ARTICLE 3: Zoning Districts

ARTICLE 3.1: ZONING DISTRICTS ESTABLISHED

.1  General Districts
The General Zoning Districts are established below in a hierarchy from “highest” to “lowest”.  Reclassification of property to any general zoning district is considered under the procedures of Section 11.4.  The requirements of each general district are established in Section 3.2.

District               Classification
 R      Rural District  Residential
 TR      Transitional Residential District      Residential
 NR      Neighborhood Residential District      Residential
 GR  General Residential District      Residential
 TND-R      Rural Traditional Neighborhood Development District  Mixed Use
 TND-U  Urban Traditional Neighborhood Development District  Mixed Use
 TOD-R  Transit-Oriented Development District-Residentially Led  Mixed Use    
 NC      Neighborhood Center District  Mixed Use
 TC  Town Center District      Mixed Use
 CI      Campus Institutional District  Mixed Use
 TOD-E  Transit-Oriented Development District-Employment Led  Commercial
 HC      Highway Commercial District  Commercial
 CB  Corporate Business District  Commercial
 VS      Passenger Vehicle Sales District  Commercial
 SP  Special Purpose District  Commercial


Article 3.2 Conditional Zoning Districts

Conditional zoning districts correspond to general districts.  They provide for those situations  where a particular use, properly planned, may be appropriate for a particular site, but where the general district has insufficient standards to mitigate the site-specific impact on surrounding areas. Uses which may be considered for a conditional zoning district are restricted to those uses permitted in the corresponding general zoning district. Conditional Zoning Districts are established on an individualized basis, at the request of the property owner, according to the procedures of Section 11.4.  Zoning of a conditional zoning district is not intended for securing early or speculative reclassification of property.  It is expected that, in most cases, the standards of the General Districts appropriately regulate site-specific impact of permitted uses and structures on surrounding areas.

District               Classification
 R(CD)  Conditional Zoning Rural District  Residential
 TR(CD)   Conditional Zoning Transitional Residential District      Residential
 NR(CD)      Conditional Zoning Neighborhood Residential District      Residential
 GR(CD)  Conditional Zoning General Residential District      Residential
 TND-R(CD)      Conditional Zoning Rural Traditional Neighborhood Development District  Mixed Use
 TND-U(CD)  Conditional Zoning Urban Traditional Neighborhood Development District  Mixed Use
 TOD-R(CD)  Conditional Zoning Transit-Oriented Development District-Residentially Led  Mixed Use    
 NC(CD)      Conditional Zoning Neighborhood Center District  Mixed Use
 TC(CD)  Conditional Zoning Town Center District      Mixed Use
 CI(CD)      Conditional Zoning Campus Institutional District  Mixed Use
 TOD-E(CD)  Conditional Zoning Transit-Oriented Development District-Employment Led  Commercial
 HC(CD)      Conditional Zoning Highway Commercial District  Commercial
 CB(CD)  Conditional Zoning Corporate Business District  Commercial
 VS(CD)      Conditional Zoning Passenger Vehicle Sales District  Commercial
 SP(CD)  Conditional Zoning Special Purpose District  Commercial

.3 Overlay District
An Overlay District is a zoning district which is applied only in conjunction with another zoning district.  It may grant additional uses, restrict permitted uses, or impose development requirements which differ from those of the underlying district.  The underlying district and the overlay district, taken together, will control development.  The Overlay Districts are established below. The requirements of each Overlay District are set forth in Section 3.3.   

 District    Classification
 MH-O      Manufactured Home Overlay District  Residential
 MIL-O      Mountain Island Lake Watershed Overlay District       Environmental Protection    
 LN-O      Lake Norman Watershed Overlay District  Environmental Protection

.4 Zoning District Boundary Interpretation  

1. Where district boundaries are shown within a street or alley right-of-way, railroad or utility line right-of-way, recorded easement, or navigable or non-navigable waterway, such boundaries shall be construed to be in the center of the right-of-way, easement, or waterway.
 
2. Where district boundaries are so indicated that they approximately follow lot lines, or town, city, or county borders, such lines shall be construed to be said district boundaries, unless otherwise indicated. 

3. Where district boundaries are so indicated that they are approximately parallel to the centerlines of streets, highways, or railroads, or rights-of-way of same, such district boundaries shall be construed as being parallel thereto and at such distance therefrom as indicated on the zoning map.  If no distance is shown, such distance shall be determined by use of the scale shown on the official Zoning Maps. 

4. Where a district boundary line divides a single lot, each part of the lot shall be used in conformity with the standards established by these regulations for the district in which that part is located. 
5. If, because of error or omission in the maps, any property within the jurisdiction of this ordinance is not shown as being in a zoning district, such property will be classified as TRANSITIONAL until changed by amendment. 
6. When a zoning case file contains detailed, verifiable information regarding the boundary, that information will be used as the correct boundary location. 
7. In instances where none of the above methods are sufficient to resolve the boundary location, the reasonable maintenance of a regular boundary will be used to establish the boundary location. 

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3.2 General Districts

3.2.1 RURAL DISTRICT (R)

Intent: The Rural District is provided to encourage the development of neighborhoods and rural compounds that set aside natural vistas and landscape features for permanent conservation. Density of development is regulated on a sliding scale; permitted densities rise with increased open space preservation. Development typologies associated with the Rural District are farms, the single house, the conservation subdivision, the farmhouse cluster, and the residential neighborhood. The section number in parenthesis following listed use indicates the ordinance section of development conditions.

a) Permitted Uses

Uses permitted by right
  • bed and breakfast inns
  • boarding or rooming houses for up to two roomers
  • family care home
  • single family detached homes
Uses permitted with conditions
  • cemeteries, (9.7)
  • religious institutions, (9.8)
  • duplexes up to 10% of dwelling units in development, (9.13)
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • government buildings up to 5000 square feet of gross floor area; fire stations are permitted in government buildings up to 15,000 square feet of gross floor area
  • neighborhood and outdoor recreation, (9.21)
  • parks, (9.29)
  • plant nurseries, (9.46)
  • riding academies and/or commercial stables, (9.33)
  • schools, (9.35)
  • transit shelters, (9.39)
Uses permitted with Special Use Permit
  • Agricultural industry, (9.3)
  • Banquet Facility, (9.59)
  • Commercial communication towers, (9.9)
  • Solar energy facility, minor residential, as follows: located on the facade elevation facing public street or common access; or located on the roof slope above the facade of the structure facing public street or common access, (9.54)
  • Solar energy facility, free-standing minor non-residential (9.54)
  • Solar energy facility, rooftop minor non-residential noticeable on roof slope facing a street (9.54)
  • Solar energy facility, major (9.54)
  • Wind energy facility, minor & major (9.53)
b) Permitted Building and Lot Types
  • attached house
  • civic building
  • detached house
c) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • accessory dwelling, (9.1)
  • day care home (small), (9.11)
  • home occupations, (9.19)
  • marinas, (9.42)
  • solar energy facilities, minor non-residential; on a flat roof, roof slopes not facing a street and building integrated solar panels on roof slopes facing a street that are not noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facilities, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes (9.54)
  • accessory uses permitted in all districts (8.11)
d) General Requirements

1. Frontage on a public street is required for all lots in the Rural District except those comprising a Farmhouse Cluster (see Special Requirements, paragraph e), this section), those comprising a Conservation Subdivision (see Special Requirements, paragraph f), or those specifically excepted in Article 8.1.

2. Development in the Rural District shall meet the following standards:

a. Non-residential lots outside of planned developments and lots in exempt subdivisions not approved as Farmhouse Clusters or Conservation Subdivisions require a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet and a minimum lot width of 90’; no open space requirement. Further, individual lots of less than 20,000 square feet and/or 90’ width, existing prior to the effective date of this ordinance, are construed to be conforming.

b. Except as provided in a. above, Farmhouse Cluster and Conservation Subdivision Standards, density in the Rural zoning district shall be as follows:


Percent Open Space     
 0% unless tract is within a proposed greenway in which case the greenway shall,     
at a minimum, be reserved as open space per the subdivision regulations  
25%     
 45% or more    
 
Units per Gross Acre
 
Less than .3 units per acre
.30 .90

For every 1% additional open space over 25%, density can be increased by .03 units per gross acre to a maximum of .90 units per gross acre.

c. Open space which is improved, dedicated and accepted by a public agency for public use shall be counted as 1.5 times the actual acreage as an incentive to provide improved public open space. Written proof of willingness to accept the open space by a public agency shall be presented at all stages of the approval process. Access shall at least consist of trails built to public standards meandering through the open space with public access points readily available and public access signs posted at those locations and where the trail intersects with roads shown on the Thoroughfare Plan. Other improvements, such as parks, shall be in accordance with applicable governmental standards.

d. In determining density permissible on a tract of land, fractions shall be dropped.

e. Lot sizes shall average at least 18,000 sq. ft., but in no case shall any lot be less than 15,000 sq. ft. The front yard setback for residential lots shall be a minimum of 20’. The side yard setback shall be 12’ and the rear yard setback shall be a minimum of 25’.

f. Lot widths shall average at least 100 feet (excluding cul-de-sac lots), but in no case shall any lot be less than 80' wide. On cul-de-sac or turn-arounds, lots shall have at least 80% of the minimum lot width required when measured to a point 50' back from the street right-of-way. Further, these lots shall have a minimum 35' of frontage along the street right-of-way.

g. In residential subdivisions, lots should not have a depth greater than 4 times the width at the build-to or setback line except where physical dimensions of the tract provide no other alternative layout or where the open space is for a required buffer. Emphasis shall be on quality of design as opposed to reduction of development costs.

h. In order to preserve the low intensity development character found in the Transitional zoning district, along existing state maintained roads and future thoroughfares a visually opaque landscaped buffer of native vegetation at least 80 feet in width shall be required for major subdivisions unless a more restrictive buffer is established elsewhere in these regulations. The Board of Commissioners may allow modification to the buffer width when special site conditions exist such as topography or the site has multiple road frontages. The buffer shall be in common area and shall be counted towards meeting open space requirements.

i. In major residential subdivisions, a landscaped median at least 20’ in width shall be required at all entrances into the subdivision. Modification to this standard may be allowed by the Board of Commissioners in the interest of traffic safety.

j. Open space shall not be located in private residential lots, unless specifically allowed by this ordinance.

3. Open Space. Designated Open Space includes that parcel or parcels of land which shall be set aside in perpetuity and shall have no buildings or permanent structures constructed within its perimeters except as provided for in this section. Open space shall meet the provisions of this section and the provisions for open space established in Article 7. There are three types of open space in the Rural District which are as follows:
  • Natural Open Space: shall include areas where natural features, such as topography, rock outcroppings, hills and valleys are not altered. Only minimal thinning of vegetation shall be permitted to promote overall health of the natural area in accordance with the tree protection regulations of Article 7.
  • Recreational Open Space: shall include areas where natural features may be altered to provide for recreational activities without impacting the impervious quality of the soil except as provided herein. These activities may include ballfields, equestrian trails, hiking trails, picnicking, primitive camping, golf courses, green spaces (manicured or not), etc. Structures related to the recreation space may count towards open space provided they do not create an impervious area over 100 sq. ft.
  • Agricultural Open Space: shall include areas set aside for agricultural purposes such as growing fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.
a. Areas containing buildings and other impervious surfaces in excess of 100 square feet, shall not be counted as Open Space. This shall include, but not be limited to, barns, storage buildings, parking lots, clubhouses and tennis courts,

b. Open Space that is dedicated and accepted by the general public shall be maintained and managed by the Town of Huntersville or Mecklenburg County. The town and county have the right to accept or deny the dedication of open space to the public.

c. In the Farmhouse Cluster and in the Conservation Subdivision, open space may also include portions of private building lots subject to a conservation or open space easement.

