3 Important Things
- Zoning in. Charlotte’s zoning code is due for a rewrite. With the last major rewrite in 1992, the code focuses on separating different property uses (i.e., grocery stores go here, apartments go there, and single-family homes go over there). With mixed-use development on the rise, many new projects don’t fit into the code and require the city council to review the details and make approvals. The rewrite process will be lengthy with a projected completion date of 2020.
- Historic preservation tax credits. North Carolina’s Secretary of Cultural Resources Susan Kluttz wants to bring back tax credits to incentivize investment and development of older buildings. Historic preservation tax credits expired last year after Republican legislators argued that they cost tax payers too much. On average, about $15.2 million a year was allocated for the tax credits. Under a new plan that Kluttz helped develop that number would drop to $8 million. Because older buildings are more costly to renovate, it doesn’t make economic sense for developers to buy and renovate historic properties without a tax incentive.
- Kentucky’s not the only one. You’ve probably heard about Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis, who is currently in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. In North Carolina, 32 magistrates have done the same thing as Kim Davis. However, under a new state law in North Carolina, it is legal for magistrates to opt-out of marrying same-sex couples for religious reasons. Magistrates are required to declare in advance if they have a religious objection to issuing marriage licenses. Each magistrates’ office is required to offer marriages at least 10 hours a week on at least three different days a week. Opponents ask what will happen when there’s only one magistrate that staffs a particular office and that magistrate opts out of performing same-sex marriages?
2 Happy Things
- Charlotte found extra money in the budget. The city is using the $20 million extra it found in the budget to fund several new projects on the Blue Line Extension, including a bigger light rail storage and repair facility and a new pedestrian bridge at the Sugar Creek station. It will also fund the extension of a pedestrian bridge to cross the northbound lanes of North Tryon Street at the JW Clay/UNC Charlotte Station.
- Test results released last week show that 3 percent more CMS students are college or career ready in science than in previous years. Additionally, black and Hispanic students statewide had a 10 percent increase in performance in science over the last two years.
1 Random Thing
- Charlotte has the 22nd-largest television market in the country. Raleigh has the 25th largest market. Only five states have more than one media market in the top 25.
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