the city created by some UNCC architecture students. Lots of word clouds and broad concepts, but kinda interesting nonetheless. I am a bit gobsmacked that (according to the first word cloud) “Horse Tracks” are considered to be more important than “Decent Schools”. 

http://plancharlotte.org/story/charlotte-vision-plan-millennials

This is interesting. Many don't even know the different between a Vision Plan, and what it was they were already doing! I admit even i am just nodding my head because it seems logical, and indeed anything that will help people calm down over change is much needed.

The other week, the Town of Matthews posted an event on their Facebook of a "town hall" where residents were invited to share their vision for Matthews.

The common refrain in the comments were: "Stop the building!", "Preserve the little that is left!", and "Stop adding more residents to the congestion issues!"

It boggles my mind how any government agency can move things forward in any forward-thinking manner when the very mechanisms of the 20th/21st Century that built the very places these people want to preserve for themselves (suburbs)  are the things that have caused citizens to have such a skewed view of what our human habitat should look like in the first place.

Edited by SgtCampsalot
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I know everybody want to get the UDO 'right' but people are gonna be pissed regardless of the UDO's final form -- we just need to pull the damn trigger. These delays are getting ridiculous (but at least we will get a 2040 plan which should be aligned with neighborhood plans) out of the deal.

Quote

And because developing a 2040 plan will take at least two years to formally adopt, the UDO timeline will subsequently be affected. Jaiyeoba predicted the UDO could be adopted six months or so after the completion of the plan, which would put UDO adoption at mid-2021 at the earliest.

https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2018/05/29/charlotte-planning-director-looks-to-create.html

Edited by kermit
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1 hour ago, kermit said:

I know everybody want to get the UDO 'right' but people are gonna be pissed regardless of the UDO's final form -- we just need to pull the damn trigger. These delays are getting ridiculous (but at least we will get a 2040 plan which should be aligned with neighborhood plans) out of the deal.

https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2018/05/29/charlotte-planning-director-looks-to-create.html

Wow

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On 5/3/2018 at 9:36 AM, cjd5050 said:

Could not agree more.  

A lesson to learn from this is in Buffalo NY.  They spent years on their UDO (GreenCode) only to have a couple of late minute (last few months of a 5+ year process I think) changes that now are coming home to roost.  The biggest issue I have seen is the UDO has placed some strict restrictions on building height that has stunted some development...in a region where new development is few and far between.  

My dream is that the vision is simply an extension of the Centers Corridors and Wedges framework that was adopted in 2010.  What I think the city should do is build an interactive website that sits on top of Google Maps or similar that shows the expectation for growth in 10-year increments.  With tools like Sketch they could show buildings massing and orientation along the Centers, Corridors and Wedges.  For example, show what Elizabeth is supposed to look like in 2020, 2030, 2040 and beyond.  Allow all residents to see not only what the city sees as the future for their neighborhood but the future for the city as a whole.  Create an overlay of this map with anticipated transit options and a layer for density.  This might come as a shock to many of course, but not to those who actually look at the city as a whole rather than the view from our front door.  I think it would be a good and necessary conversation to have.  

 

 

I like the idea of using Centers Corridors and Wedges as a starting point, but I think that the Centers need to be re-evaluated and fine-tuned.  There are a lot of Centers in the prosperous South Wedge , and not a lot in the  East or West .  It kind of smells like it was conceived  through an anglo-centric lens.

Edited by archiham04
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14 minutes ago, archiham04 said:

I like the idea of using Centers Corridors and Wedges as a starting point, but I think that the Centers need to be re-evaluated and fine-tuned.  There are a lot of Centers in the prosperous South Wedge , and not a lot in the  East or West .  It kind of smells like it was conceived  through an anglo-centric lens.

The framework was originally introduced in 1994 and Charlotte was half the size it is today.  The reason why the corridors are where they are is that that's where the people were at the time.   Nothing to do with an anglo-centric lens but you're free to protest somewhere about this I suppose.  

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20 minutes ago, archiham04 said:

I like the idea of using Centers Corridors and Wedges as a starting point, but I think that the Centers need to be re-evaluated and fine-tuned.  There are a lot of Centers in the prosperous South Wedge , and not a lot in the  East or West .  It kind of smells like it was conceived  through an anglo-centric lens.

It's true, there are arguably far more "centers" in the east side (and west side, if you're talking ratio) than in South Charlotte, because there's actually more remnants of old rural structures, or at least early suburban development, that wasn't so large-scale subdivision/strip mall.

Also, it can be tempting to think that commercial strip are automatically the Centers of an area, but sometimes a humble intersection with unique existing conditions would serve as a center better.

At least that's my observation

Edited by SgtCampsalot
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24 minutes ago, cjd5050 said:

The framework was originally introduced in 1994 and Charlotte was half the size it is today.  The reason why the corridors are where they are is that that's where the people were at the time.   Nothing to do with an anglo-centric lens but you're free to protest somewhere about this I suppose.  

I didn't realize that East and West Charlotte were developed in the late 1990s.  They look like older neighborhoods.

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26 minutes ago, archiham04 said:

I didn't realize that East and West Charlotte were developed in the late 1990s.  They look like older neighborhoods.

It's a projected growth framework not a census.....

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One comment I will add is that I participated in the City's UDO Summit a couple months ago and I'm totally excited that they seemed to be seriously considering two (2) of my (as well as my groups) suggestions.  First was on increasing maximum building heights permitted in TOD-A and second (maybe more importantly to give developers more flexibility) was to increase the designated TOD-A areas to within a 1/2 Mile Radius of Transit stations in lieu of a 1/4 mile radius.

Anyway we'll see what comes if it.  I do believe the Vision Plan is important too.

