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City of Charlotte Releases First Draft of Unified Development Ordinance (UDO)

The City of Charlotte has released a first draft of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The UDO will include new regulatory approaches in areas that include parking, tree preservation, transportation, and drainage and will expand on how we advance community priorities of affordable housing, public open space, the environment, etc. Check out the full UDO here and a UDO highlights summary here.  Once adopted, this document will reset the rules for land development within the City going forward. The first step was the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. Subsequent sections Implementation Strategy and Manuals and Metrics were not adopted as part of the 2040 Plan and will likely be integrated into the Policy Mapping process. We expect draft policy maps to be available for viewing on Thursday, October 14th, with final completion and passage by mid to late February 2022. We are expecting four drafts of the UDO and all drafts after the initial release will be redlined for clarity on additions and deletions. The current schedule requests Council adoption in July 2022. The intent of these new requirements is to streamline the development process through the establishment of the UDO; however, it is likely that new regulatory requirements embedded in the document will result in added development costs. GCAA, is collaborating with our partner, REBIC, which is leading efforts to help ensure our industry’s issues are heard and addressed. We will also be weighing projected development cost increases against any potential benefits as we move forward. Here is one way developers can help: By identifying any specific projects currently underway or that have recently been completed and reaching out to your respective consultants to compare costs under existing requirements versus those that are under consideration in the UDO. If you have access to similar information and can help with a case study, let us know about it. Contact Michelle Manns at with any questions or if you are interested in taking part in this process.