Charlotte Future 2040
Goal 2: Neighborhood Diversity and Inclusion
Charlotte will strive for all neighborhoods to have a diversity of housing options by increasing the presence of middle density housing (e.g. duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, townhomes, accessory dwelling units (ADUs), and other small lot housing types) and ensuring land use regulations allow for flexibility in creation of housing within existing neighborhoods.
- 2a)Increase the score of the overall Access to Housing Opportunity equity metrics index for the City.
- 2b)Increase the number of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in existing and new neighborhoods.
- 2c)Increase the number of middle density units such as duplexes and triplexes in all neighborhoods.
- 2d)Increase the number of middle density housing options, including fourplexes, along high performance transit and other major thoroughfares.
- 2e)Increase the number of middle density housing options in transition areas between low intensity neighborhoods and higher intensity place types.
- 2f)Increase the number of residential dwelling units with less than one parking space per unit.
- 2g)Increase the number of small footprint housing units in existing and new neighborhoods.
- Allow more housing types in traditional single-family zoning districts to encourage housing diversity everywhere in our community.
- 2.1Allow duplex and triplex housing units on all lots where single-family housing is allowed and require conformance with residential lot size requirements, setback requirements, and other site development standards specified within the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).
- 2.1Allow fourplexes on all lots fronting arterials where single family detached dwellings are permitted when key city priorities are advanced and community benefit is provided such as affordable and/or workforce housing.
- 2.1Provide opportunities for single family attached and small-scale multifamily housing developments (15 units or less) along arterials in lower density, predominantly residential areas (applies to Neighborhood 1).
- 2.1In the development regulations, allow single family attached housing, fourplexes and small-scale multifamily housing along major thoroughfares in lower density, predominantly residential areas (applies to Neighborhood 1).
- 2.1In the development regulations, support the development of ADUs within a greater number of existing neighborhoods with changes to setback requirements and other site development standards.
- 2.1In the development regulations, reduce barriers to development of new high quality middle density housing units such as reducing the need to rezone, reduced application fees, expedited processing, density bonuses, reduced or eliminated parking requirements, and reduced or waived inspection fees.
- 2.1Consider reducing or removing barriers identified in the Accessory Dwelling Unit Report and the Charlotte Housing Framework report regarding missing middle housing and evaluate development regulations, such as required lot sizes, clustered home development, neighborhood conservation overlay districts, and other tools to reduce barriers.
- 2.1Ensure that housing access incentives provide adequate infrastructure and do not contribute to poor environmental quality or significant loss of tree canopy.
- 2.1In the development regulations, require larger developments to include a mix of housing types.
- 2.1Preserve existing supply of middle density and small footprint housing and reduce conversion to large-footprint single-family units using a neighborhood conservation overlay district.
- 2.1Use small area planning efforts to determine additional strategies to integrate more diverse housing options that support each community’s unique character.
- 2.1Allow parking to be unbundled from lease of property or include as part of development agreements, especially in areas with a parking management strategy.
- 2.1Request an amendment to the State Landlord and Tenant Act to add Post Judgment Relief agreement. This will allow residents to have evictions removed from their records upon payment-in-full of outstanding debt/judgment.
- 2.1Request legislation to amend state landlord-tenant and fair housing laws to end housing discrimination for persons with misdemeanors and some felony criminal records.
Recommended Projects And Programs
- 2.2Continue to eliminate or reduce parking for transit supportive development, pocket neighborhoods, cottage clusters, and development in Activity Centers to reduce the cost of development and encourage development of more mixed housing types in areas with a parking management strategy.
- 2.3Adopt changes to development regulations to allow for more housing options/types and additional ADUs within existing neighborhoods, and adopt flexible requirements for minimum housing mix in new master planned developments.
- 2.4Develop new design form management standards for middle density housing in the development regulations or develop an overlay conservation district that supports the intent of the Equitable Growth Framework.
- 2.5Work with the development community to determine the most important tools and barriers related to delivery of middle density housing.
- 2.6Create a funding program to assist low-income homeowners with construction of ADUs in return for a commitment to rent the unit at an affordable price, for a designated period of time (i.e., in exchange for a deed restriction associated with the ADU), especially in areas with existing or planned access to employment, amenities, goods, and services. This serves the dual purpose of increasing affordable housing stock and increasing homeowner income.
Case Study: Cottage Clusters in the Pacific Northwest
Several communities in the Pacific Northwest (including Portland Bend, Oregon and Shoreline, Washington) are enabling and encouraging cottage clusters as a way to address the missing middle of housing opportunity. The basic idea of cottage zoning clusters is taking a relatively larger tract of land (for example, 10,000 square feet) where someone would ordinarily be able to build one or two larger residential buildings, the option is created to build more small buildings that add up to the same size (six 1,080-square-foot homes, for example). The “cottage zoning” includes requirements that the cottages face a common yard and/or have design elements like deep porches. Residents typically share parking areas or garages and other communal facilities as well. The idea of cottage cluster housing is to provide a reasonably-priced housing option, but can also promote sustainable living when located near transit, bikeways and other walkable amenities.
Case Study: Minneapolis Ends Single Family-Only Zoning
Minneapolis, Minnesota is a leader in changing neighborhood housing options for the future. Its Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan established policy paving the way for eliminating exclusionary single-family zoning policies citywide, which in the past has kept most people of color and practically all low-income people from single-family zoned neighborhoods. Affecting nearly 425,000 residents, Minneapolis originally set aside 70% of its residential land for single-family homes. Allowing duplexes and triplexes in all of these areas triples the housing capacity in many neighborhoods and significantly reduces the City’s need to extend utilities and services to support greenfield development. The change is intended to: make the Minneapolis more affordable and walkable; combat climate change by reducing commutes; and reduce racial and economic segregation. Proponents also say that it can help create attainable housing for millennials and young families, and help seniors age in place with the potential for extra income.