New State Law Exempts Charlotte Redevelopment Projects from Stormwater Controls

State legislation passed last month at the conclusion of the 2018 session of the General Assembly means redevelopment sites in Charlotte are no longer required to include on-site stormwater controls if no additional impervious surface is created. A provision in SB 469, a Technical Corrections bill initially vetoed by Governor Cooper but ratified through a legislative override, specifically mandates the change to local stormwater ordinances, regardless of where a local government obtains its regulatory authority.

While a redevelopment exemption for stormwater has been state law for years, the City of Charlotte has previously required controls on all projects, citing its adherence to a federal NPDES stormwater permit that called for higher local standards. REBIC has long argued that stormwater controls should not be required on redevelopments where no additional impervious surface is created.

The provision in SB 469 also allows development within a vegetative buffer, as long as the runoff from the entire impervious area of the project is collected, treated, and discharged through a portion of managed vegetative buffer. Of course, stormwater controls will continue to be required on sites whenever additional impervious surface is created.

Thanks are due to the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA) and State Representative Dean Arp (R-Union) for their support of this critical legislation!

Posted in Legislative, Local

Charlotte Postpones TOD Ordinance Hearing as Draft Undergoes Revision

The Charlotte planning department has postponed a public hearing for its new Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) zoning ordinance from February 25th to March 18th, as it revises the proposal to incorporate feedback from REBIC and other stakeholder groups.

While the updated draft isn’t scheduled to be released until the week of February 18th, it is expected to include an expanded menu of incentives to encourage developers to include affordable housing, make infrastructure investments, or participate in the City’s Minority, Women and Small Business Enterprises (MWSBE) program. The current draft only offers developers an opportunity to increase their building height, which REBIC cautioned could be of limited value to developers. In a letter to City staff last month, we encouraged the inclusion of incentives that would provide variances on building length, building articulation, or required open space.

Other elements of the TOD ordinance that raised concerns include:

  • Open space, garage placement, and perimeter buffer requirements for Townhomes.
  • The inability to request a building height variance in the optional TOD-EX distruct.
  • Active-use requirements on parking decks
  • A problematic requirement that finished floor elevations on interior spaces must meet grade along many building exteriors

While planning staff reworks the ordinance, the City’s Economic Development office, now overseen former Lincoln-Harris executive Tracy Dodson, is working on an economic impact analysis intended to ‘validate components of the bonus structure and specific design standards.’ The analysis will look at two prototype projects, including a high rise office building and a surface parked mid-rise apartment building.

REBIC appreciates the willingness of planning staff to consider our concerns with the OD ordinance, and looks forward to reviewing the revised draft upon its release.

Full details on the TOD ordinance, including the draft Text Amendment, are available on the City’s UDO website.

Posted in Industry, Legislative, Local

Learn More about Opportunity Zones

There has been a lot of information distributed about the new Opportunity Zone program and the benefits that it might can have for economic development. NC REALTORS® has launched an Opportunity Zone resource page at ncrealtors.org/opportunity-zones which includes a lot of great information which can help you better understand how the program works. Also on the page is the recording and slides from our January 31 webinar on this topic.

Posted in Industry, Local

Regulatory Report

As licensed professionals, the rules approved by regulatory boards like the North Carolina Real Estate Commission are important for dictating the way that you conduct your business. From time to time, these rules are changed or amended to reflect changes in practice or adjustments in legislation.

NC REALTORS® Regulatory Affairs staff monitors the activity of regulatory boards and advocates on behalf of the membership when needed. In late January, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission issued a rulemaking package which includes changes to multiple rules. It also includes rules which have been readopted without change as a part of the legislative rules review process.

Review the entire rules package > >

The Commission has asked for comment on these rule proposals and will hold a public hearing to receive comment on Wednesday, March 13 at their office in Raleigh. You can also submit comments directly to the Commission via email.

NC REALTORS® Regulatory Affairs staff will be present at the public hearing to provide comments on behalf of the association but we want to hear from you! If you have any comments regarding the proposed rules that you would like included in our statement, please email Seth Palmer by no later than Friday, March 1.

Posted in Industry, Legislative

CALL FOR ACTION: Tell Commissioner Causey to Oppose Insurance Increases for Homeowners

In just a few short weeks, more than 3,600 emails have been sent to Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey to ask him to reject the proposed 17.4 percent increase in homeowners insurance rates. Have you taken action? We are less than 900 emails away from our first goal of 4,500 action takers (which is 10% of our membership).

WE NEED YOUR HELP! TAKE ACTION

Any rate increase will negatively impact the decision-making of your clients and ultimately the state’s real estate industry. Just a couple of percent increase in insurance rates can mean hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars in additional costs that will have to be borne by the homeowner. While the average rate increase requested is only 17.4 percent, some communities across the state could see up to a 30 percent increase.

Tell Commissioner Causey to protect North Carolina’s real estate industry!

Posted in Legislative, Local

Members on the Move

Send us your News and Transactions
Did you know that the Members on the Move post is our most viewed and reaches over 1,000 CRCBR members in our Voice Highlights newsletter? We are always looking to recognize our members for their achievements. Please send any recent news or transaction information to thevoice@crcbr.org.


Congratulations to the following CRCBR members on their recent achievements:

Beacon Partners – Mike Harrell
Beacon Partners to develop a 15-acre mixed-use site located directly at the Scaleybark Light Rail Stop in Lower South End. The project, otherwise known as LoSo Station, will include over 500,000 square feet of creative office space, 30,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space, 350 multi-family residences and a 150-room boutique hotel. LoSo Station will be within walking distance to some of the newest entertainment venues in South End including Queen Park Social, Victory Brewery, and OMB. It will also be located directly on the Charlotte rail trail, a 3.5 mile long public trail for walking, biking and scooter access through South End.

Gibson Smith Realty Co. – F.G. ”Buddy” Hege, CCIM
F.G. “Buddy” Hege, CCIM, of Gibson Smith Realty Co., represented the Seller of 11220 Elm Ln. Suite 205-B. The Buyer, was represented by Blanq Real Estate.

Verticore Commercial – Kurt Schoenhoff
Kurt Schoenhoff started his own firm called Verticore Commercial (www.verticorecommercial.com). He will continue to specialize in new hotel site searches and acquisitions on behalf of Marriott and Hilton developers. He will also continue to handle new hotel site sales on behalf of mixed use developers.

Posted in Local, Members on the Move, Membership

Welcome New CRCBR Members

We are proud to introduce our new association members! The following is a list of individuals who have joined CRCBR since November 14:

Posted in Local, Membership