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Thursday, May 31, 2012

May 31, 2012
Just When Charlotte Needs
A Super Hero! Condo CanDo!

How To Define Zoning

My blogs and podcasts, my web and Twitter reflect my day, that makes sense. I am face to face with zoning everyday but not in a way that is immediately recognizable. In my life as a real estate broker I have rarely looked at a building or house or driveway and remarked about a violation. Experience is the teacher we learn and after recent months of a laborious zoning discrepancy, I look at everything with a new eye. And then, of course, I theorize, I try to define “Zoning” in a way that gives it life or soul or fancy or…well, you get my drift.

Zoning gives a voice to reason. Planning the details is writing the symphony for a city or town or village. Being careful and precise and sometimes even bold as a city grows and matures falls in the realm of zoning and rezoning. I think of Paris and how the height of buildings is people-scape. Paris seems friendly. New York for example seems monolithic. Back when I worked out West for a while and in and out of Houston, well, Houston then, in the early eighties, had no zoning. For me, it was unordered, random, untamed. It was, after all, the West.
In Charlotte, I get a sense of planning. Maybe it began when the trading paths of the Natives crossed at 77 and 85 or when the Square became the center point of our city, Trade and Tryon. Planning created our parks and our neighborhoods, planning conceived and built the Queens Road loops, the wider than usual Elizabeth Ave. and Clement, planning made the bold sweeps and zoning brought the details. One of the latest good strokes was the capping the height of buildings across the city. This decision came out of a rezoning request in Myers Park. As Charlotte grows, as our density increases and urbanism becomes a watchword, the folks in planning and zoning are ever attentive, they listen to all the voices.
My awareness of zoning has grown. So I took myself off to visit with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Manager, Tammie Keplinger. Her focus is on Rezoning. We had a great chat about her background and rezoning. Check out our podcast at