Planning Department Updates: December 2020
Good Morning Davidson Community Members,
This is the latest installment of the Planning Department “eCrier,” a message highlighting various plans, projects, and events currently or soon-to-be underway. 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, which also contains this same list of information on a News tab at the top of the page. Check back from time to time for updates.
- Town of Davidson Planning Department
1. Changes to the Davidson Planning Ordinance: Appeal and Variance Text Amendment
In 2019, the North Carolina General Assembly adopted a complete reorganization of the state’s planning and development regulations creating a new statute chapter “160D.” The purpose of the new Chapter 160D is to consolidate county and city regulations into one unified chapter and to reorganize development regulation statutes into a more logical, coherent structure. Towns must make ordinance changes to align with the provisions in G.S. 160D by July 1, 2021.
These text amendments align Davidson Planning Ordinance (DPO) Section 14.18, “Appeals and Variances,” with chapter 160D-705 and 160D-406. Also included is one updated statute reference in ordinance Section 15. These changes primarily consist of replacing references to the old legislation with the references to the new legislation, and removing all language that is in conflict with state statute. Additionally, these changes include a more substantial reference to the four findings of fact under which variance requests are reviewed, the inclusion of disability accommodation protected under the Federal Fair Housing Act as grounds for a variance, and several small formatting improvements for Section 14.18.
At their December 8, 2020 Regular Meeting, the Board of Commissioners approved these Text Amendments as Ordinance 2020-08. You can read the updated planning ordinance, which includes these changes, here
2. Targeted Conditional - Growth Management Options3. Development Project Updates:
In September, the Board of Commissioners tasked the Planning Board with forming a committee to explore growth management options, including targeted conditional zoning. At the December Board of Commissioners meeting, Planning Director Jason Burdette and Planning Board member Nora Barger presented an update on the growth management committee’s work to date. The committee discussed six different options grounded in both the Comprehensive and Strategic Plans. The committee recommends prioritizing the Growth Management Framework, including the utility and annexation criteria. Additionally, the committee sees incorporating various aspects from the other options discussed: 1) Improving the development process; 2) Addressing building compatibility, integration, and affordability; and 3) Conditional thresholds. Of note, the committee felt there were more viable options to include conditional thresholds than the unit count or acreage metrics discussed earlier. In the coming months, the committee will work to develop what a consolidation of these options could look like and bring back specific examples for discussion with the Board of Commissioners.
4. Historic Preservation:
- 18647 Davidson-Concord Rd Master Plan: The Planning Department recently received an application for a 15-unit (11 single-family/4 duplex) development at 18647 Davidson-Concord Rd., which is adjacent to the Park Place at Davidson neighborhood and Boulder Rock Loop. The parcel lies in the Neighborhood Edge Planning Area and intends to provide 45% open space on-site. On December 8, the Board of Commissioners approved a water/sewer extension to the site, allowing the developer to continue the Master Plan Process. Next steps will include a public input session to hear public comment on the proposed plan. See the project website for further information.
- Davidson Cottages Conditional Master Plan: The developer, Saussy Burbank Homes, submitted a conditional master plan application on October 9, 2019. The proposal, located just south of Woodies Automotive, includes 30 single-family detached homes and two duplexes fronting Davidson Gateway Dr. and publicly accessible internal courtyards (34 units total). The duplexes include four on-site affordable housing units. Additionally, the plan proposes a trail connecting throughout the property and a small gathering space along Davidson Gateway Drive. After a positive recommendation by the Planning Board on September 28, 2020, and approval by the Board of Commissioners on Oct. 27, 2020, Mecklenburg County and Town of Davidson staff approved the master plan in early December after a final technical review. The project will now proceed to the Board of Adjustment for approval through the Built-Upon Area Averaging process. Afterwards, construction document approval will be required by Mecklenburg County and the Town of Davidson. See the project website for further information.
- East Rocky River Road Master Plan: The Planning Department recently received an application for a six-unit development at 15016 East Rocky River Rd., immediately to the west of the Summit at River Run development. The parcel lies in the Rural Planning Area, and intends to provide 70% open space on-site. On December 8, the Board of Commissioners approved a water/sewer extension to the site, allowing the developer to continue the Master Plan process. Next steps will include a public input session to hear public comment on the proposed plan. To learn more about the project, including next steps, see the project website.
- Hoke Master Plan: The developer, Alliance Group in partnership with Taylor Morrison Homes, submitted a master plan application on March 23, 2020. The proposal includes 81 townhomes fronting Jetton St. and Catawba Ave. as well as internal public spaces. Additionally, the plan proposes a new street connecting Jetton St. and Catawba Ave. along with alleys, two parks and walkways throughout the development. On October 21, 2020 the developer hosted and staff facilitated a virtual Public Input Session meeting via Zoom; copies of the comments received and the presentation are available on the project website. On November 30, 2020 the Planning Board formally reviewed and offered comments on the plans. The board supported the inclusion of five on-site affordable housing units, encouraged further innovation concerning rainwater management, and welcomed expressed efforts by the developer to engage stakeholders regarding the park/open space design early in 2021. Currently, Mecklenburg County and Town of Davidson staff are reviewing the plans, which require at least one more round of technical review in early 2021. If approved, the project must proceed to the Board of Adjustment for approval. See the project website for further information.
The town released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for development of a town-wide historic preservation plan on November 3, 2020 and anticipate selecting a consultant by the end of December/early January. 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. For more information, please visit the Historic Preservation website
Also, at their December 8, 2020 meeting, the Board of Commissioners approved two historic landmark designations: The Helper-Walley House (603 N. Main Street) and the Johnson-Sherrill Farmhouse (21525 Shearer Rd.). Much thanks to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission
for their support in these efforts.
5. Transportation Planning:
- Kincaid Greenway: NCDOT suspended many planned transportation projects in May of this year due to funding shortfalls related to the health pandemic. However, NCDOT recently elected to move forward with a handful of projects, including engineering for the Kincaid Greenway Project. To learn more about this trail, please visit the project website.
- 2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan: The Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) has begun the process of updating the 2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). The MTP is a plan that documents the region’s vision for the future, and establishes goals, objectives, and transportation priorities over the next 20+ years to help achieve that vision. Please visit the CRTPO website for more information.