On Monday night, December 17, the Charlotte City Council will consider a proposed text amendment that would provide a single-family density bonus of up to 3 units per acre above the base zoning density for developments in targeted areas of the city where median home values currently exceed $153,000. This bonus could be elected by right (no rezoning required) in the R-3, R-4, R-5, and R-6 zoning districts, as long as at least 50% of the additional units allowed by the bonus are priced within reach of buyers earning no more than 80% of Area Median Income (currently $168,000 for a family of 4).
Reduced development standards, including smaller front and rear-yard setbacks, and the ability to apply the cluster provisions for lot size and lot width of the zoning category.
Ability to include duplex, triplex, and quadraplex buildings within a subdivision, as long as they are on internal lots and make up no more than 50% of the bonus units in the development.
The total number of affordable units shall to exceed 25% of total housing units in the development.
The exterior of all affordable units within the development must blend in architecturally with the market-rate product (similar roof pitches, foundations, window types, building materials).
To ensure continued affordability, the City or a nonprofit housing agency shall have first right of refusal on the purchase of any affordable unit for the first 15 years following the initial sale, and any rental properties in the development must remain affordable forthat same period.
REBIC and our member associations were instrumental in the development of this voluntary, incentive-based program, and fully support its adoption by Council. We believe it provides an opportunity for the city to encourage the construction of affordable housing in specific areas of Charlotte where that supply is quickly disappearing, including South Park, Ballantyne and Steele Creek. For builders and developers, it offers a way to achieve higher residential densities with no rezoning, while serving a segment of the market that would not otherwise be able to buy in some of the most desirable areas of our community.
We particularly encourage home builders, developers and any other interested members to plan on attending Monday night’s public hearing, which will begin at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 600 East Fourth St. in Charlotte.
A second text amendment to encourage mixed-income multifamily development will be up for a public hearing in January, and REBIC will soon be gearing up to support that effort, as well. If you’d like to learn more about the city’s Incentive-Based Inclusionary Housing Initiative, you can check out the most recent presentation to Council’s Housing & Neighborhood Development Committee, which approved the text amendment earlier this month.