Below is our most recent Call to Action that we have sent out to the Community for support.  Please continue to reach out to your City Council, Mayor and Board of County Commissioners and other Boards to enlist their support.  Your voice matters!!

CALL TO ACTION

2040 Comprehensive Plan 

While there are many good things in the current draft of the proposed 2040 Comprehensive Plan, we believe that there is significantly that must be done to make this worthy of your support.We would like to ask you to the Proposed 2040 Comprehensive Plan as currently drafted.We believe that the document currently does not to achieve the stated goal of .

 

The proposed 2040 Comprehensive Plan is 320 pages long with a lot of information, 10 specified goals and numerous proposals. As has already been noted by a large portion of the community there is currently opposition to the proposed changes to the Single-Family Neighborhood Zoning to allow more duplexes/triplexes in all Neighborhoods. We believe that the proposed zoning changes will not help with the community affordable housing crisis as implied by the current draft. This is one key example of areas that need further debate, education and alternatives analyzed to achieve a policy goal. In its current form, there is not a stated policy goal that the changes would significantly alter.

 

Please consider sending the following message to your elected officials:

 

Please defer the planned approval process for the 2040 Comprehensive Plan in April.

(March 22nd Public Hearing and City Council vote on April 22nd)

 

While we believe in the stated goals of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, we do not believe that the current draft of implementation approaches will accomplish the stated goals. We believe that the community needs further debate, education and alternatives analyzed to achieve the stated policy goals. We acknowledge that the COVID pandemic has limited the amount of community participation and therefore understanding due to competing priorities. We believe that this document is too significant to the future of our City to ‘rush’ an approval without more education, debate, and collaboration for improvements.

 

  • We would recommend that the City publish the next draft version as soon as possible to that includes the feedback that has been received thus far to demonstrate the impact of feedback on the Plan.

  • City staff produce additional educational documents to align proposed strategies to expected outcomes.  There is much confusion over the positive & negative impacts of the proposed new implementation strategies.

Thank you,

Additional Background Information:

Below is additional detailed information with respect to 4 key issues that we have identified with the 2040 Comprehensive plan.

 

  • Density ≠ Affordability:

    • The 2040 Plan has recommended a change to Single-Family zoning (more duplexes etc.) that has created much confusion in the public.  The justification for allowing a higher number of duplexes/triplexes in Neighborhoods is based upon the erroneous assumption that Increasing Density will enable more Income Diverse Neighborhoods across the City to decrease the existing limited Income Diversity in some Neighborhoods.  While there are some benefits (e.g. environmental) of increasing housing choices and therefore density in our Neighborhoods it will not minimize our income and racial Neighborhood diversity.  To achieve the desired changes in diversity requires a more holistic approach than currently is proposed in the 2040 Plan.

  • Risk of Neighborhood Gentrification (Forced Displacement) ≠ in all lower income minority neighborhoods.

    • The current 2040 plan does not factor the impact of public/private investments in/near Neighborhoods in determining the risk of Gentrification (Forced Displacement).  This significant oversight results in the lack of effective strategies to mitigate.  Without acknowledging the driving force of public/private investment on Gentrification (Forced Displacement) the City will continue to assume no responsibility for the acceleration of Gentrification (Forced Displacement) in areas aligned with public investments like Mass Transit.  As a result, there is no mention of the need to include explicit strategies like Land Banking and Overlay Zoning changes to mitigate the impact.  Charlotte will continue to say ‘the market forces’ caused the Gentrification (Forced Displacement) and it was not foreseeable. (see linked article)

      • (e.g. Charlotte has recent experience with the Mass Transit Blue Line and subsequent Blue Line Extension to see evidence where public/private investments have accelerated the forced displacement from adjacent Neighborhoods.  The Gold Line Extension toward Johnson C. Smith University area has also accelerated the forced displacement in adjacent historically minority Neighborhoods.)

  • Historical Data relied upon in the 2040 Plan is inaccurate in measuring the current state of Neighborhoods

    • Plan relies upon untimely historical data to measure current state and to prioritize solutions. By basing all of the graphics and metrics on 3 year old data in a rapidly changing environment we are not prioritizing the correct solutions.  For example: the pace of Gentrification (Forced Displacement) that has already occurred in West Side minority Neighborhoods greatly exceeds the reported metrics.  Therefore, the plan does not prioritize solutions that match the actual current state.

      •  (e.g. Historical poverty measures for a Biddleville Neighborhood > 30% when the average home price has increased by over 40% in the last 3 years.  By considering the Neighborhood to still be a high poverty Neighborhood when it has been Gentrified (Forced Displacement) significantly prioritizes the incorrect public policy response)

  • 2040 Plan is lacking Targeted improvement Goals with Associated Public Performance Reporting

    • The 2040 plan talks about the need for future revisions based upon actual performance without identifying any metric goals.  The lack of annual targeted improvements will allow everyone to have a different opinion on the future success of the implementation.