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Charlotte Unified Development Ordinance
Regulations To Guide Charlotte's Future Development
The Charlotte Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) is now in effect.
The adoption of the UDO was a city-wide effort to update the regulations that guide growth and development in Charlotte. The UDO combined eight development ordinances, including the zoning ordinance, into one set of regulations to make them clearer and easier to use.
Articles 1-2 of the Charlotte UDO is the Ordinance Introduction. These articles provide an overview of the purpose and scope of the UDO. It includes information on the applicability of the regulations, the state of emergency, and the effective date of the UDO. Additionally, it outlines the rules of construction, abbreviations, and definitions that are used throughout the UDO.
Articles 1-14 in the Unified Development Ordinance are categorized as “Zoning Districts and Overlay Articles.” These articles provide regulations for specific neighborhoods of the City to manage growth and redevelopment, ensure compatible neighborhood development, and preserve the existing character of a neighborhood. They also establish standards for residential areas, multi-family dwellings, townhouses, and open space requirements. The NCO Neighborhood Character Overlay is intended to create a transition between locally designated historic landmark properties and/or locally designated historic districts and residential areas. Penalties may be issued by the Zoning Administrator for violations of these regulations.
Articles 15-22 in the CLT UDO are categorized as “Usage & Development Standards”. This category includes general use regulations, a global use matrix, use definitions, prescribed conditions for principal and temporary uses, and prescribed conditions for accessory uses. It also includes general development zoning standards such as lot development restrictions, exterior lighting regulations, affordable housing development allowances, on-site open space requirements design, on-site pedestrian connectivity standards, and performance standards. Additionally, this category covers accessory structures with general standards for them.
Articles 23-28 in the CLT UDO are categorized as “Stormwater”. These articles cover definitions related to stormwater, drainage standards, post-construction stormwater regulations, surface water improvement and management (SWIM) buffers, and enforcement measures for non-compliance with stormwater regulations. The Stormwater Administrator is responsible for carrying out the powers and duties outlined in these articles. Additionally, the Stormwater Administrator must provide information and recommendations relative to variances and respond to appeals from the UDO Board of Adjustment.
The subdivision, streets, and other infrastructure articles (Articles 29-34) provide regulations for development activities within the City and its Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). They aim to create a network of well-connected streets and transit services that better serve all users by providing more equitable access to transit services and destinations. The articles also promote sustainable quality of life and economic development by providing increased transportation capacity for all modes and more user-friendly streets. Additionally, they secure rights-of-way or easements to accommodate necessary complete streets and other infrastructure while promoting the orderly division or consolidation of lots for development. Appeals, variances, inspections, and enforcement actions are subject to specific articles within this category.
The administration articles (35-39) in the CLT UDO provide information on the responsibilities and powers of various administrators, including the Zoning Administrator, Historic District Administrator, Stormwater Administrator, Floodplain Administrator, Chief Urban Forester, and Subdivision, Streets and Infrastructure Administrator. These articles also outline procedures for administrative adjustments and appeals.