There’s a growing consensus that if we want to get out of the housing affordability mess we’re in, we need to hear a lot more swinging hammers.
Policymakers, developers and housing advocates are all talking about the need to build more, and more of everything: single-family houses, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses and apartments. It’s fast become the conventional wisdom that we need to lower regulatory barriers, streamline the development process and unleash the power of the market on our housing problems by allowing as much density as possible.
Leaders from across the region gathered Monday in a conference room at Charlotte Douglas International Airport with an ambitious goal: Creating a comprehensive plan for public transit, covering a dozen counties and setting the transit agenda for decades.
Called CONNECT Beyond, the 18-month planning effort by the Centralina Council of Governments is, to put it simply, big. The planning area covers 12 counties, in two states, with 17 different transit systems. Previous transit planning efforts have been focused mostly on one county at a time. The goal here is to come up with a plan to coordinate and prioritize projects, as well as funding requests, across the whole region.
“Twenty years from now, I think everyone is going to look back on this as the jumping-off point,” said John Muth, the Charlotte Area Transit System’s chief development officer.
The Charlotte Area Transit System took another step towards expanding the region’s transit network this week, with recommendations for how to extend the Blue Line light rail about five miles through Pineville to Ballantyne.
At the Metropolitan Transit Commission, staff presented their...
Read the interview or listen to the podcast: Charlotte may be fast-growing but growth rates in nearby Lancaster County. S.C., are through the roof. We talk with Lancaster County Planning Director Penelope G. Karagounis about the influx of suburban spillover development.
The old planners’ joke is that Americans hate two things for their cities—urban sprawl and high density. PlanCharlotte examined where in this metro region multifamily is, and where it isn’t. Some communities, hoping to attract more Millennials, want more multifamily. Others’ long-range plans discourage multifamily development.
Charlotte leaders have been talking about the outerbelt, Interstate 485, for decades. While most residents were concerned primarily with what it would mean for drive times, planners and others spent time contemplating the highway's effect on the area's growth. A sampling of comments over the years.
In cities and counties surrounding Charlotte, tensions are swirling over rapid residential growth and – especially – how to pay for it. Can their low tax rates support urban services new residents want? (Explore interactive maps.)
Since 2010, the home counties of Charlotte and Raleigh have accounted for nearly half of all population growth in North Carolina. Just 10 N.C. counties tallied nearly 80 percent of the state's increased population. (Image: John Chesser, Tableau maps)
Charlotte-area residents will have an additional opportunity to voice their opinion on the region’s growth. A fourth Mecklenburg County workshop will be held Oct. 24 at Freedom Park as part of the “CONNECT Our Future” planning program. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
It’s no secret the Charlotte region has seen a huge influx of newcomers, with homes built by the thousands. New Census data show the high percentage of homes that are only a few years old. With interactive, county-by-county data.
How can the Charlotte region prepare for the thousands of new jobs and houses expected to come here? RealityCheck2050, part of the CONNECT process, let regional participants develop their own versions of the future. (Photo: Melissa Currie)
Aided by a $5 million federal grant, residents and businesses throughout the 14-county Charlotte region are engaged in a process to envision the region's best future and create a roadmap for getting there. This interactive article describes the process, plans and players for CONNECT Our Future. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 153,015 individuals who worked in Mecklenburg County commuted from another county in the Charlotte MSA – among the highest number of county-to-county commuters in the U.S. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
In January, the Charlotte metro area population was 1.8 million people. In February, the metro area population was 2.3 million. Where did the half-million people come from? New boundaries were drawn for metropolitan statistical areas. (Photo: Downtown Chester, S.C., in Chester County, which was added to the Charlotte MSA. / Nancy Pierce)
Some well-known intersections in the city hide the remnants of a now forgotten, but once major highway through the Carolinas. It was known as Potter Road and its name referred to the one-time pottery industry in western Lincoln County. Today, after neighbors pushed the city to save a piece of the old road's route, an obscure patch of trees at Central Avenue and Kilborne Road is all that’s left to tell the story.
The Charlotte metro was definitely a hotbed of growth for the state during the past decade. But the pattern within the metro region is uneven, with much of the strongest population increases concentrated in areas north and south of Charlotte.
In the wake of the financial crash, many real estate developments across the Charlotte region appear frozen in various stages of construction. But a few of these so-called “zombie subdivisions” may be reviving, as developers regain their financial footing and, in some cases, propose new plans. (Click here for a photo gallery of abandoned subdivisions in and around Charlotte.)
How much are homes in your neighborhood worth? The era of upside-down mortgages and foreclosures has left homeowners across the country anxious about home values – theirs and their neighbors'. In the midst of this housing market upheaval, explosive growth in the Charlotte region has reshaped residential patterns.
Recent headlines have trumpeted the U.S. Census finding that between 2000 and 2010, the Charlotte “urbanized area” was the nation’s fastest growing among areas with 1 million or more people. But it also highlighted the inconsistent, even chaotic, differences in how the so-called Charlotte region is defined.