Further, in addition to having the required 20% open space in a common ownership, minor subdivisions are permitted to locate the open space within proposed private lots provided the lot size is 20% larger (1.2 ac) on average than the minimum required, subject to a conservation or open space easement.

d. Open space preservation shall be irrevocable. A metes and bounds description of the space to be preserved and limits on use shall be recorded on the subdivision plat, in homeowner covenants, and on individual deeds when open space lands are not held entirely in common. Alternative means of permanent open space preservation may include acceptance by a land conservation trust or a unit of government. Private management alternatives which ensure the open space preservation required by this section will also be permitted. Restrictive covenants shall limit uses to the continuation of certain agricultural activities (pastureland, crop cultivation) or recreation uses that preserve the view from public streets of rural heritage features to be preserved. Upon verification by the town that restriction of development has been established by a permanent and irrevocable instrument, a letter so noting shall be simultaneously issued to the property owner(s) and to the Mecklenburg County Tax Administrator, Office of Real Estate Appraisal.

4) Compatibility with Surrounding Development.
Along existing streets, new buildings shall respect the general spacing of structures, building mass and scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings.
New buildings which adhere to the scale, massing, volume, spacing, and setback of existing buildings along fronting streets exhibit demonstrable compatibility.
  • New buildings which exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings may demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.
  • A single-family detached house established on a lot of one acre or more that is created according to the provisions of Article 8.1, paragraph 1, need not adhere to the spacing, massing, scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings along an existing street or road, but shall, at a minimum, observe a front setback of 40 feet and a lot width of 90 feet. This paragraph shall take precedence over the requirement of Article 4: Lot Types/Detached House for placement of a building on its lot.
b. On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

e) Special Requirements: Farmhouse Cluster Developments

A Farmhouse Cluster permits the subdivision of land for up to six house lots accessed by way of a shared private drive when the following conditions have been met:

1) Minimum project size and frontage on public road: 10 acres with a minimum of 30 feet of frontage on a public road either by fee simple ownership or by exclusive easement

2) There shall be no more than two farmhouse cluster developments permitted per tract as that tract existed on February 18, 2003.

3) Private drives shall be paved in accordance with the Town of Huntersville construction standards. The private street right-of-way or easement shall be of sufficient width to accommodate drainage/water quality treatment associated with the private drive. Gates are prohibited for farmhouse cluster private drives. Further, the recorded easement shall have at least 30’ of frontage on a public street. In the event two farmhouse clusters are established, the private drive serving those farmhouse clusters may be connected provided:
a. The subdivision plat and associated deeds shall clearly state such drive shall remain private and will not be taken over by a public entity in the future unless such street complies with the construction standards of that public entity.

b. Where feasible, there shall be two means of ingress and egress into the combined farmhouse cluster development. Only in the event the original tract does not have the adequate frontage on a public road to obtain two driveway permits would one private drive be allowed to serve the combined farmhouse cluster development;

4) An association of all property owners shall be established for maintenance of all commonly held spaces, if any. Where there are no commonly held spaces except for a shared driveway or private street, a legally binding shared driveway and/or private street use and maintenance agreement shall be filed at the Register of Deeds of Mecklenburg County. Furthermore, the shared driveway or private road shall be shown, along with all appropriate and necessary easements, on a recorded plat and a note shall be attached thereto stipulating the use and maintenance of the driveway and referencing the recorded agreement(s).

5) The location of building sites shall be determined through a site analysis which identifies features listed in Article 7 to be preserved as open space;

6) No minimum lot size or width is required, so long as the project meets all other standards of the district;

7) At least 50% of the tract shall be designated as open space. Open space preservation shall be irrevocable. A metes and bounds description of the space to be preserved and limits on use shall be recorded on the subdivision plat and on individual deeds when open space lands are not held entirely in common. Open space lands may be part of a deeded lot so long as it reflects an irrevocable conservation or open space easement requiring such portions of individual lots to remain and be used as open space as provided in this section.

8) Permitted uses of open space lands to be preserved shall correspond generally to physical conditions at the time of subdivision approval. Restrictive covenants shall limit uses to the continuation of certain agricultural activities (pastureland, crop cultivation) or recreation uses that preserve the view from public streets of rural heritage features to be preserved. For example, fields or pasture land preserved as required open space may continue to support cultivation or grazing; however existing woodlands may not be clear-cut. In order to ensure septic tanks are located on the most suitable soils, septic fields may be located in common open space provided a maintenance easement is established for access.

9) The project shall maintain a generally rural appearance from public road(s).

10) Where a farmhouse cluster would eliminate a planned street connection or a street connection indicated on a plan adopted by the Town of Huntsville or the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Thoroughfare Plan, and no alternate alignment can reasonably provide the connection, the design of the farmhouse cluster shall provide for said connection by the dedication of right-of-way for streets less than 70 feet in width and by the reservation of right-of-way for streets 70 feet or wider.

11) A Farmhouse Cluster requires an approved Farmhouse Cluster subdivision plan, according to the requirements of the Huntersville Subdivision Ordinance including approval by the Town Board and shall meet all other requirements for review and approval, which may include preliminary plan approval prior to approval of a final plat.

f) Special Requirements: Conservation Subdivisions
A Conservation Subdivision permits single-family building lots to be divided from a parent tract(s) according to a streamlined subdivision approval process. The approval process, coupled with exemption from most zoning and subdivision requirements, is available to owners who voluntarily place conservation easements on their land in favor of an established lands conservancy. A land division can be approved as a Conservation Subdivision when the following conditions are met:

1) An irrevocable conservation easement held by a conservation organization (as authorized in U.S.C. 170(h); 2055(a) and N.C.G.S. 124-34 et seq.) is placed upon the tract(s) to be subdivided, and documentation of the conservation easement, including a boundary description of the area subject to the conservation easement is submitted with the subdivision application.

2) Limits on location and extent of land disturbance and building construction are set out in the conservation easement(s), which shall at a minimum preserve the rural appearance of the land when viewed from public roads and from abutting properties.

3) Treatment of floodplain(s) and required water quality buffers, as described in the conservation easement(s), conform to the minimum standards of the Huntersville Zoning and Subdivision ordinances.

4) Minimum project size: 40 acres.

5) Maximum gross density: 1 dwelling unit per 20 acres.

6) No new public streets are to be created through the development process.

7) All parcels within the conservation subdivision will have frontage on an existing public road right-of-way or will be provided access to a permanent 20-foot wide access easement that connects to the public right-of-way. Permanent access easement(s) may be either exclusive or non-exclusive, however landlocked parcel(s) may not be created. Documentation of lot access shall be submitted with the subdivision application.

8) The holder of the conservation easement will be held responsible for enforcement of the terms of the conservation easement.

9) Where the parent tract(s) abuts or includes a segment of a thoroughfare that is shown on the adopted thoroughfare plan and for which an engineered alignment has been selected, any right of way reservation required by the subdivision regulations shall be made, either by the filing of a deed or the filing of a plat map.

10) Documentation of the above, including a copy of the recorded conservation easement with metes and bounds description, shall be provided with the subdivision application and shall entitle the subdivider to choose to divide the property by deed, as a metes and bounds subdivision, or by final plat approval and recordation according to the requirements of subdivision ordinance Section 6.520 for a minor subdivision.

11) A Conservation Subdivision and the lots and homes built therein are exempt from the following ordinance provisions:

Requirement that each building lot have frontage on a public street.
  • Requirement to provide Urban Open Space.
  • Requirements of Article 4: Lot Types/Detached House, which section describes the placement of a building on its lot.
  • Requirements for the placement and size of residential garages set out in Section 8.16, paragraphs .1, and .6. All other standards of Section 8.16 shall apply.
  • Requirement to plant street trees along existing public road(s) where existing, mature trees are to be preserved as a condition of the conservation easement.
  • Requirement to construct or escrow funds for sidewalks or alternative pedestrian paths along existing public road(s).
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3.2.2 TRANSITIONAL RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT (TR)
Intent: The Transitional Residential District serves as a bridge between rural zones and more urbanized development. It is provided to encourage the development of neighborhoods and rural compounds that set aside natural vistas and landscape features for permanent conservation. Density of development is regulated on a sliding scale; permitted densities rise with increased open space preservation. Development typologies associated with the Transitional District are farms, the single house, the conservation subdivision, the farmhouse cluster, and the residential neighborhood. The section number in parenthesis following listed use indicates the ordinance section of development conditions.

a) Permitted Uses
Uses permitted by right
  • bed and breakfast inns
  • boarding or rooming houses for up to two roomers
  • family care homes
  • single family detached homes
Uses permitted with conditions
  • cemeteries, (9.7)
  • religious institutions, (9.8)
  • duplexes up to 20% of dwelling units in development, (9.13)
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • government buildings up to 5000 square feet of gross floor area; fire stations are permitted in government buildings up to 15,000 square feet of gross floor area
  • neighborhood and outdoor recreation, (9.21)
  • parks, (9.29)
  • plant nurseries, (9.46)
  • riding academies and/or commercial stables, (9.33)
  • schools, (9.35)
  • transit shelters, (9.39)
Uses permitted with Special Use Permit
  • agricultural industry, (9.3)
  • country inn development,(9.52)
  • solar energy facility, minor residential, as follows: located on the facade elevation facing public street or common access; or located on the roof slope above the facade of the structure facing public street or common access (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor free-standing non-residential, (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor rooftop non-residential on roof slope facing a street that are noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, major, (9.54)
  • wind energy facility, minor & major, (9.53)
b) Permitted Building and Lot Types
  • attached house
  • civic building
  • detached house
c) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • accessory dwelling, (9.1)
  • day care home (small), (9.11)
  • home occupations, (9.19)
  • marinas, (9.42)
  • solar energy facilities, minor non-residential; on a flat roof, roof slopes not facing a street and building integrated solar panels on roof slopes facing a street that are not noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facilities, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes (9.54)
  • accessory uses permitted in all districts (8.11)
d) General Requirements
1. Frontage on a public street is required for all lots in the Transitional Residential District except those comprising a Farmhouse Cluster (see Special Requirements, paragraph e), this section), those comprising a Conservation Subdivision (see Special Requirements, paragraph f), or those specifically excepted in Article 8.1.

2. Development in the Transitional Residential District shall meet the following standards:
a. Non-residential lots outside of planned developments and lots in exempt subdivisions not approved as Farmhouse Clusters or Conservation Subdivisions require a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet and a minimum lot width of 90’; no open space requirement. Further, individual lots of less than 20,000 square feet and/or 90’ width, existing prior to the effective date of this ordinance, are construed to be conforming.

b. Except as provided in a. above, Farmhouse Cluster and Conservation Subdivision Standards, density in the Transitional zoning district shall be as follows:

Percent Open Space     20%   
40% or more     
Units per Gross Acre        .5    1.5

For every 1% additional open space over 20%, density can be increased by .05 units per gross acre to a maximum of 1.5 units per gross acre.

c. Open space which is improved, dedicated and accepted by a public agency for public use shall be counted as 1.5 times the actual acreage as an incentive to provide improved public open space. Written proof of willingness to accept the open space by a public agency shall be presented at all stages of the approval process. Access shall at least consist of trails built to public standards meandering through the open space with public access points readily available and public access signs posted at those locations and where the trail intersects with roads shown on the Thoroughfare Plan. Other improvements, such as parks, shall be in accordance with applicable governmental standards.

d. In determining density permissible on a tract of land, fractions shall be dropped.

