Town of Huntersville Takes Steps to Reform Development Regulations
In the past few weeks, the Town of Huntersville has advanced a series of ordinance amendments and policy initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens on developers and streamline the subdivision approval process. The changes, which are supported by REBIC, will also help encourage redevelopment in the Town Center — a top priority for the Board of Commissioners — and allow subdivision sketch plans to be approved through administrative review.
Here’s a summary of the three key initiatives the Town is considering:
Changes to Open Space Requirements — Approved by the Board of Commissioners last month, this ordinance amendment gives developers more flexibility to meet the Town’s longstanding Open Space requirements for new subdivisions and commercial projects. A new ‘Common’ Open Space category has been added, and a wide range of typologies have been created for the Urban Open Space category, increasing the number of available compliance options.Most critically, the new amendment allows stormwater BMPs to be included in a development’s Open Space. REBIC supported this change, which will make it easier to land-plan complex, topographically challenging sites. You can review the Town’s redlined Open Space ordinance here. Stormwater Mitigation Fee — Modeled on an ordinance adopted by the City of Charlotte and supported by REBIC, this amendment would allow owners of small parcels and certain redevelopment sites to buy out of the Town’s costly on-site stormwater requirements by paying a pro-rated Mitigation Fee of $60,000 per acre on commercial & multifamily sites, or $45,000 per acre for single-family residential projects. The Town is hoping to encourage revitalization of its downtown, so the ordinance would be limited to redevelopment sites in the Town Center district.A public hearing on the ordinance was held September 5th, and a vote is expected in October. REBIC supports the Mitigation Fee ordinance, and will continue to advocate for its passage by the Board of Commissioners. You can review the proposal here. Administrative Approval of Subdivision Sketch Plats — Earlier this year, REBIC asked the Town’s Ordinance Advisory Board to consider allowing a Subdivision Sketch Plan or Conditional Zoning District with minor changes to be administratively reviewed and approved by staff, rather than going through the Planning Commission and Town Board, as is currently required. The Advisory Board reviewed the policy change last month, and will forward it to the Board of Commissioners in October. REBIC will continue to work with the Town on this amendment, which would save developers significant time in the plan approval process.