OneMECK Supports the adoption of the Unified Development Ordinance

To Mayor Lyles and City Council Members:

On August 22, 2022 City Council is scheduled to vote on adoption of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).  The UDO is the product of years of work by City Council supported by planning staff. We urge current City Council members to complete the work on the UDO and vote for adoption.  The new UDO, combined with policies under development by the Neighborhood Equity and Stabilization Commission and Charlotte Equitable Development Commission will guide our community toward forward thinking, equitable development for current and future generations.

The current zoning laws are comprised of multiple ordinances dating back many years. While adjustments and additional ordinances have been adopted over the years, these tactical changes do not adequately address future development and do not promote equitable, sustainable growth. With the UDO, our community will realize social and economic benefits from an integrated plan for development, and growth targeted for a better future.

The UDO is a smart, unified approach for future development that considers the needs of all Charlotteans.  A few of the key benefits:

  1. More comprehensible regulations. The UDO combines regulations and standards from eight (8) different development ordinances into a single comprehensive document, making the development process more efficient, while addressing the need for more sustainable and equitable housing for families.
  1. More accessible, affordable housing options. Demand for housing has increased redevelopment across Charlotte neighborhoods, often displacing families through gentrification, for example. By adding duplex/triplex/quadruplex housing, families will have access to more affordable options, mitigating housing price increases often associated with redevelopment. The UDO also ensures neighborhood preservation through Historic District and Neighborhood Character Overlays.
  1. More green spaces, less congested traffic patterns. The UDO is specifically designed to create more accessible and walkable neighborhoods, reducing the need for driving and, in some cases, purchasing a car. It also seeks to integrate development and transportation planning, serving high density areas with thoughtful mass transit services. The cost burden to put a “car centric” infrastructure in place impacts everyone. And retrofitting green space amenities after the fact is also expensive.

The need for the UDO is clear. The current Zoning laws are outdated and woefully inadequate given the rate of growth in Charlotte. The new UDO is based on a strategic growth mapping that will sustain Charlotte’s neighborhoods and promote equitable prosperity for families far into the future.

We ask for your vote in support of the UDO on August 22.  Thank you for your service to our community.

Justin Perry, Founder, OneMECK

Mike O’Sullivan, Chair, OneMECK Affordable Housing Committee