Wall Street-backed landlords now own more than 11,000 single-family homes in Charlotte

For decades, the single-family home rental market was a small-scale industry, made up almost entirely of local landlords who rented out a few houses they bought as investment properties, or perhaps inherited, or held on to after relocating. But the years since the Great Recession have witnessed a dramatic shift, as Wall Street-backed rental companies […]

Charlotte’s nowhere near the finish line for its development rules rewrite

With straw votes on the controversial elements and the final adoption of Charlotte’s new vision plan looming in the next month, there’s a sense that the city’s reaching a finale in the years-long process of rewriting its development rules. But adopting the vision plan might end up – surprisingly – being one of the easier […]

Single-family zoning is still the crux of Charlotte’s 2040 plan debate

In the months since opposition to Charlotte’s new 2040 Comprehensive Vision Plan started building, staff and City Council have held forums, rehashed the plan in committee meetings, responded to hundreds of public comments and started tinkering with how to modify rules about what can be built where. But the heart of the matter, and the […]

The density & affordability question

There’s been a noticeable shift in the debate about density in Charlotte’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan over recent weeks. What started as a classic confrontation of progressive planning concepts vs. NIMBY-inspired resistance, has now taken on a different tone, with competing viewpoints emerging about the role that density plays in issues such as equity, affordable housing, […]

Plenty of big ideas are still on the table for Charlotte’s future

It’s been a tough year already for big ideas in Charlotte. First, the city’s ambitious goal of a referendum for a 1-cent sales tax to fund a massive, $8 billion to $12 billion transit and mobility plan was thrown into question after worries emerged about whether the legislature would let it on the ballot and […]

Concerns about Charlotte’s new comprehensive plan rise from many quarters

Neighborhood activists fighting to preserve single-family-only neighborhoods, Charlotte City Council members worried about gentrification overwhelming historically Black neighborhoods and developers who want to stop any notion of new regulations like inclusionary zoning don’t often end up on the same side of an issue. But that’s the case in Charlotte, where concerns about the city’s proposed […]

2020 was supposed to be ‘year of the plan.’ What happened?

Back in late 2019 – before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the world – it looked like 2020 would be the year for plans to guide our community’s growth for the next several decades would coalesce. What happened? Well, the pandemic, of course. But a couple of key plans have also run into […]

The past and future of the Charlotte ‘fourplex’

Down the middle of Hawthorne Lane at the corner of East 8th Street, the dust is just settling on the new LYX Gold Line Extension tracks. When the line opens later this year, it will be the first time a streetcar has rumbled down this block since 1938. Still, the legacy of that old streetcar […]

Who’s paying attention to the planning conversation in Charlotte?

Charlotte City Council members confronted an uncomfortable question Monday: How can you get people in the general public to pay attention to technical, somewhat boring, but extremely important matters like the city’s new development rules – before a major controversy erupts? Planning staff are nearing the finish line for Charlotte’s 2040 vision plan, which will […]

Moving to the suburbs: Three things I’ve learned that make me hopeful

When the moving truck pulled up to the Dilworth duplex we’d been renting for years, I felt more than a twinge of regret to be leaving the urban amenities I’d come to love. Living within a short walk of two supermarkets, plentiful coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and some of Charlotte’s best parks was a fantastic […]