In mixed use developments, areas used for nonresidential purposes shall be subtracted from the tract acreage to determine density permitted.

e. Lot sizes shall average at least 12,000 sq. ft., but in no case shall any lot be less than 10,000 sq.ft. The side yard setback shall be 8’ and the rear yard setback shall be a minimum of 25’.

f. Lot widths shall average at least 75 feet (excluding cul-de-sac lots), but in no case shall any lot be less than 60' wide. On cul-de-sac or turn-arounds, lots shall have at least 80% of the minimum lot width required when measured to a point 50' back from the street right-of-way. Further, these lots shall have a minimum 35' of frontage along the street right-of-way.

g. In residential subdivisions, lots should not have a depth greater than 4 times the width at the build-to or setback line except where physical dimensions of the tract provide no other alternative layout or where the open space is for a required buffer. Emphasis shall be on quality of design as opposed to reduction of development costs.

h. In order to preserve the low intensity development character found in the Transitional zoning district, along existing state maintained roads and future thoroughfares a visually opaque landscaped buffer of native vegetation at least 80 feet in width shall be required for major subdivisions unless a more restrictive buffer is established elsewhere in these regulations. The Board of Commissioners may allow modification to the buffer width when special site conditions exist such as topography or the site has multiple road frontages. The buffer shall be in common area and shall be counted towards meeting open space requirements.

i. In major residential subdivisions, a landscaped median at least 20’ in width shall be required at all entrances into the subdivision. Modification to this standard may be allowed by the Board of Commissioners in the interest of traffic safety.

j. Open space shall not be located in private residential lots, unless specifically allowed by this ordinance.

3). Open Space. Designated Open Space includes that parcel or parcels of land which shall be set aside in perpetuity and shall have no buildings or permanent structures constructed within its perimeters except as provided for in this section. Open space shall meet the provisions of this section and the provisions for open space established in Article 7. There are four types of open space in the Transitional District which are as follows:

Natural Open Space: shall include areas where natural features, such as topography, rock outcroppings, hills and valleys are not altered. Only minimal thinning of vegetation shall be permitted to promote overall health of the natural area in accordance with the tree protection regulations of Article 7.
  • Recreational Open Space: shall include areas where natural features may be altered to provide for recreational activities without impacting the impervious quality of the soil except as provided herein. These activities may include ballfields, equestrian trails, hiking trails, picnicking, primitive camping, golf courses, green spaces (manicured or not), etc. Structures related to the recreation space may count towards open space provided they do not create an impervious area over 100 sq. ft.
  • Agricultural Open Space: shall include areas set aside for agricultural purposes such as growing fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.
  • Urban Open Space: shall be planned and improved, accessible and useable by persons living nearby and be in compliance with the provisions in Article 7. In a Parkway or Greenbelt setting as described in Article 7, some recreational areas may be located within urban open space.
a. Areas containing buildings and other impervious surfaces in excess of 100 square feet, shall not be counted as Open Space. This shall include, but not be limited to, barns, storage buildings, parking lots, clubhouses and tennis courts,

b. Open Space that is dedicated and accepted by the general public shall be maintained and managed by the Town of Huntersville or Mecklenburg County. The town and county have the right to accept or deny the dedication of open space to the public.

c. In the Farmhouse Cluster and in the Conservation Subdivision, open space may also include portions of private building lots subject to a conservation or open space easement.

Further, in addition to having the required 20% open space in a common ownership, minor subdivisions are permitted to locate the open space within proposed private lots provided the lot size is 20% larger (.9 ac) on average than the minimum required, subject to a conservation or open space easement.

d. Open space preservation shall be irrevocable. A metes and bounds description of the space to be preserved and limits on use shall be recorded on the subdivision plat, in homeowner covenants, and on individual deeds when open space lands are not held entirely in common. Alternative means of permanent open space preservation may include acceptance by a land conservation trust or a unit of government. Private management alternatives which ensure the open space preservation required by this section will also be permitted. Restrictive covenants shall limit uses to the continuation of certain agricultural activities (pastureland, crop cultivation) or recreation uses that preserve the view from public streets of rural heritage features to be preserved. Upon verification by the town that restriction of development has been established by a permanent and irrevocable instrument, a letter so noting shall be simultaneously issued to the property owner(s) and to the Mecklenburg County Tax Administrator, Office of Real Estate Appraisal.

5) Compatibility with Surrounding Development.
a. Along existing streets, new buildings shall respect the general spacing of structures, building mass and scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings.
  • New buildings which adhere to the scale, massing, volume, spacing, and setback of existing buildings along fronting streets exhibit demonstrable compatibility.
  • New buildings which exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings may demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.
  • A single-family detached house established on a lot of one acre or more that is created according to the provisions of Article 8.1, paragraph 1, need not adhere to the spacing, massing, scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings along an existing street or road, but shall, at a minimum, observe a front setback of 40 feet and a lot width of 90 feet. This paragraph shall take precedence over the requirement of Article 4: Lot Types/Detached House for placement of a building on its lot.
b. On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

e) Special Requirements: Farmhouse Cluster Developments
A Farmhouse Cluster permits the subdivision of land for up to six house lots accessed by way of a shared private drive when the following conditions have been met:

1) Minimum project size and frontage on public road: 10 acres with a minimum of 30 feet of frontage on a public road either by fee simple ownership or by exclusive easement.

2) There shall be no more than two farmhouse cluster developments permitted per tract as that tract existed on February 18, 2003.

3) Private drives shall be paved in accordance with the Town of Huntersville construction standards. The private street right-of-way or easement shall be of sufficient width to accommodate drainage/water quality treatment associated with the private drive. Gates are prohibited for farmhouse cluster private drives Further, the recorded easement shall have at least 30’ of frontage on a public street. In the event two farmhouse clusters are established, the private drive serving those farmhouse clusters may be connected provided:
a.  The subdivision plat and associated deeds shall clearly state such drive shall remain private and will not be taken over by a public entity in the future unless such street complies with the construction standards of that public entity.

b.  Where feasible, there shall be two means of ingress and egress into the combined farmhouse cluster development. Only in the event the original tract does not have the adequate frontage on a public road to obtain two driveway permits would one private drive be allowed to serve the combined farmhouse cluster development;

4) An association of all property owners shall be established for maintenance of all commonly held spaces, if any. Where there are no commonly held spaces except for a shared driveway or private street, a legally binding shared driveway and/or private street use and maintenance agreement shall be filed at the Register of Deeds of Mecklenburg County. Furthermore, the shared driveway or private road shall be shown, along with all appropriate and necessary easements, on a recorded plat and a note shall be attached thereto stipulating the use and maintenance of the driveway and referencing the recorded agreement(s).

5) The location of building sites shall be determined through a site analysis which identifies features to be preserved as open space;

6) No minimum lot size or width is required, so long as the project meets all other standards of the district;

7) At least 50% of the tract shall be designated as open space. Open space preservation shall be irrevocable. A metes and bounds description of the space to be preserved and limits on use shall be recorded on the subdivision plat and on individual deeds when open space lands are not held entirely in common. Open space lands may be part of a deeded lot so long as it reflects an irrevocable conservation or open space easement requiring such portions of individual lots to remain and be used as open space as provided in this section.

8) Permitted uses of open space lands to be preserved shall correspond generally to physical conditions at the time of subdivision approval. Restrictive covenants shall limit uses to the continuation of certain agricultural activities (pastureland, crop cultivation) or recreation uses that preserve the view from public streets of rural heritage features to be preserved. For example, fields or pasture land preserved as required open space may continue to support cultivation or grazing; however existing woodlands may not be clear-cut. In order to ensure septic tanks are located on the most suitable soils, septic fields may be located in common open space provided a maintenance easement is established for access.

9) The project shall maintain a generally rural appearance from public road(s).

10) Where a farmhouse cluster would eliminate a planned street connection or a street connection indicated on a plan adopted by the Town of Huntsville or the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Thoroughfare Plan, and no alternate alignment can reasonably provide the connection, the design of the farmhouse cluster shall provide for said connection by the dedication of right-of-way for streets less than 70 feet in width and by the reservation of right-of-way for streets 70 feet or wider.

11) A Farmhouse Cluster requires an approved Farmhouse Cluster subdivision plan, according to the requirements of the Huntersville Subdivision Ordinance including approval by the Town Board and shall meet all other requirements for review and approval, which may include preliminary plan approval prior to approval of a final plat.

f) Special Requirements: Conservation Subdivisions
A Conservation Subdivision permits single-family building lots to be divided from a parent tract(s) according to a streamlined subdivision approval process. The approval process, coupled with exemption from most zoning and subdivision requirements, is available to owners who voluntarily place conservation easements on their land in favor of an established lands conservancy. A land division can be approved as a Conservation Subdivision when the following conditions are met:

1) An irrevocable conservation easement held by a conservation organization (as authorized in U.S.C. 170(h); 2055(a) and N.C.G.S. 124-34 et seq.) is placed upon the tract(s) to be subdivided, and documentation of the conservation easement, including a boundary description of the area subject to the conservation easement is submitted with the subdivision application.

2) Limits on location and extent of land disturbance and building construction are set out in the conservation easement(s), which shall at a minimum preserve the rural appearance of the land when viewed from public roads and from abutting properties.

3) Treatment of floodplain(s) and required water quality buffers, as described in the conservation easement(s), conform to the minimum standards of the Huntersville Zoning and Subdivision ordinances.

4) Minimum project size: 40 acres.

5) Maximum gross density: 1 dwelling unit per 20 acres.

6) No new public streets are to be created through the development process.

7) All parcels within the conservation subdivision will have frontage on an existing public road right-of-way or will be provided access to a permanent 20-foot wide access easement that connects to the public right-of-way. Permanent access easement(s) may be either exclusive or non-exclusive, however landlocked parcel(s) may not be created. Documentation of lot access shall be submitted with the subdivision application.

8) The holder of the conservation easement will be held responsible for enforcement of the terms of the conservation easement.

9) Where the parent tract(s) abuts or includes a segment of a thoroughfare that is shown on the adopted thoroughfare plan and for which an engineered alignment has been selected, any right of way reservation required by the subdivision regulations shall be made, either by the filing of a deed or the filing of a plat map.

10) Documentation of the above, including a copy of the recorded conservation easement with metes and bounds description, shall be provided with the subdivision application and shall entitle the subdivider to choose to divide the property by deed, as a metes and bounds subdivision, or by final plat approval and recordation according to the requirements of subdivision ordinance Section 6.520 for a minor subdivision.

