Reply to: Charlotte balks at doing away with single-family zoning
Sam is a BlueNC member from way back, and he's also Chairman of the Charlotte Planning Commission:
Mayor Lyles and Members of Council -
I know you are receiving numerous form emails and calls about the comprehensive plan. I’d like to address some misinformed and frankly false talking points that are flying around.
CLAIM 1: “the current environment created by the pandemic is not conducive to educating residents on such a massive change”
This is patently false, as evidenced by the unprecedented outreach and inclusion conducted by the Planning, Design, and Development Department. Over the past two decades of being involved in Charlotte’s civic community, I’ve never seen an effort this big and a net cast this wide to involve people in the comprehensive plan process. When peer cities have done their comp plan rewrites in recent years, the level of engagement has been significantly below ours. There’s nothing about the pandemic that prevents anyone from reading the draft pdf that has been available since October, the executive summary, or the online comments.
CLAIM 2: “The plan lacks any meaningful specificity and such details will only be released after the scheduled vote or in the UDO”
This is a specific, technical document. Douglas Welton, vice chair of the zoning committee, did a computer analysis of the comp plan and found it came in at at a graduate school or post doc reading level. It is also true the UDO will be more technical in nature, but that doesn’t mean the comprehensive plan lacks specificity.
This is a plan to guide what our new zoning code looks like. We have to do this first - don’t forget that we already tried writing a UDO before a comprehensive plan. This is a process endorsed by the planning commission, city staff, and previous councils.
Finally, I agree that there are some areas where I want more specificity- I’ve asked staff for an operational definition of equity, for example. But I’m also confident that it is a small step - not a giant leap - between where we are and the final draft.
CLAIM 3: “The comp plan or UDO will give carte blanche to developers and eliminate single family zoning and allow multi family everywhere."
The document doesn’t say this. I’ve said it a hundred times, but I’ll say it again: the Comp Plan doesn’t eliminate single-family zoning, it legalizes the missing middle housing we’ve talked about for years.
More than that, the UDO presentation Laura Harmon gave last night included neighborhood conservation districts, a tool that would undoubtedly be used by some of the most vocal neighborhoods and homeowners against the comp plan to preserve their neighborhoods.
CLAIM 4: “There’s not enough time to do this. We’re going too fast. We need to pump the brakes.”
Depending on whom you ask, we’ve been putting this off for 6, 8, 10 or more years. It’s never going to be the perfect time to do anything, and any city document is never going to be perfect. However, over the past 10 years our city has become less affordable, less equitable, and has remained at the bottom of social mobility.
In the words of Norman Mailer, "There was that law of life, so cruel and so just, that one must grow or else pay more for remaining the same." There is a price for inaction.
I’ve been reviewing the comments as they come in and there are a lot of good ideas to improve the plan for final draft.
Thanks for taking the time to read this rather long email. Happy to talk with anyone further about the importance of getting Charlotte Future 2040 done.
Affordable housing is a critical issue across the state, but it is especially important in metro areas where so many people work. Something has to give, because the status quo is broken.
Reply to: Wednesday News: Finishing Group 3
Not that we ever had a sound approach, but we have completely lost our way in Iraq and Syria. When Trump allowed Turkey to invade and attack the Kurds in Northern Syria, some ten thousand ISIS fighters were able to escape captivity. And now we're attacking people who are keeping ISIS from re-invading Iraq.
It's been "time to go" for a long time, but now it really is time to go.
Reply to: Tuesday News: A mountain of lies
Cawthorn.....the Boy Blunder. Enough said.
Reply to: Tuesday News: A mountain of lies
It's how you know they're the real thing, they're the price of entry. If you can't tell lies as easily as you can breathe, you can't get a ticket into the GQP. And Cawthorn has mastered the art of bullshit, right up there with the rest of the dirtbags in his party.
- Reply to: Tuesday Twitter roundup