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Each week, WFAE's "Morning Edition" hosts get a rundown of the biggest business and development stories from The Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter.

Charlotte's proposed development rules are drawing some objections

Josh Olalde

The Charlotte Ledger business newsletter reports new objections have emerged to Charlotte’s proposed unified development ordinance. The ordinance is designed to overhaul the city’s development regulations to better guide future growth.

Charlotte City Council passed its 2040 comprehensive plan in June as a way to steer the city’s direction in the future, and the unified development ordinance is a huge part of that. A vote on the proposed rules, which were released in draft form more than a month ago, is set for next year.

But the draft is more than 600 pages and some people are just now digesting what’s actually in it, the Ledger’s Tony Mecia told WFAE’s Marshall Terry on this week’s installment of BizWorthy.

“I talked to a couple of builders and they were saying, first of all, they don't like the fact that nobody really knows what's in it and that there are some very specific things that are significant policy changes that really haven't come out — things related to the tree ordinance, floodplains, curb and gutter requirements,” Mecia said. “And they say a lot of these requirements are really going to drive up costs and make housing less affordable.”

There's a change that’s meant to protect Charlotte’s tree canopy that could surprise some homeowners, for example.

“One one new thing is the city is going to require if you have a large tree in your backyard and you want to take it down, you're going to need a permit for that,” Mecia said. “And the permit they're proposing is going to be a thousand dollars where, as of right now, they don't regulate trees in people's backyards. For the most part, you could just chop it down.”

Speaking of development, a new apartment tower will be built at the former site of Price’s Chicken Coop, a beloved restaurant that closed earlier this year. And it’ll be 30 stories tall.

“That’s a pretty tall building just down the street from the Lowe’s Design Center,” Mecia said. “It’s actually going to be probably around the same height as the Lowe’s building even though Lowe's is 23 stories, just because of the difference in ceiling heights on residential and office properties. They're going to wind up being pretty tall. Certainly, probably not the last building we're going to see coming up in South End.”

You can listen to the full BizWorthy segment above. Here’s a quick look at some other things Mecia and Terry covered this week.

  • There’s some more analysis on Charlotte’s changing identity as longtime institutions are replaced by new development. 
  • We talk about Charlotte vying to be the new home of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which recently announced it’s looking to move from Greensboro. 

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Marshall came to WFAE after graduating from Appalachian State University, where he worked at the campus radio station and earned a degree in communication. Outside of radio, he loves listening to music and going to see bands - preferably in small, dingy clubs.