Welcome to the Planning Department homepage. By clicking on the tabs at the top of this page you can find updates about the work underway, how to contact us, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions. On the left side of this page is a list of relevant and major topics related to the department’s work. This includes the tools needed to: File a building permit (Submit a Permit); research a parcel or project (Maps & GIS, Planning Ordinance, Development Projects); or, understand our town’s approach to planning and development (Planning Principles).
Davidson’s traditional character is that of a small town, so land planning will reflect its historic patterns of village-centered growth, with connection of neighborhoods, preservation of rural areas, and provision of public spaces. Our quality of life is enhanced through the Town’s Planning Principles, the Davidson Planning Ordinance, and by assessing town needs through plans, reports, and studies.
Planning Department Updates
Below you’ll find a list and short description of things that we’re working on, along with how to find additional information about each topic. We hope you find this information useful. If you want to follow up with us about any questions you may have, please do so – our contact information is available on our department’s homepage. Check back from time to time for updates.
- Town of Davidson Planning Department
1. Historic Preservation Plan: Development of a town-wide historic preservation plan is well underway. Public outreach to date includes a citizen survey that was available for six weeks in April/May, various stakeholder interviews, and focus group meetings held in early August on the following topics: 1) Neighborhood Preservation, 2) Downtown Issues, 3) Rural/ETJ Preservation, 4) Historic Preservation Processes, and 5) Storytelling. A draft plan is anticipated in fall 2021. There will be additional opportunity for public involvement once a draft plan is available. The historic preservation plan will serve as a guide for proactive preservation decision-making over the next 10-15 years, synthesizing the town’s existing preservation efforts with the desires expressed by the community during the planning process. Additional information is available on the Historic Preservation Plan webpage: www.townofdavidson.org/historicpreservationplan.
2. Growth Management Strategies: At the upcoming September 14 Board of Commissioners work session, Planning Director Jason Burdette, Senior Planner Trey Akers, and Planning Board Vice Chair Shawn Copeland plan to provide an update on the Planning Board Committee’s (PBC) recommendations on growth management strategies. This update builds upon feedback received from the board in April 2021 and December 2020, as well as the two public input sessions last Fall. The board directed the creation of the PBC and its charge to work with staff on various growth management initiatives.
The PBC recommended a primary growth management strategy of codifying the Growth Management Framework and adopting the Utility Service and Annexation Criteria (USAC) from the Davidson Comprehensive Plan. This includes revising the master plan development process located in DPO Section 14 to include additional opportunities for public input on the front-end of proposed projects as well as specific checkpoints for decision-making throughout the master plan process. These updated processes would work together with the USAC to ensure that development decisions would be made using the same data points.
The board will be asked to provide feedback on the high-level strategies.
- Mobility Plan Text Amendment: In 2019 the Davidson Board of Commissioners adopted the Mobility Plan, a local comprehensive transportation plan that provides a town-wide vision and coordinated recommendations for multi-modal travel and access within and through town. To implement policies recommended in the Mobility Plan, changes to the Davidson Planning Ordinance (DPO) are required. The policy goal recommendations include updating standards for sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalks, advisory shoulders, and multi-use paths (including greenways and sidepaths). Other recommendations originated from concerns raised by staff and commissioners, such as improving the town’s connectivity and alley standards. In August 2021 the Board of Commissioners and Planning Board, and advisory board comprised of residents, reviewed the proposed amendments and offered feedback. On September 14, 2021, the Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the proposed amendments, with the Planning Board offering official comments and making a recommendation at their September 27, 2021 meeting. The Board of Commissioners may consider adopting the amendments at their October 26, 2021 meeting. To see the draft amendments, schedule, and learn how you may participate, please visit the Planning Department’s Map & Text Amendment webpage.
Due to the recent health concerns, the Town of Davidson Planning Department will be conducting business remotely until further notice. Due to this change, inquiries are preferred via email, and response times may be longer than usual. Thank you for your patience.
Welcome to our contact page, where you can find information about reaching the department or individual staff members. Please note: The quickest way to schedule an appointment is by email or phone. If you leave a voicemail, we’ll be sure to return your call within 24 hours.
- Email: email@example.com. For general inquiries this is the quickest way to get an answer to your question. Questions received are routed to the staff member best equipped to respond with the information you need.
- Phone: 704-892-7592. Please be sure to leave a voicemail - this is the quickest way to get an answer to a question via phone.
- Mailing Address: 216 S. Main Street, P.O. Box 579, Davidson, NC 28036.
- Staff Directory: For contact information for each individual please see the Staff Directory
Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of our most frequently asked questions, responses, and links to resources.
- 1. Do I need an appointment to meet with a planner? Yes, appointments are preferred. Please call (704 892-7592) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) the Planning Department to schedule an appointment.
- 2. What is the zoning (planning area) of my property? The Town of Davidson planning ordinance categorizes properties into planning areas. You may locate your property on the Davidson Planning Ordinance map and use the legend to determine the planning area for your property.
- 3. What types of permits are required? There are several types of permits required by the Town of Davidson. They are:
- 4. How do I get a permit reviewed? Permit applications may be picked up at Davidson Town Hall, 216 South Main Street, or downloaded from the permit webpage. You may submit a permit either by bringing it to town hall or using the online permit submittal form. Town planners will review the permit application for compliance with the Town of Davidson Planning Ordinance. Upon approval and payment of the fee, the applicant must submit the permit to Mecklenburg County Land Use and Environmental Services Agency for their review.
- 5. How much does a building/sign permit cost? Fees associated with building and sign permits vary depending on the nature of the project. For more information on planning fees, please see our Fee Schedule.
- 6. How can I develop my property? The Town of Davidson does not generally use density limits or standard setback requirements. Instead, we encourage designers and developers to consider the surrounding context and creatively address the constraints and opportunities on a site by site basis. Sections two and four of the Davidson Planning Ordinance provide a list of permitted uses and site design regulations per planning area. Refer to these sections first, and then contact a planner to set up an appointment to discuss your property further.
- 7. How do I determine the permitted uses for my property? The description of each planning area and its permitted uses is outlined in section two of the Davidson planning ordinance. You may view section two and associated amendments in the Planning Ordinance. Refer to this section first, and then contact a planner to set up an appointment to discuss your property further.
- 8. What are the minimum required setbacks from my property line? Design regulations, including building types, minimum required setbacks, and height restrictions are outlined in section two of the planning ordinance. Additional uses and regulations, including accessory structures, are described in section four of the planning ordinance. You may view sections four and two and their associated amendments at Planning Ordinance. If you have additional questions, please make an appointment to meet with a member of the planning department staff.
Below is a list of links to various websites that may be useful in understanding the town’s approach to planning and its requirements. The list also includes various resources and organizations related to planning and development.
- American Planning Association North Carolina Chapter
- American Planning Association
- Centralina Council of Governments
- Charlotte Area Transit System
- Charlotte Mecklenburg Storm Water Services
- Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities
- Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO)
- Commercial Technical Assistance Center (CTAC)
- Davidson Housing Coalition
- Davidson Lands Conservancy
- Duke Energy
- Energy United
- Historic Landmarks Commission
- Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement
- Mecklenburg County Land Use & Environmental Services (LUESA)
- Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation
- New Urbanism
- North Carolina Department of Transportation
- PSNC Energy
- Polaris for Mecklenburg County
- Residential Technical Assistance Center (RTAC)
- Scenic Byways
- U.S. Census Bureau Fact Finder