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County amends ordinance on building development

Mecklenburg County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved amendments to the county’s building-development ordinance. The changes apply to membership on the 13-person Building Development Commission.

The Building Development Commission comprises 10 individuals from design and construction trade associations, two public representatives and a third from the Charlotte Chamber.

The body makes recommendations to county commissioners and code-enforcement officials on issues affecting land development and building. The commission also advises on departmental budgets, the disposition of surplus funds from collected fees, and the hiring of consultants.

The decision to amend the ordinance stems from a survey of commission members in late 2014 that noted status changes among some trade associations represented in the organization.

For example, when member associations were first identified in 1995, the Charlotte Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors Association and the Charlotte Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors Association were separate organizations, each with its own delegate on the commission. The two organizations have since merged.

Another group, the Mecklenburg General Contractors’ Association, had ceased to exist.

To remedy the situation, the commission proposed that the Charlotte Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association be awarded two trade-specific membership spots: one from a business primarily involved in mechanical and HVAC work, and another involved in plumbing. In addition, representation from the defunct Mecklenburg General Contractors’ Association will now be filled by an individual from the Carolinas chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors construction trade association.

The commission also recommended the addition of a 14th member. The new seat will go to a representative of small businesses with up to 24 employees. The Charlotte Chamber will nominate that individual, as well as the commission member it currently culls from the development community.

Because of the commission’s expansion, the ordinance’s rules and procedures have been edited to say that a “majority of members on the Building Development Commission shall constitute a quorum.” Previously, a quorum required only seven members.

Regular terms of office remain at three years, with members eligible to serve two terms consecutively.

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