2040 vision plan in flux as city leaders question single-family zoning changes

CHARLOTTE — Years of planning for Charlotte’s future are in flux after city council members asked for more time to consider it. The city staff has been working on a 2040 vision plan and unified development ordinance to guide Charlotte’s future. On March 1, at the Charlotte City Council meeting, councilmembers appeared to have cold feet about acting quickly, making the city’s desired approval of the plan in just a few weeks seem unlikely.

“I hope this is crystal clear to you that there is no path where this can happen in the 60 days,” Councilman Tariq Bokhari said.

The Charlotte City Council has planned an additional meeting in the upcoming weeks to discuss the plan. Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt pleaded to her colleagues to read it. The city of Charlotte has held numerous virtual meetings about the plan, and it has been published online since late October.

The city is set to have a public hearing on March 22, but the vote has been pushed back from April to June 30, sources told Channel 9′s Joe Bruno on Sunday.

“I agree with my colleagues. I think that there is a lot more work left to be done,” Councilman Matt Newton said.

>> Remember, you can watch our radar/newscasts anytime at home on Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV

One of the more controversial parts of the 2040 vision plan deals with single-family zoning the plan to allow duplexes, triplexes and, in certain cases, quadplexes, to be built in single-family neighborhoods. Quadplexes will be allowed if key city priorities are advanced like the inclusion of an affordable housing unit.

The more than 300-page plan deals with much more than single-family housing. But this aspect has got the most pushback from some groups and members of council. The 2040 plan hasn’t been on the radar of most Charlotteans, some council members argue. Councilman Ed Driggs predicted more people would be upset if they knew about the plan.

[SPECIAL SECTION: AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS]

“A single-family neighborhood is an American tradition,” Driggs said. “I think if we are setting our sights on single-family neighborhoods with the goal of breaking them up and making them include other types of housing, that is something very serious and is going to get more and more response from the public.”

The city touts numerous benefits of allowing single-family zoning to be more flexible. Diversity in housing allows a range of building types, increases affordable housing options, improves inequities and creates more inclusive neighborhoods. Duplexes and single-family homes coexist in numerous Charlotte neighborhoods, including Elizabeth and Dilworth.

“A lot of people want change, but a lot of people don’t want to be part of the change,” Councilman Braxton Winston said.