11) A Conservation Subdivision and the lots and homes built therein are exempt from the following ordinance provisions:
  • Requirement that each building lot have frontage on a public street.
  • Requirement to provide Urban Open Space.
  • Requirements of Article 4: Lot Types/Detached House, which section describes the placement of a building on its lot.
  • Requirements for the placement and size of residential garages set out in Section 8.16, paragraphs .1, and .6. All other standards of Section 8.16 shall apply.
  • Requirement to plant street trees along existing public road(s) where existing, mature trees are to be preserved as a condition of the conservation easement.
  • Requirement to construct or escrow funds for sidewalks or alternative pedestrian paths along existing public road(s).
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3.2.3 GENERAL RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT (GR)

Intent: The General Residential District is coded to permit the completion and conformity of conventional residential subdivisions already existing or approved in sketch plan form by the Huntersville Board of Commissioners prior to the effective date of these regulations or by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission under the prior jurisdiction of Mecklenburg County. The application of the General Residential District is not intended for development projects in the Huntersville jurisdiction which are initiated after the effective date of this ordinance (November 19, 1996).

a) Permitted Uses
Uses permitted by right
  • single family homes
  • family care homes
Uses permitted with conditions
  • cemeteries, (9.7)
  • religious institutions, (9.8)
  • duplexes on corner lots, (9.13)
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • government buildings up to 5000 square feet of gross floor area
  • neighborhood and outdoor recreation, (9.21)
  • parks, (9.29)
  • schools, (9.35)
  • transit shelters, (9.39)
Uses permitted with Special Use Permit
  • solar energy facility, minor residential, as follows: located on the facade elevation facing public street or common access; or located on the roof slope above the facade of the structure facing public street or common access (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor free-standing non-residential, (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor rooftop non-residential on roof slope facing a street that is noticeable (9.54)
  • wind energy facility, minor (accessory) (9.53)
b) Permitted Building and Lot Types
  • civic building
  • detached house
  • other building types previously approved by the Board of Commissioners as elements of a cluster development plan
c) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • accessory dwellings for use by related person(s), (9.1)
  • day care home (small), (9.11)
  • home occupations, (9.19)
  • marinas, (9.42)
  • solar facilities, minor non-residential; on a flat roof, roof slopes not facing a street and building integrated solar panels on roof slopes facing a street that are not noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facilities, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes (9.54)
  • accessory uses permitted in all districts (8.11)
d) General Requirements
1) Development density, amount and location of open space, arrangement of streets and lots, yard dimensions, and access to existing roads shall be controlled by the most recently approved subdivision plan (sketch, preliminary, or plat). Any modifications to an approved subdivision plan shall maintain the density of the original plan.

2) Developments in the general residential district which are approved but not yet built are permitted minor modifications through the administrative process; such developments, if redesigned, must conform to all of the requirements of this ordinance for the GR District (3, below) or may petition for a district change according to Section 11.4.

3) In the absence of a subdivision sketch or preliminary plan approved prior to the effective date of this ordinance, the following lot dimensions shall apply:

 Minimum Lot
  Size
Minimum Lot
Width
 Minimum Front
Yard Setback

 Minimum Rear
Yard Setback
 Minimum
Side
Yard Setback
 Minimum Corner Lot
Side Yard Setback
 20,000 sq. ft.
 90'  40'  50'  10'  20'


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3.2.4 NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT (NR)
Intent: The Neighborhood Residential District provides for residential infill development surrounding the traditional town center and its logical extensions. This district also provides for town-scaled residential development within walking distance (generally ½ mile) of satellite village centers, identified on the Land Development Plan . Streets in the Neighborhood Residential District must be interconnected, according to Article 5, Streets, and Urban Open Space provided according to Article 7. A range of housing types is encouraged. Low-intensity business activity is permitted in mixed-use and commercial buildings at residential scale, according to locational criteria. The intensity to which permitted uses may be built is regulated by the building type which corresponds to the use.

a) Permitted Uses
Uses permitted by right
  • bed and breakfast inns
  • boarding or rooming houses for up to four roomers
  • congregate housing designed within the “civic” building type
  • family care homes
  • multi-family homes
  • single family homes
Uses permitted with conditions
  • cemeteries, (9.7)
  • religious institutions, (9.8)
  • commercial use in a mixed use building1, located on an arterial or at the intersection of a neighborhood street and a larger capacity street
  • commercial use, in a detached house building type, located within 1/4 mile of a Town Center district and fronting a major or minor thouroughfare ( includes properties in which any portion falls within the 1/4 mile boundry) (9.51).
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • government buildings up to 5000 square feet of gross floor area
  • neighborhood and outdoor recreation, (9.21)
  • parks, (9.29)
  • retirement communities (9.50)
  • schools, (9.35)
  • transit-oriented parking lots as a principal use, (9.49)
  • transit shelters, (9.39)
1 The mixed use building duplicates the shopfront building type and has at least two occupiable stories; at least 50% of the habitable area of the building shall be in residential use, the remainder shall be in commercial use. However, when an existing residential building is redeveloped to a mixed-use, at least 40% of the habitable area shall be in residential use.

Uses permitted with Special Use Permit

  • solar energy facility, minor residential, as follows: located on the facade elevation facing public street or common access; or located on the roof slope above the facade of the structure facing public street or common access (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor free-standing non-residential, (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor rooftop non-residential on roof slope facing a street that are noticeable (9.54)
  • wind energy facility, minor (accessory) (9.53)
b) Permitted Building and Lot Types
  • apartment
  • attached house
  • civic building
  • detached house
  • detached house (Commercial uses up to 4500 SF of first floor area).
  • mixed use*, up to 3,000 SF of first floor area

c) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • accessory dwelling, (9.1)
  • day care home (small), (9.11)
  • home occupation, (9.19)
  • marinas, (9.42)
  • solar energy facilities, minor non-residential; on a flat roof, roof slopes not facing a street and building integrated solar panels on roof slopes facing a street that are not noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facilities, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes (9.54)
  • accessory uses permitted in all districts (8.11)
d) General Requirements
1) Along existing streets, new buildings shall respect the general spacing of structures, building mass and scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings.
  • New buildings which adhere to the scale, massing, volume, spacing, and setback of existing buildings along fronting streets exhibit demonstrable compatibility.
  • New buildings which exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings may demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.
  • A single-family detached house established on a lot of one acre or more that is created according to the provisions of Article 8.1, paragraph 1, need not adhere to the spacing, massing, scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings along an existing street or road, but shall, at a minimum, observe a front setback of 40 feet and a lot width of 90 feet. This paragraph shall take precedence over the requirement of Article 4: Lot Types/Detached House for placement of a building on its lot.
2) On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

3) In major subdivisions which are extensions of the traditional town center and planned developments associated with new neighborhood centers, the aggregate number of dwelling units contained in attached houses, apartment buildings, and mixed-use buildings shall not exceed 30 percent of the total number of dwelling units in a project.

4) Notwithstanding the limitations of 3), above, in any section of a major subdivision located within ¼ mile of a designated rail transit station, the percentage of dwelling units contained in attached houses, apartment buildings, and mixed use buildings is not limited. Higher overall density is encouraged within ¼ mile of rail transit stations. Rail transit stations are those locations designated by resolution adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Huntersville.

5) Every building lot shall have frontage upon a public street except as provided in Section 8.1.

6) The percentage of attached dwelling units contained in a retirement community is not limited when duplex style buildings are used.

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3.2.5 NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER DISTRICT (NC)
Intent: The Neighborhood Center District is provided for the location of shops, services, small workplaces, civic and residential buildings central to a neighborhood or grouping of neighborhoods and within walking distance of dwellings. A neighborhood center shall be developed on an interconnected pattern of streets and is limited to approximately ¼ mile in radius. Uses in the neighborhood center will have a primary market area of 1 mile and buildings compatible with surrounding residences. If a neighborhood center is the focus of a planned transit stop, it should be designed to serve the neighborhood’s residential base plus transit riders. The Huntersville Land Development Plan shows the general location of new neighborhood centers.

a) Permitted Uses
Uses permitted by right
  • bed and breakfast inns
  • boarding or rooming houses for up to six roomers
  • civic, fraternal, cultural, community, or club facilities
  • commercial uses
  • congregate housing designed within the “civic” building type
  • family care homes
  • indoor amusement
  • indoor recreation
  • multi-family homes
  • single family homes
Uses permitted with conditions
  • cemeteries, (9.7)
  • religious institutions, (9.8)
  • commercial marinas, (9.43)
  • day care center, (9.11)
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • government buildings up to 6,000 SF of first floor area
  • neighborhood gasoline stations, excluding major service and repair of motor vehicles (9.22)
  • parking lot as principal use (9.28)
  • parks, (9.29)
  • schools, (9.35)
  • temporary outdoor sales of seasonal agricultural products and customary accessory products (example: farmers’ markets, Christmas tree/pumpkin sales), (9.37)
  • transit-oriented parking lots as a principal use, (9.49)
  • transit shelters, (9.39)
Uses permitted with Special Use Permit
  • solar energy facility, minor residential, as follows: located on the facade elevation facing public street or common access; or located on the roof slope above the facade of the structure facing public street or common access (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor free-standing non-residential, (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor rooftop non-residential on roof slope facing a street that is noticeable (9.54)
  • wind energy facility, minor (accessory) (9.53)
b) Permitted Building and Lot Types
  • apartment
  • attached house
  • civic
  • detached house
  • mixed use* up to 6,000 SF of first floor area
  • storefront up to 6,000 SF of first floor area
  • workplace up to 6,000 SF of first floor area
* The mixed use building duplicates the shopfront building type and has at least two occupiable stories; at least 50% of the habitable area of the building shall be in residential use, the remainder shall be in commercial use. However, when an existing residential building is redeveloped to a mixed-use, at least 40% of the habitable area shall be in residential use.

c) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • accessory dwelling, (9.1)
  • day care home (small), (9.11)
  • drive through windows, excluding those associated with restaurants, (9.12)
  • home occupation, (9.19)
  • marinas accessory to residential uses, (9.42)
  • solar energy facilities, minor non-residential; on a flat roof, roof slopes not facing a street and building integrated solar panels on roof slopes facing a street that are not noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facilities, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes (9.54)
  • stalls or merchandise stands for outdoor sale of goods at street front (encroachment onto sidewalk may be permitted by agreement with town); outdoor storage expressly prohibited**.
  • accessory uses permitted in all Districts (8.11)
** Items for sale are returned to building at end of each business day; goods not brought in at close of business day are considered outdoor storage.

d) General Requirements
1) Along existing streets, new buildings shall respect the general spacing of structures, building mass and scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings.
  • New buildings which adhere to the scale, volume, spacing, and setback of existing buildings along fronting streets exhibit demonstrable compatibility.
  • New buildings which exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings may demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.
2) On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

3) In major subdivisions and planned developments, the aggregate number of dwelling units contained in attached houses, apartment buildings, and mixed use buildings shall not exceed 30 percent of the total number of dwelling units in a project.

4) Notwithstanding the limitations of 3), above, in any section of a major subdivision located within ¼ mile of a designated rail transit station, the percentage of dwelling units contained in attached houses, apartment buildings, and mixed use buildings is not limited. Higher overall density is encouraged within ¼ mile of rail transit stations. Rail transit stations are those locations designated by resolution adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Huntersville. Further, the percentage of dwelling units contained in attached houses, apartment buildings and mixed-use buildings is not limited when the dwellings are part of a mixed-use (office and/or commercial, residential) project provided that no more than 45% of the habitable floor area within the planned development project is for residential use.

