An update from our workshop on Monday:

We had a pretty wide-ranging conversation on several different aspects of development in Belmont. Staff started off by sharing some interesting statistics about growth in Belmont. Since 2010, our population has grown by about 20% and much of the fastest growth in Gaston County is occurring in Mount Holly, Belmont, and Cramerton (which you’ll notice are the three communities closest to Charlotte). Last year, Belmont saw about 350 new housing starts, and we are on track to meet or surpass that this year. So, we are seeing some very real growth (especially within the last two years or so).

To address this, we decided to begin making some updates to our Comprehensive Land Use Plan and our Land Development Code that will target different areas of the city to ensure that the planning for those areas is consistent with the community’s (and Council’s) vision for that area. Some of the changes we discussed involved limiting high density multi-family housing (i.e. apartment buildings) to the Wilkinson Blvd corridor and specifically keeping them out of the downtown district. We also discussed what sort of residential development we’d like to see downtown (such as second- or third-story units built on top of first-floor commercial/office space). Building height was another topic of interest, and we talked about the importance of preserving the vista of our downtown and not crowding it out with buildings that are too large.

I also suggested that we look at our planning specifically in the area where the Catawba Crossings project is being proposed. I’ve heard some concerns about what the proposed bridge would mean for that part of the peninsula. I think it makes sense for the City Council to be proactive about creating the vision for that part of the City. So, we’ll look at creating some specific planning in a Small Area Plan for that part of the city.

Given the scope of the changes we discussed, we’ll also be soliciting public input by way of a series of meet-and-greets/coffee hours in different neighborhoods throughout the City. Look for more information on these early next year. You can, of course, always feel free to reach out to me directly.

There’s a lot going on in our City, so if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!

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