By Hunter Sáenz
March 2, 2021

In an effort to diversify neighborhoods, Charlotte leaders are discussing an ordinance that could reshape your neighborhood. Here’s what could be built next door.

It’s something you likely don’t care about until it impacts your neighborhood: zoning. However, Charlotte leaders are working on a plan that could transform 84% of neighborhoods in the city and they’re asking for your input.

The plan, called the Unified Development Ordinance, may not pull you in. Quite frankly, zoning is its own language that can be difficult to translate.

But it’s crucial to the shape of a city.

“In a lot of ways, it’s the most important thing that local government does,” Ely Portillo, assistant director of UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, said.

He’s studied and written about Charlotte’s rapid growth and development for years.

“It’ll change how our neighborhoods are shaped,” Portillo added. “It’ll change the city that our children grow up in.”

Under the UDO, single-family-only zoning would be eliminated.

“About 84% of the residential land in Charlotte is zoned for only single-family houses,” Portillo said.

In an effort to diversify and possibly make housing more affordable in every neighborhood, city staff wants to allow duplexes and triplexes to be built in current single-family home neighborhoods.

Read more