5) New Construction favors retail first floor, office or residential second floor

6) Maximum radius of neighborhood center = ¼ mile

7) Incremental development of a neighborhood center is to be expected with individual sites developed in accordance with an approved, locationally explicit, town plan.

8) Every building lot shall have frontage upon a public street or square.

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3.2.6 TOWN CENTER DISTRICT (TC)
Intent: The Town Center District provides for revitalization, reuse, and infill development in Huntersville’s traditional town center. A broad array of uses is expected in a pattern which integrates shops, restaurants, services, work places, civic, educational, and religious facilities, and higher density housing in a compact, pedestrian-oriented environment. The Town Center anchors the surrounding residential neighborhoods while also serving the broader community. The district is coded to accommodate the higher overall intensity of development required to support a rail transit station. It is to be expected that the Town Center District will be expanded over time through the zoning change process to an approximate ½ mile radius to meet growth in demand for downtown facilities and services.

a) Permitted Uses

Uses permitted by right
  • bed and breakfast inns
  • boarding or rooming houses for up to six roomers
  • civic, fraternal, cultural, community, or club facilities
  • commercial uses
  • congregate housing designed within the “civic” building type
  • family care homes
  •  government buildings
  • hotels
  • indoor amusement
  • multi-family homes
  • nightclubs, music clubs, bars, and similar entertainment facilities
  • single family homes
Uses permitted with conditions
  • automobile and/or motorcycle sales, automobile service and repair, up to 2 acres in size, with a principal building of at least 8,000 square feet, all damaged vehicles and auto parts to be screened opaque (9.25)
  • cemeteries, (9.7)
  • religious institutions, (9.8)
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • neighborhood gasoline stations, excluding major service and repair of motor vehicles (9.22)
  • parking lot as principal use (9.28)
  • parks, (9.29)
  • schools, (9.35)
  • temporary mobile food sales, (9.37)
  • temporary outdoor sales of seasonal agricultural products and customary accessory products (example: farmers’ markets, Christmas tree/pumpkin sales), (9.37)
  • transit-oriented parking lots as a principal use, (9.49)
  • transit shelters, (9.39)
Uses permitted with Special Use Permit
  • solar energy facility, minor residential, as follows: located on the facade elevation facing public street or common access; or located on the roof slope above the facade of the structure facing public street or common access (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor freestanding non-residential, (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor non-residential on a roof slope facing a street that is noticeable (9.54)
  • wind energy facility, minor (accessory) (9.53)
b) Permitted Building and Lot Types
  • apartment
  • attached house
  • civic
  • detached house
  • mixed use* up to 50,000 SF of first floor area; larger buildings may be permitted with a special use permit
  • storefront up to 50,000 SF of first floor area; larger buildings may be permitted with a special use permit
  • workplace up to 50,000 SF of first floor area; larger buildings may be permitted with a special use permit
* The mixed use building duplicates the shopfront building type and has at least two occupiable stories; at least 50% of the habitable area of the building shall be in residential use, the remainder shall be in commercial use. However, when an existing residential building is redeveloped to a mixed-use, at least 40% of the habitable area shall be in residential use.

c) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • accessory dwelling, (9.1)
  • day care home (small), (9.11)
  • drive through windows, excluding those associated with restaurants, (9.12)
  • home occupation, (9.19)
  • solar energy facilities, minor non-residential; on a flat roof, roof slopes not facing a street and building integrated solar panels on roof slopes facing a street that are not noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facilities, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes (9.54)
  • stalls or merchandise stands for outdoor sale of goods at street front (encroachment onto sidewalk may be permitted by agreement with town); outdoor storage expressly prohibited**
  • accessory uses permitted in all districts, (8.11)
** Items for sale are returned to building at end of each business day; goods not brought in at close of business day are considered outdoor storage.

d) General Requirements
1) Along existing streets, new buildings shall respect the general spacing of structures, building mass and scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings.
  • New buildings which adhere to the scale, massing, volume, spacing, and setback of existing buildings along fronting streets exhibit demonstrable compatibility.
  • New buildings which exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings may demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.
2) On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

3) In major subdivisions and planned developments, the aggregate number of dwelling units contained in attached houses, apartment buildings, and mixed use buildings shall not exceed 30 percent of the total number of dwelling units in a project.

4) Notwithstanding the limitations of 3), above, in any portion of a major subdivision located within ¼ mile of a designated rail transit station, the percentage of dwelling units contained in attached houses, apartment buildings, and mixed use buildings is not limited. Higher overall density is encouraged within ¼ mile of rail transit stations. Rail transit stations are those locations designated by resolution adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Huntersville.

5) New construction favors retail on first floor, office and/or residential on upper floors.

6) Every building lot shall have frontage upon a public street or square.

7) Minimum Height. Mixed use, Storefront and Workplace Buildings. New construction shall be a minimum of two stories for buildings fronting on the following roads:
  • Gilead Road- from Sherwood Drive to Old Statesville Road (NC 115)
  • Huntersville-Concord Road- from Old Statesville Road (NC 115) to Main Street
  • Old Statesville Road (NC 115)- from 400 feet north of the intersection at Gilead Road/Huntersville-Concord Road to Greenway Drive
  • Main Street- from Huntersville-Concord Road to Greenway Drive
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3.2.7 HIGHWAY COMMERCIAL DISTRICT (HC)
Intent: The Highway Commercial District is established to provide primarily for auto-dependent uses in areas not amenable to easy pedestrian access and a comfortable pedestrian environment. It is expected that the Highway Commercial District will serve not only the Huntersville Community, but interstate travelers as well. Because of the scale and access requirements of uses in this category, they often cannot be compatibly integrated within the Town Center or Neighborhood Center Districts. Development at district boundaries must provide a compatible transition to uses outside the district; property boundaries adjacent to freeways or expressways will require a 50-foot foliated buffer yard; and frontages on major or minor arterials will require formal street tree planting.

a) Permitted Uses
Uses permitted by right
  • amusement facilities: all indoor uses
  • armories for meetings and training of military organizations
  • auction sales
  • boarding or rooming houses for up to six roomers
  • religious institutions
  • civic, fraternal, cultural, community, or club facilities
  •  commercial uses
  • contractor offices and accessory storage yards, excluding the storage of general construction equipment and vehicles
  • government buildings
  • indoor and outdoor recreation
  • multi-family homes
  • nightclubs, music clubs, bars, and similar entertainment facilities
  • pawnshops and second-hand shops
  • single family homes
  • vocational and technical schools
  • wholesale sales with related office, storage and warehousing entirely within an enclosed building; truck terminals not permitted
Uses permitted with conditions
  • adult establishments, (9.2)
  • amusement facilities, outdoor, limited to par 3 golf courses, golf driving ranges, and archery ranges, (9.5)
  • car wash, (9.6)
  • commercial marinas, (9.43)
  • day care center, (9.11)
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • gasoline service stations, including service and repair of motor vehicles, (9.22)
  • hotels spaced 250' or more from residential or mixed use zones, (9.45)
  • parks, (9.29)
  • temporary outdoor sales of seasonal agricultural products (example: Christmas tree/pumpkin sales), (9.37)
  • temporary mobile food sales, (9.37)
  • transit-oriented parking lots as a principal use, (9.49)
  • transit shelters, (9.39)
  • vehicle and boat service, rental, cleaning, mechanical repair, and body repair, (9.25; 9.26)
  • internet sweepstakes, (9.58)
Uses permitted with special use permit:
  • crematoriums, accessory (9.56)
  • halfway houses (9.55)
  • hotels spaced less than 250' from residential or mixed use zones, (9.45)
  • solar energy facility, minor residential, as follows: located on the facade elevation facing public street or common access; or located on the roof slope above the facade of the structure facing public street or common access (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor free-standing non-residential, (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor rooftop non-residential on roof slope facing a street that is noticeable (9.54)
  • wind energy facility, minor (accessory) (9.53)
b) Permitted Building Types
  • apartment
  • attached house
  • civic
  • detached house
  • highway commercial; up to 65,000 SF of first floor area on major thoroughfare; up to 15,000 SF of first floor area on minor thoroughfare.[6]
  • mixed use[7] up to 65,000 SF of first floor area on major thoroughfare; up to 15,000 SF on minor thoroughfare
  • shopfront, up to 65,000 SF of first floor area on major thoroughfare; up to 15,000 SF of first floor area on minor thoroughfare; second floor apartments or offices encouraged for most uses.
  • workplaces; up to 65,000 SF of first floor area on major thoroughfare; up to 15,000 SF of first floor area on minor thoroughfare; second floor apartments or offices encouraged for most uses.
[6] Maximum first floor area for highway commercial buildings may be exceeded only where massing of building is varied to reduce perceived scale and volume. Maximum floor area of non-residential buildings on property located on a minor thoroughfare in the HC Zoning District may be exceeded, in the sole discretion of the Town Board, with the following conditions:
1) A conditional district rezoning of the property specifying first floor area of non-residential buildings is approved by the Town Board; and 2) The applicant applies for and receives approval of the rezoning of other property (the "Vested Property") for which vested right exists to construct a non-residential building with a first floor area that exceeds the maximum permitted; and 3) The rezoning of the Vested Property is to a less intensive use and has the effect of terminating such vested right.
[7] The mixed use building duplicates the shopfront building type and has at least two occupiable stories; at least 50% of the habitable area of the building shall be in residential use, the remainder shall be in commercial use.

c) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • commercial outdoor kennels, (9.10)
  • drive through windows associated with any use (9.12)
  • helistop, (9.18)
  • outdoor storage, excluding construction equipment, (9.26)
  • solar energy facilities, minor non-residential; on a flat roof, roof slopes not facing a street and building integrated solar panels on roof slopes facing a street that are not noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facilities, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes (9.54)
  • stalls or merchandise stands for outdoor sale of goods at street front; outdoor storage must be behind building and screened from view from public spaces[8]
  • warehousing accessory to merchandise showroom, within an enclosed building
  • accessory uses permitted in all districts, (8.11)
8. Items for outdoor sale are returned to building at end of each day; goods not brought in at close of business day are considered outdoor storage.

d) General Requirements
1) Along existing streets, new buildings shall respect the general spacing of structures, building mass and scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings.
  • New buildings which adhere to the scale, massing, volume, spacing, and setback of existing buildings along fronting streets exhibit demonstrable compatibility.
  • New buildings which exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings may demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.
2) On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

3) In major subdivisions and planned developments, the aggregate number of dwelling units contained in attached houses, apartment buildings, and mixed use buildings shall not exceed 30 percent of the total number of dwelling units in a project.

4) Notwithstanding the limitations of 3), above,
(a) In any section of a major subdivision located within ¼ mile of a designated rail transit station, the percentage of dwelling units contained in attached houses, apartment buildings, and mixed use buildings is not limited. Higher overall density is encouraged within ¼ mile of rail transit stations. Rail transit stations are those locations designated by resolution adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Huntersville.
(b) In a pedestrian –oriented development organized around a system of streets and blocks, and anchored with retail, restaurant, and entertainment uses, 100 percent of the dwelling units which are located in the same block with commercial uses may be contained in attached houses, apartment buildings, and mixed use buildings. To qualify under this paragraph, at least one parking space per dwelling unit must be replaced in a parking deck which is located on the interior of the block, and at least 20% of the habitable first floor area in each block must be devoted to commercial uses. Habitable first floor area includes all first floor building area that is used for interior human activity (including storage areas of retail shops, kitchen areas and pantries for restaurants, and similar uses). Habitable first floor area does not include the first floor of a parking deck nor outdoor areas used for restaurant seating or retail display. Hotels, light manufacturing and assembly facilities, and laboratories and associated research facilities are permitted within the development, but may not be used to meet the 20% minimum first floor commercial requirement. The higher density residential environment permitted by this exception provides a full-time population which animates the streets, supports the businesses on a daily basis, and accesses goods and services without sole dependence on private vehicles.

