Thank you for a taking the time to visit our website to review our new DO (Development Ordinance). The Town has a vision that began with the rewrite of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, followed-up by the creation of three small area plans and finally the last piece of this puzzle is the DO, or rules that will be used to implement plans. If you have any questions please contact Lynne Hair, Planning and Zoning Administrator at 704-821-0315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the primary characteristics of this DO that makes it far superior to the conditional zoning process that has served us well over the last 10-12 years?
The new DO is tied to specific development plans (small area plans) that have been vetted by the Town and approved by Council. Because of the planning process we are now able to use the development agreement tool with developers to legally negotiate terms of development. This gives us time to think through issues and what conditions are necessary. The Conditional Zoning process requires that we do this on the fly at a council meeting, not giving use time to really think through the request. The development agreement process will also give us a tool to work with developers on contributing to necessary upgrades of associated off-site improvements, including infrastructure.
Can you give some specific examples of how existing developments could have resulted in higher quality if this DO been in place at the time?
This is difficult to answer, we haven’t had many commercial developments, and the new DO will allow us to produce developments that we haven’t seen before. The current DO does not allow mixed-use projects at all.
Why do developers need to have this adopted before they bring a project to us? What specifically are they seeing as the advantages of waiting for this DO rather than bringing it for conditional zoning now?
For several reasons. As stated above, we currently don’t have a zoning category that would allow mixed-use developments. For example, Moser’s project at Highway 74 and Stallings will be mixed-use, he cannot do under current regulations. Because the Town was going through a significant planning initiative, I asked property owners to be a part of the Comp Plan and Small Area Plan process, and to wait until new standards had been adopted by the Town. And in all fairness, some development is coming because the bypass is almost complete and has nothing to do with the new ordinance.
I do understand now that some uses will still require either a CUP or a conditional zoning process no matter what district they want to be in, but there are a number of uses allowed in some districts that just seem not to fit at all. For example – junked vehicle storage in SFR 1,2,3 and in MFT – or campgrounds for up to 21 days of occupancy in the TNDO district – or a warehouse in the TC district-- why we would allow those uses at all there? And there are lots of other examples. Ammunition and small arms (a Heavy Industrial classification) is allowed as use by right in the Town Center district as well as Millwork and Veneer – aren’t those manufacturing uses?
Agreed. We need to make sure the use table is correct. We can make changes to the table.
What will be the process now for a project that is a use by right? A Use with Special conditions?
It will still be an administrative process where preliminary plans are reviewed and approved by Planning and Engineering. If it falls within one of the small plan areas a development agreement will be required. This would be negotiated with staff and council.
Some areas appear to be zoned differently from how Council has responded to proposals recently – Starnes property on Stevens Mill denied for Meritage because Council wanted to preserve as R20 zoning- it’s now MU; Simpson/Union Power Property on Matthews Weddington still zoned for SFR 1? Is Trotter’s Office Park next to Fairfield Plantation (approved in 2006-7? ) On the map?
We attempted to pick up properties located within one of the small area plans and rezone to MU. On other properties the goal was to try and assign a zoning classification as close to the current zoning as possible.
We previously had 2 classes for Industrial but now only 1. Is there a reason for that?
We now have one industrial district and a Heavy Industrial Overlay district, requiring that the more intense, offensive uses have Council approval.
I need to understand the differences in different cell tower categories.
These were established and legislated by the State. The UDO follows state rules. We cannot regulate location, only aesthetics.
Who all on our staff meets the requirements for the Development Administrator? Does the town manager perhaps also have those credentials too?
The Planning Administrator would be the Administrator. There are checks and balances built in to the document that do not allow me to make decisions outside of the realm of the document as adopted by Council. Anyone that disagrees with the Planning Administrator's interpretation or decision can appeal to the Board of Adjustments.