2040 Comprehensive Plan: What is Means for Charlotte and You
By Sam Smith Jr., CRC Member
The Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan is a long-range road map that will guide and prepare the city for future growth and development over the next several decades. With the growth Charlotte is facing and the fact that the city is ranked America’s 15th largest city, Charlotte needed a plan that will shape how we live, work, and play in our community. The 2040 Comprehensive Plan provides a framework to keep Charlotte unique and vibrant. The last time Charlotte had a framework like this was in 1975, so as you can see, Charlotte is not the same city it was in 1975. Upon completion, this plan will be a living guide that will bring the community’s input and ideas to life.
According to the plan’s website, the Charlotte Future 2040 Plan is beneficial in many ways. It will help:
- Serve as a shared vision for Charlotte’s growth and development that is endorsed by our entire community;
- Identify what practices and plans we should keep and what should change;
- Provide an updated blueprint that guides how land is used, what infrastructure we invest in and how new policies are developed;
- Provide steps that outline how we start to live the plan and how we measure its success.
- Develop plans to identify and address our opportunities and challenges in various areas;
- Create a path for our city’s growth that is clear and easy to understand that serves as the foundation for our community’s vision; and
- Address essential issues that affect our community’s sense of equity, such as access to public transportation, affordable housing, affordable and nutritious food, and more.
The Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan has been in motion for several years. The plan was developed using research, data, and best practices that other major cities have used as a roadmap for their growth. The plan was driven by input from the community. The City hosted numerous focus groups and listening sessions as the plan was being developed. Those who participated shared their passion, ideas, and values for our city.
The Future Comprehensive Plan has 10 important goals:
Goal 1: 10-Minute Neighborhoods
Goal 2: Neighborhood Diversity & Inclusion
Goal 3: Housing Access for All
Goal 4: Transit- and Trail-Oriented Development (2T-OD)
Goal 5: Safe and Equitable Mobility
Goal 6: Healthy, Safe, and Active Communities
Goal 7: Integrated Natural and Built Environments
Goal 8: Diverse and Resilient Economic Opportunity
Goal 9: Retain Our Identity and Charm
Goal 10: Fiscally Responsible
What is the next phase of the process? In June 2021, Charlotte City Council passed the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan. Upon passing, the plan now moves into implementation. This process happens with three major initiatives. The first initiative is the 2040 Policy Map. The 2040 Policy Map translates place-based policies within the Comprehensive Plan into a map that guides types of development and intensity. Its primary focus is the place types (place types identify the overall character of a place within the community and provide policy guidance for decision-making). Place Types will provide less specific, visionary guidance, like a range of heights or a goal to meet, without mandatory requirements) and other zoning rules. The second initiative is the Charlotte Strategic Mobility Plan. The Strategic Mobility Plan is a strategy to connect people and places through public and private investment. The last initiative is the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The UDO lays out the land development rules for growth. It also addresses the implementation through private investments. Charlotte City Council is expected to take action on all three initiatives by July 2022.
You are encouraged to learn more and get involved with this process as it affects each of us as community members of Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
If you would like to get involved and learn more about the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan, visit: https://cltfuture2040.com/about/.