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City to consider height restrictions for residential construction

The Charlotte Planning Commission plans to file a zoning amendment that would restrict the height of new residential projects to make them compatible with the heights of existing homes.

A City Council public hearing on the amendment is set for June 20. The city’s zoning committee will review the amendment at a June 29 meeting, and a final vote by the council is expected during a July 18 meeting.

The amendment defines height as the vertical distance between the average grade at the base of a structure and the highest part of the structure. It does not include chimneys, sky lights or other roof structures in the measurement.

In areas zoned for single-family (zonings R-3 and R-4) and multifamily (R-8MF and R-12MF), the new requirements would include a maximum height of 48 yards at the front of the building and 40 feet at the side, with a base height of 40 feet. Properties with buildings taller than 40 feet would need bigger setbacks.

For areas zoned for single-family (R-5, R-6, R-8), there would be a maximum height of 40 feet at the front of the building and 35 feet at the side of the building.

In multifamily residential buildings, there would be a height restriction of 100 feet, with the base height restricted to 40 feet if the property is adjacent to a single-family residential district. If it’s adjacent to a district other than single-family, the maximum height would be 100 feet with no base height restriction.

Currently, the city has no height restrictions for residential construction. But under existing rules, buildings taller than 40 feet must increase their side and rear yards by a foot for every foot increase in height above 40 feet when abutting a residential district or residential development. Buildings next to any other district must increase their side and rear yards by a foot whenever there’s a 2-foot increase in height.

The new zoning rules would also change the yard requirements for nonresidential developments abutting single-family districts. The new side yard requirement would be 20 feet, while the rear yard requirement for projects next to R-6 and R-8 zones would be 35 feet and the rear yard requirement for projects next to R-4 and R-3 would be 40 feet.

The city’s planning department began re-examining the city’s zoning rules after the Myers Park Neighborhood Association requested that more than 40 acres be rezoned from R-22MF to R-8MF — a less-dense zoning classification — after becoming concerned over the scale and height of an 11-story tower at proposed for the area.

The rezoning petition for that project has been deferred.

Tara Ramsey can be reached at tara.ramsey@mecktimes.com.

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