(c) Within a Mixed Use Node, the aggregate number of dwelling units contained in attached houses, apartment buildings, and mixed use buildings shall not exceed 80% subject to the following requirements:

i. Housing density shall decrease in intensity on streets further away from the Commercial Use(s); apartment buildings and mixed use buildings housing density shall not exceed 18 units per acre; attached housing density shall not exceed 8 units per acre; detached housing density shall not exceed 3 units per acre.

ii. A minimum of 50% of the node acreage must be for residential use

iii. All mixed use buildings shall count towards the residential acreage requirements

iv. An approved Mixed Use Node that contains less than 100 acres may be expanded to include parcels that are adjacent to the approved Mixed Use Node and its major thoroughfare. The number and type of dwelling units permitted at an expanded Mixed Use Node shall not exceed the overall allowable density as prescribed herein.

5) Where screening is required by Article 9 for activities involving any sale, use, repair, storage, or cleaning operation, the specified standard of Section 7.5 shall apply.

6) Any Highway Commercial District shall be bordered on at least one side by a major or minor thoroughfare.

7) Abutting Interstate 77, the specified buffer requirement of Section 7.5 applies.

8) The arrangement of multiple buildings on a single lot shall establish building facades generally parallel to the frontage property lines along existing streets and proposed interior streets.

9) Every building lot shall have frontage upon a public street or square except as follows: in specific locations where factors beyond developer control, such as a limited access highway, an existing development, or the location of an existing intersection, prohibit completing a street connection in the Highway Commercial District, a private drive may be substituted for the interior street which cannot be connected to the public network.

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3.2.8 CAMPUS INSTITUTIONAL DISTRICT (CI)
Intent: The campus institutional district is established to provide for large institutional complexes which are already in place and for new institutional complexes on 15 acres or more which, because of the scale of the buildings or the nature of the use, cannot be fully integrated into the fabric of the community. Campus districts, unlike town districts, are buffered from neighboring properties; nonetheless, buildings in the campus district that front a town street shall relate to the street as prescribed by building type. Campus districts are intended primarily for existing institutions, as most new institutional projects can and should be designed within the fabric of the town.

a) Permitted Uses
Uses permitted by right
  • academic institutions, including elementary, middle, and high schools, technical, vocational, college, and universities,  
  • religious institutions and religious institution-related facilities
  • single family and multi-family homes on the premises which are intended for use by employee(s) of the institution or of companies providing on-site services to the institution
  • governmental complexes, including indoor and outdoor recreation, but excluding correctional and waste management facilities
  • health institutions, including hospitals and congregate care facilities with accessory shopfronts, sheltered workshops, and similar uses
  • family care home, unlimited as to number of residents
Uses permitted with conditions
  • day care centers, (9.11)
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • parks, (9.29)
  • temporary outdoor sales of seasonal agricultural products (example: Christmas tree/pumpkin sales), (9.37)
  • transit-oriented parking lots as a principal use, (9.49)
  • transit shelters, (9.39)
Uses permitted with Special Use Permit
  • halfway houses, (9.55)
  • solar energy facility, minor residential, as follows: located on the facade elevation facing public street or common access; or located on the roof slope above the facade of the structure facing public street or common access (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor free-standing non-residential, (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor rooftop non-residential on roof slopes facing a street that are noticeable, (9.54)
  • wind energy facility, minor (accessory) (9.53)
b) Permitted Building and Lot Type
  • apartment
  • attached house
  • civic building
  • detached house
  • mixed use[9]
  • shopfront
  • workplace
[9] The mixed use building duplicates the shopfront building type and has at least two occupiable stories; at least 50% of the habitable area of the building shall be in residential use, the remainder shall be in commercial use. However, when an existing residential building is redeveloped to a mixed-use, at least 40% for the habitable area shall be in residential use.

c) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • commercial uses and structures that are clearly accessory to a permitted principal use
  • helistop, (9.18)
  • solar energy facilities, minor non-residential; on a flat roof, roof slopes not facing a street and building integrated solar panels on roof slopes facing a street that are not noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facilities, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes (9.54)
  • accessory uses permitted in all districts, (8.11)
d) General Requirements
1) Along existing streets, new buildings shall respect the general spacing of structures, building mass and scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings.
  • New buildings which adhere to the scale, volume, spacing, and setback of existing buildings along fronting streets exhibit demonstrable compatibility.
  • New buildings which exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings may demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.
  • Where necessary scale of building prevents design compatibility, buffer standards of Section 7.5 shall apply
2) On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

3) The interior of new campus developments shall be laid out along a street pattern and maintain well defined open space to give prominence to important structures and allow for assembly and pedestrian circulation; quadrangles are recommended.

4) Every building lot shall have frontage upon a public street, square, or quadrangle; buildings fronting on quadrangles shall provide for vehicular access from a rear alley or street.

5) The arrangement of multiple buildings on a single lot shall establish building facades generally parallel to the frontage property lines along existing streets and proposed interior streets.

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3.2.9 CORPORATE BUSINESS (CB)
Intent: The Corporate Business district is established to provide for large business or light industrial uses and parks which are already in place and for new business or light industrial uses or parks which, because of the scale of the buildings or the nature of the use, cannot be fully integrated into the fabric of the community. The predominant use is that of the workplace.  Some institutional uses such as schools and religious institutions may be appropriate if they are sited properly and temporary. The corporate business district, unlike town districts, is buffered from neighboring properties; nonetheless, buildings in the corporate business district that front a town street shall relate to the street as prescribed by building type. Individual workplace buildings oriented to the street and scaled for compatibility with the surrounding environment are also permitted in the Highway Commercial district and, on a smaller scale, in the Town Center, Neighborhood Center, and TND Districts. Such workplaces should not be reclassified to the Corporate Business District. The corporate district is reserved for uses which require very large buildings and/or large parking and loading facilities such as warehouse/distribution operations. Some institutional uses such as schools may be appropriate if they are sited properly and temporary.

a) Permitted Uses
Uses permitted by right
  • office
  • distributive businesses
  • inns
  • laboratories and research facilities
  • manufacturing and assembly, excluding heavy manufacturing
  • government buildings
  • warehouses, except mini-warehouse storage
  • wholesale sales
  • vocational and technical schools
Uses Permitted With Conditions
  • Automotive Country Club (9.57)
  • Day Care Center, (9.11)
  • commercial communication tower, (9.9)
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • hotels and motels spaced 250' or more from residential or mixed use zones, (9.45)
  • parks, (9.29)
  • transit-oriented parking lots as a principal use, (9.49)
  • transit shelters, (9.39)
Uses permitted with special use permit:
  • hotels and motels spaced less than 250' from residential or mixed use zones, (9.45)
  • religious institutions (9.8)
  • schools (9.35)
  • solar energy facility, minor residential, as follows: located on the facade elevation facing public street or common access; or located on the roof slope above the facade of the structure facing public street or common access (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor free-standing non-residential, (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor rooftop non-residential, on roof slope facing a street that are noticeable (9.54)
  • wind energy facility, minor (accessory) (9.53)
b) Permitted Building and Lot Types
  • apartment
  • attached house
  • civic building
  • highway commercial, up to 65,000 SF of first floor area
  • mixed use, up to 6000 SF of first floor area[1]
  • shopfront, as accessory to workplace
  • workplace
[1] The mixed use building duplicates the shopfront building type and has at least two occupiable stories; at least 50% of the habitable area of the building shall be in residential use, the remainder shall be in commercial use. However, when an existing residential building is redeveloped to a mixed-use, at least 40% of the habitable area shall be in residential use.

c) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • attached single family and multi-family homes intended for use by personnel employed for security or maintenance
  • attached single family and multi-family homes in a corporate business development of 400 acres or more, with an approved vested plan so long as:(a). the gross land area of the attached single family and/or multi-family housing development(s) does not exceed 8 percent of the gross land area in the corporate business development; and (b). the number of attached single-family and/or multi-family housing developments within the corporate business development is limited to 2.
  • helistop, (9.18)
  • outdoor storage, excluding the storage of construction equipment, (9.26)
  • retail, restaurant, personal services, branch banks, conference facilities, clinics, indoor recreation and similar workplace support uses up to 10 percent of gross floor area within the business or light industrial park or 70,000 SF, whichever is less
  • solar facilities, minor non-residential; on a flat roof, roof slopes not facing a street and building integrated solar panels on roof slopes facing a street that are not noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facilities, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes (9.54)
  • accessory uses permitted in all districts, (8.11)
d) General Requirements
1) Along existing streets, new buildings shall respect the general spacing of structures, building mass and scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings.
  • New buildings which adhere to the scale, massing, volume, spacing, and setback of existing buildings along fronting streets exhibit demonstrable compatibility.
  • New buildings which exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings may demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.
  • Buffer standards included in Article 7, Part A shall apply.
2) On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

3) Rezonings to the CB district shall only include one or more tracts of land or development sites that total fifteen acres or more in size except that proposals for less than fifteen acres adjoining an existing CB district may be considered.

4) The interior of new business and light industrial parks shall be laid out along a street pattern and shall maintain well defined open space to give prominence to important structures and allow for assembly and pedestrian circulation; quadrangles are recommended.

5) Every building lot shall have frontage upon a public street, square, or quadrangle; buildings fronting on quadrangles shall provide for vehicular access from a rear alley or street.

6) The arrangement of multiple buildings on a single lot shall have building facades established generally parallel to the frontage property lines along existing streets and proposed interior streets.

