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Red tape costs a lot of green: Some Charlotte developers up in arms over proposed building standards
By Tara Ramsey Some aspects of the city of Charlotte’s proposed design standards for residential construction, such as restricting builders from putting large garages in the front of houses, might seem visually appealing. But among some builders and developers, the added requirements, along with additional measures being considered by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department, are a bad idea at a bad time. With the housing industry already impacted by a tough economy, any regulations that might make it harder to buy a home might also make it harder for the struggling industry to recover, developers say. The issue is pitting developers against local government planners, who say the requirements are intended to improve the community. “It has come to the point in this country that we would rather have people living on the streets than living in housing that some of our folks don’t think is attractive enough,” Charlotte developer Tom Pearson said. “That’s a blunt statement, but that’s the truth.”