DEVELOPMENT

May 20, 2014
Burnsville and Morganton beat out Charlotte-area places to become the 2014 People's Choice winners in the APA-NC's "Great Places in N.C." contest. (Photo: Linda Brown)
May 20, 2014
Benjamin Ross, author of "Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism," will discuss his book at the UNC Charlotte Center City campus today at 6 p.m. Ross' talk will be followed by a panel discussion.
May 16, 2014
Transit advocate Benjamin Ross wondered why so many suburbanites fight development. After researching the founding values of U.S. suburbia he concludes it's based on status-seeking. He'll speak this evening at UNC Charlotte.
May 14, 2014
Wary of a proposed state bill that would gut the ability of N.C. cities, including Charlotte, to protect trees on private property, Charlotte City Council  will consider strategies for lobbying against it. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
May 08, 2014
Charlotte's Windy Ridge neighborhood has drawn extensive publicity as an extreme example of a neighborhood "built to fail." In a new article for an academic journal, three UNC Charlotte researchers conclude that one factor in its failure was Charlotte's "growth-machine" culture. A Q-and-A interview. (Photo: Josh MCann)
Feb 25, 2014
CONNECT Our Future, a long-term regional planning process for the 14-county Charlotte region, will host several forums in March. Project organizers will ask attendees for opinions on four growth scenarios for the region. Here's how to attend one of the forums. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Feb 12, 2014
Charlotte leaders cite Crystal City, outside Washington, as a model for new development they envision west of the airport. But this vision misses what makes Crystal City work: mass transit. (Photo: Mariana Gil/EMBARQ Brasil)
Feb 07, 2014
Charlotte city planners are moving forward with a plan to look - in stages - at revising the city-county zoning ordinance, hoping to finish that multiyear process by 2018.
Feb 05, 2014
In 2006, solar farms in North Carolina were few and far between. Last year, the state added more solar power capacity, about 400 megawatts, than any state except California. But now solar developers are facing something other fast-growing businesses have: Some pushback from neighbors who worry about their property values. (Photo: U.S. Department of Energy)
Jan 23, 2014
As hundreds of apartments pop up around transit stations in Charlotte's South End neighborhood, the city's plan for more high-density housing near its rail line is taking shape. But a sister policy encouraging apartments for low-income families isn't faring as well. (Photo: John Chesser)
Jan 15, 2014
A North Carolina Department of Transportation letter has planners and officials in several small Union County towns scrambling to figure out how they'll maintain new subdivision streets in one of the state's fastest growing counties.
Dec 03, 2013
Urged on by the city manager, Charlotte planners are taking more initiative to contact landowners along the city's new light rail line encouraging them to follow the city's vision for the corridor, Planning Director Debra Campbell said. (Photo: John Chesser)
Nov 15, 2013
Want to guess the large U.S. city rated worst for walkability by Walk Score, the national rating system? That would be the Queen City. That Charlotte needs work to become more walkable is not news to the city's transportation officials. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)  
Oct 30, 2013
Oct 30, 2013
A U.S. Postal Service change requiring the use of centralized box units in new neighborhoods is causing problems in some developments being forced to switch in mid-construction. (Photo: USPS)
Oct 10, 2013
A key city advisory committee has put off its recommendation on a proposed rezoning for a large car lot near a planned light rail station in University City. The deferral postpones City Council action to December – and a newly elected council. (Photo: Martin Zimmerman)
Oct 08, 2013
An artists’ colony in downtown Gastonia? That may sound far-fetched to those who remember Gastonia's textile mill past. But the Community Foundation of Gaston County is working with the nonprofit Artspace to build a project in Gastonia by 2016. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Sep 13, 2013
A University City-area rezoning petition up for a public hearing Monday raises serious questions about whether the city can stand behind its plans for transit-friendly development along the proposed Blue Line Extension light rail line. (Photo: Martin Zimmerman)
Aug 13, 2013
Last month, consultants for the City of Charlotte delivered their assessment of the city’s zoning ordinance. The study came in two parts – an Assessment Report and an Approach Report. Like the two parts of the report, after reading it I had two reactions: encouraged, and anxious to see more meaningful action. Commentary. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Jul 30, 2013
Development patterns along Charlotte's Blue Line show a mixed bag of more low-density neighborhoods than planners recommend. That means the corridor is brimming with opportunity to develop more intensely, and in a way that puts walkable, diverse urban neighborhoods near transit. (Photo: Melissa Currie)
Jul 24, 2013
Charlotte’s zoning ordinance sometimes gets in the way of carrying out adopted plans, a consultant’s report concludes. It also can be confusing, with occasionally contradictory requirements. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Jul 10, 2013
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.
Jun 26, 2013
WAXHAW – The question came from the audience during a presentation about the future of N.C. 16 through this fast-growing Union County town. “If we do all this, will we still be considered a small town?” (Graphic: Lawrence Group)
Jun 14, 2013
You’d think I would have known better. I’ve been writing about growth since before they called it Smart Growth. That’s why last week’s regional planning exercise made for an eye-opening glimpse of the real world. (Photo: Melissa Currie)
Jun 05, 2013
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)
May 31, 2013
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)
May 02, 2013
Changes to how metropolitan areas are defined added nearly a half-million people to Charlotte’s MSA, making it the 23rd most populous in the country. How did the changes affect Charlotte's peer metro areas such as Atlanta (pictured)? (Photo: dbking, used under CC-BY-2.0)
Apr 09, 2013
A new study of access to jobs via automobile, across the United States, ranks the Charlotte metro area near the bottom. Unlike simple congestion studies, this one looks at land use as well as the transportation system.  