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3.2.10 SPECIAL PURPOSE DISTRICT (SP)
Intent: The Special Purpose District is established to accommodate uses that may constitute health or safety hazards, have greater than average impacts on the environment, or diminish the use and enjoyment of nearby property by generation of noise, smoke, fumes, odors, glare, commercial vehicle traffic, or similar nuisances. Because uses permitted in the SP District vary as to their impacts on the community, they may likewise vary as to effective mitigating conditions. Therefore the SP district exists as a General Zoning District but will frequently benefit from application as a Parallel Conditional Zoning District.

a) Permitted Uses
Uses Permitted by Right
  • abattoirs
  • agricultural industries
  • amusement facilities: all indoor uses
  • commercial uses including office
  • contractor offices and accessory storage yards
  • foundries
  • laboratories
  • lumber mills and storage yards
  • heavy manufacturing
  • outdoor theaters
  • power generation plants
  • railroad freight yards, repair shops, and marshaling yards
  • repair of products of heavy manufacturing operations
  • all other uses permitted by right in the CB District
  • mini-warehouse storage
Uses Permitted with a Special Use Permit
  • airports, (9.4)
  • correctional facilities, (9.41)
  • essential services 3, (9.15)
  • halfway houses, (9.55)
  • hazardous or infectious material incineration, handling, or storage, (9.17)
  • off-site LCID and C&D landfills, (9.23)
  • other environmentally sensitive uses not expressly permitted in the SP or other districts, (9.24)
  • quarries, (9.31)
  • raceways and drag strips, (9.32)
  • sanitary landfill, (9.34)
  • solar energy facility, minor residential, as follows: located on the facade elevation facing public street or common access; or located on the roof slope above the facade of the structure facing public street or common access (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor free-standing non-residential, (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor rooftop on roof slope facing a street that are noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, major (9.54)
  • solid waste incineration, (9.36)
  • transfer station for organic and inorganic waste products, (9.38)
  • wind energy facility, major (9.53)
  • wind energy facility, minor (accessory) (9.53)
Uses Permitted with Conditions
  • amusement facilities, outdoor, (9.5)
  • commercial communication towers, (9.9)
  • commercial kennels, indoor and outdoor (9.10)
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • inorganic residential household waste, intake and transfer off-site, (9.16)
  • residential recycling center, (9.16)
  • yard waste intake and processing, (9.16)
  • junk yards, (9.20)
  • outdoor storage, (9.26)
  • outdoor storage of construction equipment, (9.27)
  • petroleum storage facilities, (9.30)
  • transit-oriented parking lots as a principal use, (9.49)
  • transit shelters, (9.39)
  • trucking terminals, (9.40)
  • internet sweepstakes, (9.58)
  • all other uses permitted with conditions in the CB District
b) Permitted Building and Lot Types
  • workplace
  • highway commercial
c) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • day care center, (9.11)
  • helistop, (9.18)
  • modular home display as accessory to modular home sales office
  • outdoor storage, (9.26)
  • outdoor storage of construction equipment, (9.27)
  • solar energy facilities, minor non-residential; on a flat roof, roof slopes not facing a street and building integrated solar panels on roof slopes facing a street that are not noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facilities, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes (9.54)
  • accessory uses permitted in all districts, (8.11)
d) General Requirements
1) Along existing streets, new buildings shall respect the general spacing of structures, building mass and scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings.
  • New buildings which adhere to the scale, massing, volume, spacing, and setback of existing buildings along fronting streets exhibit demonstrable compatibility.
  • New buildings which exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings may demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.
  • Buffer standards of Section 7.5 shall apply.
2) On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

3) The arrangement of multiple buildings on a single lot shall establish building facades generally parallel to the frontage property lines along existing streets and proposed interior streets.

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3.2.11 TRADITIONAL NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS (TND-U AND TND-R)
Intent: The Traditional Neighborhood Development Districts are provided for the development of new neighborhoods and the revitalization or extension of existing neighborhoods, which are structured upon a fine network of interconnecting pedestrian oriented streets and other public spaces. Traditional Neighborhood Developments (TND’s) offer a mixture of housing types and prices, prominently sited civic or community building(s), and stores/offices/workplaces to provide a balanced mix of activities. Religious institution and pre-school/elementary school facilities are encouraged. A Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) has a recognizable center and clearly defined edges; optimum size is a quarter mile from center to edge. A TND-U is urban in form, is an extension of the existing developed area of the town, and complies with density measures of the Neighborhood Residential (NR) District. Minimum size of a TND-U is 40 acres. A TND-R will resemble a rural village, will usually be surrounded by a rural landscape, and must comply with the density limits and bonuses of the Rural and Transitional District. Minimum size of a TND-R is 65 acres.

a) Permitted Uses
Uses permitted by right
  • bed and breakfast inns
  • boarding or rooming houses for up to six roomers
  • civic, fraternal, cultural, community, or club facilities
  • commercial uses
  • congregate housing
  • conference facilities
  • family care homes
  • government buildings
  • hotels
  • multi-family homes
  • single family homes
Uses permitted with conditions
  • cemeteries, (9.7)
  • religious institutions, (9.8)
  • commercial marinas, (9.43)
  • day care centers, (9.4)
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • neighborhood gasoline stations, excluding major service and repair of motor vehicles (9.22)
  • parking lot as principal use (9.28)
  • schools, (9.35)
  • transit-oriented parking lots as a principal use, (9.49)
  • transit shelters, (9.39)
  • stalls or merchandise stands for outdoor sale of goods at street front (encroachment onto sidewalk may be permitted by agreement with town); outdoor storage expressly prohibited[1].
[1] Items for sale are returned to building at end of each business day; goods not brought in at close of business day are considered outdoor storage.

Uses permitted with Special Use Permit
  • solar energy facility, minor residential, as follows: located on the facade elevation facing public street or common access; or located on the roof slope above the facade of the structure facing public street or common access (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor free-standing non-residential, (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor rooftop non-residential on roof slope facing a street that are noticeable (9.54)
  • wind energy facility, minor (accessory) (9.53)
b) Permitted Building and Lot Types
  • apartment
  • attached house
  • civic
  • detached house
  • mixed use[2] up to 6,000 SF of first floor area; up to 65,000 SF of first floor area within 2,000 feet of a freeway interchange or the intersection of two major thoroughfares
  • storefront up to 6,000 SF of first floor area; up to 65,000 SF of first floor area within 2,000 feet of a freeway interchange or the intersection of two major thoroughfares
  • workplace up to 6,000 SF of first floor area; up to 65,000 SF of first floor area within 2,000 feet of a freeway interchange or the intersection of two major thoroughfares
[2] The mixed use building duplicates the shopfront building type and has at least two occupiable stories; at least 50% of the habitable area of the building shall be in residential use, the remainder shall be in commercial use. However, when an existing residential building is redeveloped to a mixed-use, at least 40% of the habitable area shall be in residential use.

c) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • accessory dwelling, (9.1)
  • day care home (small), (9.11)
  • drive through windows, excluding those associated with restaurants, (9.12)
  • home occupation, (9.19)
  • marinas accessory to residential uses, (9.42)
  • solar energy facilities, minor non-residential; on a flat roof, roof slopes not facing a street and building integrated solar panels on roof slopes facing a street that are not noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facilities, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes (9.54)
  • accessory uses permitted in all Districts (8.11)
d) General Requirements
1) Along existing streets, new buildings shall respect the general spacing of structures, building mass and scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings.
  • New buildings which adhere to the scale, massing, volume, spacing, and setback of existing buildings along fronting streets exhibit demonstrable compatibility.
  • New buildings which exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings may demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.
2) On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

3) A master plan in compliance with Traditional Neighborhood Development standards shall be provided with the subdivision sketch plan submittal for a general district TND or with the conditional district plan for reclassification to a parallel conditional TND zoning district. The master plan shall include a topographic survey and shall show the location and hierarchy of streets and public open spaces, location of residential, commercial, and civic building lots, street sections and/or plans, a master sign program, an outline of any additional regulatory intentions, phasing, and any other information, including building elevations, which may be required to evaluate the interior pedestrian environment and conditions at project edges.

e) TND Development Provisions
1) Minimum Development Size:
generally 40 acres in the TND-U
generally 65 acres in the TND-R

To allow for the gradual accretion of a TND, which may include the participation of several property owners over an extended period of time, a partial TND of less than the minimum number of acres may be considered for approval, so long as the project shows an integrated design for at least the minimum size and the potential to become a TND-U of at least 40 acres, or a TND-R of at least 65 acres.
2) Maximum Development Size: 200 acres
Tracts larger than 200 acres shall be developed as multiple Traditional Neighborhood Developments, each individually subject to all provisions.

3) Maximum Permitted Densities:
f) TND Design Provisions
1) Neighborhood Form
  • The illustrations of Traditional Neighborhood Street Typologies in Article 5 show the general arrangement and distribution of elements in a more urban TND (designated TND-U), and in a less urban TND (designated TND-R).
  • The area of the TND shall be divided into blocks, streets, lots, and open space.
  • Similar land uses shall generally front across each street. Dissimilar categories shall generally abut at rear lot lines. Corner lots which front on streets of dissimilar use shall generally observe the setback established on each fronting street.
2) Streets
  • Public streets shall provide access to all tracts and lots.
  • Streets and alleys shall, wherever practicable, terminate at other streets within the neighborhood and connect to existing and projected streets outside the development. Cul-de-sacs shall not exceed 250 feet in length, must be accessed from a street providing internal or external connectivity, shall be permanently terminated by a vehicular turnaround, and are permitted where topography makes a street connection impracticable. In most instances, a “close” or “eyebrow” is preferred to a cul-de-sac. Vehicular turnarounds of various configurations are acceptable so long as emergency access is adequately provided.
  • The average perimeter of all blocks within the TND should not exceed 1,350 feet. No block face should have a length greater than 500 feet without a dedicated alley or pathway providing through access.
  • A continuous network of rear alleys is recommended for all lots in a TND; rear alleys shall provide vehicular access to lots 60 feet or less in width.
  • Utilities may run along alleys.
  • TND streets shall be organized according to a hierarchy based on function, size, capacity, and design speed; streets and rights-of-way are therefore expected to differ in dimension. The proposed hierarchy of streets shall be indicated on the submitted sketch plan. Each street type in a TND shall be separately detailed. Street types illustrated in Article 5 represent the array of elements that are combined to meet the purposes of TND neighborhood streets: building placement line, optional utility allocation, sidewalk, planting strip, curb and gutter, optional parallel parking, and travel lane(s). Alternative methods of assembling the required street elements will be considered to allow neighborhood street designs that are most appropriate to setting and use.
  • To prevent the buildup of vehicular speed, disperse traffic flow, and create a sense of visual enclosure, long uninterrupted segments of straight streets should be avoided. Methods: (1) a street can be interrupted by intersections designed to calm the speed and disperse the flow of traffic (Article 5) and terminate vistas with a significant feature (building, park, natural feature); (2) a street can be terminated with a public monument, specifically designed building facade, or a gateway to the ensuing space; (3) perceived street length can be reduced by a noticeable street curve where the outside edge of the curve is bounded by a building or other vertical elements that hug the curve and deflect the view; (4) other traffic calming configurations are acceptable so long as emergency access is adequately provided.
3) Buildings and Lots
  • All lots shall share a frontage line with a street or square; lots fronting a square shall be provided rear alley access.
  • Consistent build-to lines shall be established along all streets and public space frontages; build-to lines determine the width and ratio of enclosure for each public street or space. A minimum percentage build-out at the build-to line shall be established on the plan along all streets and public square frontages.
  • Building and lot types shall comply with Article 4.
  • Large-scale, single use facilities (conference spaces, theaters, athletic facilities, for example) shall generally occur behind or above smaller scale uses of pedestrian orientation. Such facilities may exceed maximum first floor area standards if so sited.
4) Open Space
Open Space is defined as any area which is not divided into private or civic building lots, streets, rights-of-way, parking, or easements for purposes other than open space conservation. Design of urban open space shall comply with Article 7. In the TND-U, the open space requirements of the NR district shall apply. In the TND-R, the open space requirements of the R & TR districts, including rural open space, shall apply. Rural open space is site specific in its designation. Paragraphs d) 3 & 4 of Section 3.2.1 & 3.2.2, describe the site analysis required to identify qualifying rural open space.
5) Parking and Landscaping
Parking and landscaping shall comply with Article 6.

