In response to complaints from City Council members, developers and neighborhood groups, Charlotte’s planning staff is proposing changes to how rezoning requests are handled. The changes, set to take effect in January, would modify the schedule for application submittal and review, with the goal of reducing case deferrals and expediting approval for smaller projects.
REBIC and several of our members have met on multiple occasions with planning staff to discuss the proposed changes and provide feedback. We voiced our concerns over the amount of detail that the City frequently requires when considering a rezoning case, from building design to site specifications that should more appropriately be addressed in development plan review. We’re also concerned with a proposal that would give staff the discretion to hold cases back when they feel they’re not ready to go to public hearing. Planning officials believe this will cut down on the number of case deferrals by ensuring a full staff review has been completed, and substantive issues addressed, before the case is heard before Planning Commission and City Council.
Some of the other changes being discussed include:
The current system allows for petitions to make it through the process in four months. But currently, only about half of the cases are actually getting through in that timeframe, while nearly 20% are taking longer than seven months to resolve. Much of the challenge is the sheer number of rezoning petitions being filed. In Fiscal Year 2015, 138 applications were filed — up from a total of 78 in 2011.
Most of the changes being discussed can be implemented by staff with no need for Council approval. REBIC will continue to work with planning officials to provide input on the proposed changes, and to ensure they result in a more streamlined review process for developers and property owners.
You can download a draft schedule of the new rezoning calendar HERE.BACK TO LATEST NEWS