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2 hours ago, Spartan said:

It's always amazing to me that people don't want change... It's highly hypocritical to move here and then try to argue that everyone after you is the problem. I do have some sympathy for the long timers, but it seems to me that their time would be better spent arguing for higher quality development and better infrastructure to deal with the growth.

Can I get a  AMEN! Preach!

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12 hours ago, Spartan said:

 It's highly hypocritical to move here and then try to argue that everyone after you is the problem. I do have some sympathy for the long timers, but it seems to me that their time would be better spent arguing for higher quality development and better infrastructure to deal with the growth.

Have you been stalking my HOA Facebook page???

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On 6/13/2018 at 7:26 AM, tozmervo said:

Have you been stalking my HOA Facebook page???

Nah. It's easy to spot a flawed approach. I've lived here long enough the Charlotte way. Move to town, tear down the things that made you want to move here in the first place, and then complain about it when the next round of people do the same thing.

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On 6/12/2018 at 4:18 PM, Spartan said:

Stopping growth is not an option, though. I mean, they can try if you want, but it won't solve anything. The growth with just go somewhere else and your city won't be able to leverage any benefits out of it. It's always amazing to me that people don't want change... It's highly hypocritical to move here and then try to argue that everyone after you is the problem. I do have some sympathy for the long timers, but it seems to me that their time would be better spent arguing for higher quality development and better infrastructure to deal with the growth.

This was the story of Davidson and its ETJ.   The quality growth they wanted was working too well.  By creating such a great place, the demand increased even more.  Then somehow, in the last 10 years, things began going backwards. There is still a lot of fight in us 'oldtimers', but developers are unstoppable.  Lawsuits pop up, people with vested interests run for office,  farmers get persuaded to sell, etc.  On top of it all,  just outside the old ETJ cookie cutter subdivisions are popping up like wild fire with the big selling point being their proximity to Davidson.  So, yes, the growth will move elsewhere.... but with a small caveat, it won't move that far away.

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Its just a resolution but its interesting that this was passed unanimously. Making Charlotte a low carbon city is certainly going to require a radical rethink on parking, landuse  and transit. The place to start is the UDO.

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2 hours ago, kermit said:

Its just a resolution but its interesting that this was passed unanimously. Making Charlotte a low carbon city is certainly going to require a radical rethink on parking, landuse  and transit. The place to start is the UDO.

Time for the NCGA to step in and block it for reasons

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Austin's zoning ordinance re-write seems to have been dropped by the Mayor recommending starting completely over after a divisive process.

CodeNext to code nixed: Adler, council members abandon code rewrite

Strong Towns' commentary:

Quote

Urbanists wanted more density. Historic preservationists wanted to protect neighborhood character more. Both groups hated Austin TX's CodeNext—and now, it's officially dead in the water.

Our take on why CodeNext failed is a little different: massively overhauling your zoning plan to accomplish all your dreams for your city at once is no way to build a Strong Town. Let's hope that this has cleared the way for a fresh, incremental approach.

Could Charlotte's (ie: Director Joyeba's) decision to focus on a Vision Plan, and then next steps, be seen as a prudent incremental approach? I think so and hope so.

Edited by SgtCampsalot
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What's everyone's opinion on the New Draft TOD Areas?  H1, H2, M1, M2?

IMHO - I think that the maximum Permitted Building heights (by right and without bonus) are too low for the H1 and M1 Designations.  I think there can be middle ground found so Developers have a little more flexibility.   My vote is 200' (w/o bonus) for H1 and 150' (w/o bonus) for M1.

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My father mentioned something the other day that has stuck with me... he said, "You know, all these planners want you to build like things were built when there was no zoning.  It makes you wonder why they are trying to make a plan to replicate a time when there was no plan."

Edited by archiham04
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On 8/16/2018 at 1:26 PM, Hushpuppy321 said:

What's everyone's opinion on the New Draft TOD Areas?  H1, H2, M1, M2?

IMHO - I think that the maximum Permitted Building heights (by right and without bonus) are too low for the H1 and M1 Designations.  I think there can be middle ground found so Developers have a little more flexibility.   My vote is 200' (w/o bonus) for H1 and 150' (w/o bonus) for M1.

I'm working on, in collaboration with Sustain Charlotte, an update article on H1,H2,M1,M2. I agree on the height comments, but most importantly, they are still giving developers too high of parking maximums. I've talked to numerous developers who say they NEED those parking requirements to get financing. I say bullcrap, I doubt anyone will balk at cutting tens of millions from the cost of a building, and at the concept of not building in Charlotte because requirements are too strict. People want to build here, so developers will be able to leverage financiers using the guidelines. 

 

Edited by ricky_davis_fan_21
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I will add to the voices of the developers you are talking to - lenders (& tenants) need parking.  Its unfortunate but the truth.  1.5 / dwelling and 2 / 1,000 SF seem reasonable (could get away with lowering the latter MAYBE) but setting a maximum any lower than that is constraining the market.  You might be able to save $$$ on the front end but if you can't lease the building (one of the first questions tenants ask is how much parking) you can't make any $$ on the back-end.  

Totally agree on the height issue.  Really should be unlimited within 1/4 mi. only exception being height lines from adjacent resi.  Edit:  looking at the draft ordinance I like how there is an incentive system for height (good behavior on uses = more height) but the base or incentive values could be higher not sure what the implied max would be.

Edited by EllAyyDub

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1 hour ago, archiham04 said:

My father mentioned something the other day that has stuck with me... he said, "You know, all these planners want you to build like things were built when there was no zoning.  It makes you wonder why they are trying to make a plan to replicate a time when there was no plan."

There were no cars then...

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