Article  
18
Article 18. Architectural Features
Article  
18
Download PDF
contents-18

Article 18. Architectural Features

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The most recent text amendment to the UDO is still being posted to this page. Please refer to the PDFs available for download at the top of each article for the most updated version of the UDO.

18.1 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

  1. The specific architectural features in this section are permitted but not required. All such features shall be constructed in accordance with the requirements of this section.
  2. Where architectural features might extend into the right-of-way, prior review and approval by the Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT), the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), or other relevant agencies is required. Adherence to the design requirements of this section does not imply approval through an encroachment agreement.
  3. Architectural features shall not obstruct driveways that serve as access for service and emergency vehicles.
  4. All trees shall be protected from encroachment of architectural features to the greatest extent practicable.
  5. When in the fully opened position, any building doors shall maintain a minimum clearance of two feet from the back of any abutting sidewalk or path.
  6. An architectural feature shall not obstruct any pedestrian facilities.

18.2 ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES: SINGLE-FAMILY, DUPLEX, TRIPLEX, QUADRAPLEX, AND MULTIFAMILY ATTACHED

  1. Applicability
    The regulations of this section for architectural features apply only to the following dwelling types, including when such dwellings are part of a cottage court or multi-dwelling development:
    1. Single-family
    2. Duplex
    3. Triplex
    4. Quadraplex
    5. Multi-family attached
  2. Architectural Features and Permitted Extension into Required Setback
    1. Table 18-1: Permitted Architectural Features and Extensions for Specific Dwelling Types lists the permitted architectural features for the specific dwelling types in item A above.
    2. An architectural feature may extend into a required frontage, side, or rear setback in accordance with Table 18-1.
    3. Certain portions of the required rear setback for a single-family, duplex, triplex, or quadraplex dwelling may be utilized for unheated spaces of the principal structure, such as attached garages, porches, decks, balconies, greenhouses, and utility room extensions, in accordance with the following restrictions:
      1. No such extension shall encroach into the rear setback more than 25% of the depth of the required rear setback.
      2. No such extension shall be more than 50% of the width of the dwelling at the rear building line.
    4. Additional extensions into the required rear setback are regulated in Table 18-1.
    5. For the dwelling types specified in this section, no architectural feature may encroach into the public right-of-way.

Table 18-1: Permitted Architectural Features and Extensions for Single-Family, Duplex, Triplex, Quadraplex, and Multi-Family Attached Development

Permitted Architectural FeaturesMaximum Extension Allowed into Required Frontage SetbackMaximum Extension Allowed into Required Side SetbackMaximum Extension Allowed into Required Rear SetbackAdditional Regulations
Accessibility RampNo limit on extension but may not obstruct pedestrian facilitiesNo limit on extension but may not obstruct pedestrian facilitiesNo limit on extension but may not obstruct pedestrian facilities
Awning or Sunshade3’3’3’
BalconyNot permittedNot permittedSee Section 18.2.B.3
Bay Window2’Not permitted2’
BreezewayNot permittedNot permittedNo limit on extension but may not encroach within 3’ of a side or rearproperty lineSection 18.2.C.1
Chimney2’2’2’
Deck8’Not permittedSee Section 18.2.B.3Section 18.2.C.2
Exterior StairwayNot permittedNot permitted3’
Porch, Unenclosed4’Not permittedSee Section 18.2.B.3Section 18.2.C.4
Sills, Belt Courses, Eaves, Cornices, and Ornamental Features3’3’3’Section 18.2.C.5
Steps and Stoops4’2’4’Section 18.2.C.6
  1. Architectural Feature Additional Regulations
    Certain architectural features in this section shall be subject to the following additional regulations:
    1. Breezeway
      1. Breezeways shall be located to the rear or side of the principal structure.
      2. The width of a breezeway shall not exceed eight feet between structural supports.
      3. Breezeway height is limited to 12 feet.
    2. Decks
      If there is an off-street public path or shared use path along the frontage, the deck entry shall be set back at least six feet behind the path.
    3. Porch, Unenclosed
      If there is an off-street public path or shared use path along the frontage, the porch entry shall be set back at least six feet behind the path.
    4. Sills, Belt Courses, Eaves, Cornices, and Ornamental Features
      Sills, belt courses, eaves, cornices, and ornamental features shall maintain a minimum vertical clearance of 9 feet.
    5. Steps and Stoops
      1. A stoop shall remain open on all sides except those along an exterior wall to which it is attached.
      2. The maximum width of a stoop shall be eight feet.
      3. If there is an off-street public path or shared use path along the frontage, steps shall be set back at least six feet behind the path.

