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Changes to single family zoning draw opponents to Charlotte City Council meeting

CHARLOTTE — Dozens of people called on Charlotte City Council on Monday night to strip the language out of an overhaul of development rules called the Unified Development Ordinance.

Opponents said that the plans will price more people out of some communities.

The proposal calls for changes that would allow more housing types to be built in areas that are currently designated for single-family homes.

The Charlotte City Council is considering allowing duplexes and triplexes to be built on all lots designated for single-family zoning, as long as covenants or homeowner association rules don’t apply.

It’s a hot-button issue that has bipartisan opposition on the council and has become a big topic in this month’s elections.

Opponents worry the change will accelerate gentrification with most of the new duplexes and triplexes being built in neighborhoods where residents are being priced out. The city hopes this will help increase housing supply and affordability.

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A representative from Habitat for Humanity told leaders she thinks it will help create more affordable housing.

“This flexibility in housing types can lead to more mixed-income developments and address gentrification that is happening in our neighborhoods right now,” said Laura Belcher with Habitat for Humanity.

Resident Anne Marie Peacock said city leaders have bigger problems to discuss.

“Instead of dealing with rising crime, a spiraling cost of living and a crumbling infrastructure, the council would rather pander to social engineers that allow politically connected developers to destroy the character of Charlotte’s single-family neighborhoods,” Peacock said.

Under the proposed rules, the sidewalls of the duplexes and triplexes can be a maximum of 20 feet.

Charlotte City Council will get the final draft of the policy on Aug. 15 and vote on Aug. 22.

(Watch the video below: Charlotte City Council approves $3.2 billion budget)