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Plan Charlotte Survey Finds 9 Percent of the City Zoned for Mixed-Uses
Jacob Schmidt details a recent study by Plan Charlotte that quantified "how much of the city today is actually zoned for mixed-use development, compared to more conventional zoning allowing only one use, such as single-family homes, multifamily homes, office, shopping center, industry, etc.," given that mixed-use development is a stated goal of the city's 2003 General Development Policies.
The conclusion of the survey: "The analysis shows that 91 percent of the land in Charlotte—343 square miles of the total 373 square miles—is zoned for single-use. Mixed-use zoning covers only 9 percent." Schmidt adds: "Not surprisingly given the city’s low-density character, 66 percent of the single-use-zoned land is zoned for single-family housing," and "At a distant second, at 15 percent, was land zoned for industrial use. Third place was business with 8 percent; this includes land zoned for office space, commercial centers and retail."
As for why the city gives such prevalence to single uses, Schmidt writes:
"The comparative dearth of mixed-use zoning reflects both history and custom. Charlotte’s first zoning ordinance in 1947 followed national trends (and federal government requirements), carving out separate areas for single-family, multifamily, business and industrial land uses. It wasn’t until the end of the 20th century that planners in Charlotte and elsewhere began putting more emphasis on encouraging mixed-use development, and some developers began attempting to build it."