18.3 ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES: MULTI-FAMILY STACKED, MIXED-USE, AND NONRESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT

  1. Applicability
    The following regulations for architectural features apply to multi-family stacked, mixed-use, and nonresidential developments.
  2. Architectural Features and Permitted Extension into Required Setback
    1. Table 18-2: Permitted Architectural Features and Extensions for Multi-Family Stacked, Mixed-Use, And Nonresidential Development lists the permitted architectural features for multi-family stacked, mixed-use, and nonresidential developments.
    2. An architectural feature may extend into a required frontage setback, required rear setback, and/or required side setback in accordance with Table 18-2.
    3. No architectural feature may encroach into the public right-of-way unless specifically allowed by Table 18-2.

Table 18-2: Permitted Architectural Features and Extensions for Multi-Family Stacked, Mixed-Use, And Nonresidential Development

Permitted Architectural FeaturesMaximum ExtensionAllowed into Required Frontage SetbackMaximum Extension Allowed into Required Side SetbackMaximum ExtensionAllowed into Required Rear SetbackAdditional Regulations
Accessibility RampNo limit on extension but may not obstruct pedestrian facilitiesNo limit on extension but may not obstruct pedestrian facilitiesNo limit on extension but may not obstruct pedestrian facilities
Arcade, Gallery, or ColonnadeNot permittedNot permittedNot permittedSection 18.3.C.1
Awning or SunshadeUp to a distance of 4’ from the future back of curb along a street; cannot encroach along non-street frontagesNot permittedNot permittedSection 18.3.C.2
Balcony4’; cannot encroach above any portion of pedestrian facilitiesNot permitted4’Section 18.3.C.3
Bay WindowLocated on upper floors: 4’; cannot encroach above pedestrian facilitiesNot permitted4’Section 18.3.C.4
CanopyUp to a distance of 4’ from the future back of curb; cannot encroach into any portion of a pathNot permittedNot permittedSection 18.3.C.5
Chimney2’2’2’
Deck4’; cannot encroach into a sidewalk or pathNot permitted4’Section 18.3.C.6
Exterior StairwayNot permittedNot permittedNot permitted
Porch, Unenclosed4’; cannot encroach into any portion of pedestrian facilitiesNot permitted4’Section 18.3.C.7
Sills, Belt Courses, Eaves, Cornices, and Ornamental Features3’3’3’Section 18.3.C.8
Steps and Stoops4’; cannot encroach into any portion of pedestrian facilities2’4’Section 18.3.C.9
  1. Architectural Feature Additional Regulations
    Certain architectural features in this section shall be subject to the following additional regulations:
    1. Arcade, Gallery, or Colonnade
      1. An arcade, gallery, or colonnade is considered to meet a required build-to zone
      2. The vertical clearance of an arcade, gallery, or colonnade shall align with the height of the first floor.
      3. A horizontal clearance of at least eight feet shall be maintained between columns/piers and between columns/piers and the building facade.
      4. If there is a public path or shared use path along the frontage, the arcade, gallery, or colonnade shall be set back at least six feet behind the path and no encroachment into this six-foot width is permitted.
ARCADE, GALLERY, OR COLONNADE
    1. Awning or Sunshade
      Awnings and sunshades shall have a minimum vertical clearance of nine feet.
 AWNING OR SUNSHADE
    1. Balcony
      Balconies shall maintain a minimum vertical clearance of 12 feet from grade.
 BALCONY
    1. Bay Window
      Bay windows are prohibited at the ground floor.
BAY WINDOW
    1. Canopy
      1. Canopies shall have a minimum vertical clearance of nine feet.
      2. A horizontal clearance of at least eight feet shall be maintained between canopy supports and between canopy supports and any building facade.
 CANOPY
    1. Deck
      1. A deck is considered to meet a required build-to zone
      2. If there is an off-street public path or shared use path along the frontage, the entry to the deck shall be set back at least six feet behind the path.
    2. Porch, Unenclosed
      1. A porch is considered to meet a required build-to zone
      2. If there is an off-street public path or shared use path along the frontage, the entry to the porch shall be set back at least six feet behind the path.
    3. Sills, Belt Courses, Eaves, Cornices, and Ornamental Features
      1. Sills, belt courses, eaves, cornices, and ornamental features shall maintain a minimum vertical clearance of 9 feet.
    4. Steps and Stoops
      1. A stoop shall remain open on all sides except those along an exterior wall to which it is attached.
      2. The maximum width of a stoop shall be eight feet.
      3. If there is an off-street public path or shared use path along the frontage, steps shall be set back at least six feet behind the path.