Mar 20, 2013
A bill before the N.C. General Assembly would restrict cities' and towns' power to put design standards into zoning ordinances applying to residential development. We invited writers from opposite sides of the debate to offer their views.
Mar 20, 2013
Of metro areas with more than 1 million people, Charlotte ranked ninth nationally in population growth from 2011 to 2012. That growth was strongest at the center of the metro area, in Mecklenburg County, which outpaced the suburban counties in the region for the second year. (Image: Bing maps)
Mar 19, 2013
Ben Hitchings: Design standards protect existing neighborhoods, property values and resale potential. Homeowners should be seriously concerned about legislative efforts to remove such protections.
Mar 18, 2013
Joe Padilla: The debate over “Zoning/Design & Aesthetic Controls,” (House Bill 150) concerns two basic issues: first, how much government control we want over our power of consumer choice, and second, whether we want N.C. government to function as its founders intended.
Mar 12, 2013
With 11 multifamily projects under construction in South End, some advocates there want to raise the bar on design requirements in the city's transit-oriented zoning. The city has hired a local urban design consultant to suggest changes. (Rendering courtesy David Furman)  
Feb 28, 2013
Huntersville Town Hall was the setting for Wednesday afternoon’s public information meeting about HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes proposed on I-77. HOT lanes are a red-hot topic, and citizens were vocal about their concerns. Is the region ready to accept pay-as-you-go highways? (Photo: Melissa Currie)
Feb 19, 2013
The Charlotte City Council passed a measure to to try to encourage developers to build low-income housing in affluent neighborhoods, heard pro- and con- comments about a proposed outlet mall, and designated a historic landmark.
Feb 18, 2013
Brightwalk is unique among Charlotte’s new developments, and not just for its size and location –1,000 homes on 98 acres 2 miles from uptown. What also sets Brightwalk apart is that it will make environmental art a central part of the neighborhood. (Don’t know what environmental art is? We have an article and photos that explain it.)
Feb 14, 2013
Times have been tough in the local economy, but it looks as if we’ve finally turned the corner. If growth is starting to make a comeback, exactly where will it be? Is your county ready? (Photo:  U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office)
Feb 07, 2013
Since Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx gave his State of the City speech Monday, most publicity has focused on his remarks about the proposed streetcar and about a proposal in the legislature to remove Charlotte/Douglas International Airport from city control. Those are important issues. But another one may well trump those, and it’s not getting much publicity:The way Charlotte used to grow is over.
Feb 06, 2013
As breweries sprout across the Charlotte region, an industry group of local brewers and beer lovers is working with Charlotte planners to make city zoning more beer-friendly. (Photo: NoDa Brewing)
Feb 04, 2013
New single-family residential building permits in Mecklenburg County have been on a roller coaster ride since 2003. But preliminary numbers show a promising upswing heading into 2013. Using U.S. Census Bureau data1 to examine the previous decade's trends tracking back to 2003, what can we expect for new construction as we move forward in 2013?
Jan 15, 2013
Are urban growth boundaries effective tools for curbing sprawl, or an infringement of property rights?
Dec 06, 2012
When I moved to Charlotte more than 30 years ago, Matthews was the suburb. Years of attracting people looking for a small town and a private getaway have built a fabric of large lawns and scattered houses, and more lawns and more houses. Where does a it go from here?
Nov 27, 2012
Learning to speak each other's language about urbanism means understanding New Urbanism, Landscape Urbanism and more. So let’s sort a few things out and get at some simple definitions.
Nov 07, 2012
Commuting stories – we’ve all got one.  How does your commute time stack up to your fellow Mecklenburg resident?  Check out our maps, using 2010 U.S. Census data to break down average commute times.
Oct 05, 2012
In any other time, the request might not have been so hard. But a nonprofit developer’s plea for $2.3 million in city money from federal grants to restore a historic NoDa textile mill came after a lingering economic downturn, and after the city had already put $6.7 million into the property. Why is it so hard to restore an important piece of city history? Well, it’s complicated ...
Oct 03, 2012
Mecklenburg County is not on track to meet its 2008 goals for acquiring nature preserves and open space, and the trend is continuing downward, according to the 2012 State of the Environment Report. Greenways and parks are rated just “fair.”
Sep 17, 2012
Using nature as a model, a team of UNC Charlotte students and faculty has unveiled its design for an energy-efficient, solar-powered house with a network of small pipes in the walls and ceiling, a type of concrete made from coal-burning waste and a complex dashboard control.  
Aug 29, 2012
After he and his family have bought property in uptown Charlotte for two decades and made plans for its future, developer Daniel Levine has partnered with Charlotte and Mecklenburg County to build a public park and two parking decks in First Ward. He talks with PlanCharlotte about why he hasn't, until now, moved forward with development.
Aug 22, 2012
An interactive map showing subdivisions in the Charlotte region that were not completed as originally planned due to the economic downturn.
Aug 17, 2012
Photos by Nancy Pierce Click here to read related story.