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Charlotte's New Planning Director Wants More Varied Development

Chris Miller

The Charlotte Planning Department is overseeing a major overhaul of the city’s outdated zoning regulations - they dictate the placement of everything from trees to sidewalks. On Charlotte Talks today, the city’s newly sworn-in planning director, Taiwo Jaiyeoba said many of the regulations date back to 1992.

"They’re outdated. They’re inconsistent. There are conflicts between them. Developers live with them - tolerate them - because they have no other choice," said Jaiyeoba.

Jaiyeoba says he hopes to improve the city’s design, while preserving the city’s culture. In particular, he wants to diversify the looks and visual appearance of the city’s developments. He also wants his department to take all measures to preserve the city’s tree canopy.

The planning director also evoked the fictional country of Wakanda, from the newly-released movie Black Panther.

“One thing I noticed about Wakanda was, you will see on one hand, people rearing goats and cows and living in mud huts, but on the other hand, you see flying cars and high-rise buildings,” he said, “So I took away from that, that it was a community that preserved the culture, but also was willing to embrace the new.”

This Saturday, the public will get a chance to weigh in at a public summit at UNC Charlotte’s center city campus. The department hopes to have the overhaul complete by 2020.

Listen to the full conversation with the planning director here.