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3.2.12 PASSENGER VEHICLE SALES DISTRICT (VS)
Intent: The Passenger Vehicle Sales District is established to provide large accommodations for the sale of new and used passenger vehicles and trucks not exceeding the size, weight, and configuration of the medium duty truck standard. It is intended for use in areas not amenable to easy pedestrian access, where a comfortable pedestrian environment is unlikely to be achieved. It is expected that the Passenger Vehicle Sales District will serve the passenger and small business vehicle needs of those in the Huntersville Community and in the larger region. Because of the scale of buildings and parking, and the access requirements of uses in this category, they cannot be compatibly integrated within the Town Center, Neighborhood Center, or smaller scale Highway Commercial Districts. At district boundaries, compatible transitions must be provided by the use of landscaping and/or walls. Property boundaries adjacent to freeways or expressways will require a 50-foot foliated buffer yard and frontages on major or minor arterials will require formal street tree planting.

a) Permitted Uses
Uses Permitted With Conditions
  • essential services 1, (9.14)
  • sales and leasing of vehicles not exceeding the industry standard for "medium duty trucks", (9.25)[1]
  • sales and leasing of boats and boat accessories (9.25)
  • transit shelters, (9.39)
[1] Expressly prohibited is the sale or lease of campers, motor homes, trailers and similar vehicles.

Uses permitted with Special Use Permit
  • solar energy facility, minor residential, as follows: located on the facade elevation facing public street or common access; or located on the roof slope above the facade of the structure facing public street or common access (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor free-standing non-residential, (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor roof top non-residential on roof slope facing a street that are noticeable (9.54)
  • wind energy facility, minor (accessory) (9.53)
b) Permitted Building Types
  • highway commercial; up to - 65,000 SF of first floor area on major thoroughfare; up to 15,000 SF of first floor area on minor thoroughfare.[2] 
[2] Maximum first floor area for highway commercial buildings may be exceeded only where massing of building is varied to reduce perceived scale and volume.

c) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • car wash
  • boat wash
  • service, cleaning, mechanical repair and body repair in association with vehicle sales/leasing, including drive-in vehicle drop off facilities in compliance with Section 3.2.10 d), item 4 (9.25)
  • solar energy facilities, minor non-residential; on a flat roof, roof slopes not facing a street and building integrated solar panels on roof slopes facing a street that are not noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facilities, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes (9.54)
  • warehousing accessory to merchandising and repair, within an enclosed building
  • accessory uses permitted in all districts, (8.11)
d) General requirements and district options
1) Along existing streets, new buildings shall respect the street frontage relationships of existing buildings in terms of building setback and orientation. On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

2) Where screening is required by Article 9 for activities involving any sale, use, repair, storage, or cleaning operation, the specified standard of Section 7.6 shall apply.

3) Any Vehicle Sales District shall be bordered on at least one side by a major or minor thoroughfare.

4) Drive-in service windows and service processing, stacking and circulation lanes, and circulation are prohibited in the established front setback of the principal building and prohibited within a 75 foot setback from the right-of-way in a principal building's side yard that abuts a major or minor thoroughfare. On-site stacking lanes for drive-in service windows shall be a minimum of 200 feet in length if accessed directly from a thoroughfare or minimum of 100 feet if accessed directly from a street of lesser capacity.

5) In the VS Zoning District only, the buffer requirement of Section 7.5 (yards abutting I-77 right-of-way) shall be met.

6) All other signs on the site and building shall conform to the standards of Article 10, Signs, including, but not limited to the prohibition of flashing signs, portable signs and fluttering signs such as pennants and pennant swags. Non-conforming signs, if present anywhere on the site, shall be removed prior to issuance of a change of use permit, issuance of grading permit, or commencement of new construction on the site.

7) Vehicles or boats for sale or lease shall not be displayed in the established front yard of the principal building on the site.

8) In the Vehicle Sales district only, the established front yard shall be designed in accordance with the Highway Commercial Building / Lot Type found in Article 4 or a) or b) below:
(a) Vehicles for sale or lease may be displayed in the established front yard in front of the principal building in the VS district only. Such areas shall be permitted on sites where the principal building consumes at least 35% of the frontage. The Highway Commercial Building Type build to line (15’), measured to the face of the canopy (if applicable), shall be increased by no more than 10’ to accommodate one row of vehicle display. An established front yard used for display of vehicle sales or leasing must be constructed of a decorative paving material (if impervious), and must be screened in accordance with 10) of this section.

(b) Notwithstanding the limitations of off-street parking in front of buildings, as described by building type and parking lot specifications, vested parking and maneuvering areas in the established front yard may be constructed in accordance with an NCDOT driveway permit.

9) Outdoor storage of vehicles in process of repair and vehicles-for-sale that are in the process of dealer preparation for buyer pick up is permitted.

(a) Such storage areas are exempt from the interior landscaping requirements for Parking Lots found in Article 6. However, the perimeter landscaping requirements of Article 6 shall apply to such storage areas.

(b) Such storage areas may only be located behind the principal building and/or its accessory buildings, and shall not be placed within 100 feet of any property line that abuts a thoroughfare or local public street.

10) In the Vehicle Sales district only, the landscaping requirements of Article 6 shall be applied as follows:
(a) Vehicle display areas shall be exempt from the interior landscaping requirements for Parking Lots found in Article 6. However, a large maturing tree shall be planted within a 200 square foot pervious area that is permanently protected from parking and maneuvering areas with all vehicles on display being located within 40’ of such pervious area.

(b) Along the frontage, a vehicle display area is exempt from the large maturing tree 40’ on center requirement found in Landscaping of Parking Lots in Article 6.

11) Uses in the VS District are exempt from the Article 6 suggestion to provide for bicycle parking.

12) The arrangement of principal buildings on a single lot shall establish building facades generally parallel to the frontage property lines along existing streets and proposed interior streets.

13) Every building lot shall have frontage upon a public street or square except as follows: in specific locations where factors beyond developer control, such as a limited access highway, an existing development, or the location of an existing intersection, prohibit completing a street connection in the Highway Commercial District, a private drive may be substituted for the interior street which cannot be connected to the public network.

14) Adjoining businesses shall provide for interconnectivity by way of internal street(s) or, if permitted, private drives; internal street(s) shall remain open at all times while private drive connections shall, at a minimum, remain open for public passage during business hours.

15) Businesses in the VS district are prohibited from using amplified speaker/public address systems except within fully enclosed building(s).

16) Lighting in customer parking areas shall comply with Article 6, OFF-STREET PARKING (Lighting for Parking Lots).

17) Lighting in vehicle display parking areas and storage areas may comply with the standards of Article 6 (Lighting for Parking Lots) or with all of the alternative lighting standards below:
(a) Including the base/mounting fixture the maximum height for lighting (pole mounted and wall mounted) shall be 30 feet.

(b) To prevent glare from off-site locations, all lighting fixtures shall be full cut-off. The use of drop lens, vertical burn lamps, and other equipment with similar glare producing effects are prohibited. Lighting shields or hoods shall be employed to result in lighting projection of display areas only.

(c) Floodlights are not permitted for parking lot illumination. In all applications, lighting shall be directed downward. This prohibition does not apply to floodlights allowed elsewhere in this ordinance for external illumination of permitted signs.

(d) Along the front line of the display area, lighting shall not exceed an average of 30 foot-candles, measured at grade.

(e) Uniformity shall not exceed a 3:1 ratio.

(f) All lights, except those required for security as provided herein, must be extinguished at 9 PM on all days. For reasons of security, a maximum of 1.5 foot-candles at entrances, stairways and loading docks, and 1.0 foot-candle on the rest of the site is permitted.

(g) The spillover light level from lighting on the site onto adjacent property or property across a public road shall not exceed 0.1 foot-candle measured 10’ into the adjacent property from any orientation of the measuring device.

(h) The average illumination, measured at grade, across the entire property, including the frontage, shall not exceed 30-foot candles. The site area for calculating the average illumination shall exclude the building(s).

(i) Lighting fixtures that produce glare visible from adjacent property(s) and public right of way(s) are prohibited.

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3.2.13 TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT – RESIDENTIAL (TOD-R)
Intent: The transit-oriented residential district is established to support higher density residential communities that include a rich mix of retail, restaurant, service, and small employment uses within a pedestrian village format. Land consuming uses, such as large lot housing and large retail outlets are excluded from this district. The TOD-R may be located on developable and redevelopable parcels generally found within the ½ mile catchment area of designated rapid transit station sites. Nothing in these regulations shall preclude application of the TOD-R beyond the ½ mile radius when site-specific development plans demonstrate efficient resident access to a rapid transit station. The district establishes a primarily residential village within a 10-minute walk of a M.I.S. designated transit station that serves a residential population of sufficient size to constitute an origin and destination for purposes of rapid transit service.

a) Permitted Uses
Uses permitted by right
  • bed and breakfast inns
  • boarding or rooming houses for up to six roomers
  • dormitories
  • family care homes
  • inns
  • multi-family homes
  • greenway
  • single family homes
  • transit stations
Uses permitted with a Special Use Permit
  • any non-residential use permitted by right or with conditions where size of first floor area exceeds 15,000 SF, (9.47)
  • any permitted non-residential use or collection of non-residential uses that exceeds the maximum permitted in the district by paragraph e) 5) of this section, (9.47)
  • parking lot or structure as principal use (9.47)
  • schools, (9.47)
  • solar energy facility, minor residential, as follows: located on the facade elevation facing public street or common access; or located on the roof slope above the facade of the structure facing public street or common access (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor free-standing non-residential, (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor rooftop non-residential on a roof slope facing a street that is noticeable (9.54)
  • wind energy facility, minor (accessory) (9.53)
Uses permitted with conditions
  • banks, up to 6,000 SF of gross floor area
  • religious institutions up to 300 seats in the largest place of assembly, (9.8)
  • civic, cultural, and neighborhood recreation facilities up to 15,000 SF of gross floor area, minimum FAR of .35
  • conference centers, up to 15,000 SF of gross floor area, minimum FAR of .35
  • day care centers up to 8,000 SF of gross floor area (9.11)
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • government buildings up to 8,000 SF of gross floor area, minimum FAR of .35
  • indoor motion pictures, limited to one (1) screen
  • offices, general, medical, professional, minimum FAR of .35
  • personal, professional, and technical services up to 8,000 SF of gross area, minimum FAR of .35
  • research and development services, minimum FAR of .35
  • restaurants without drive-through windows, up to 8,000 SF of gross floor area, minimum FAR of .35
  • retail establishments, up to 8,000 SF of gross area, minimum FAR of .35
  • squares, plazas, or other formal open spaces not exceeding ½ acre in area
  • stalls or merchandise stands for outdoor sale of goods at street front (encroachment onto sidewalk may be permitted by agreement with town); outdoor storage expressly prohibited[1].
  • taverns and bars, up to 6,000 SF of gross floor area, minimum FAR of .35
  • transit shelters, (9.39)
  • workshops and studios for the design and manufacture of art, craft and artisan products, up to 8,000 SF of gross area, minimum FAR of .35
[1] Items for sale are returned to building at end of each business day; goods not brought in at close of business day are considered outdoor storage.

b) Permitted Building and Lot Types
  • apartment
  • attached house
  • civic
  • detached house on lot of 5,000 SF or less
  • mixed use[2]
  • storefront
  • workplace
[2] The mixed use building duplicates the shopfront building type and has at least two occupiable stories; at least 50% of the habitable area of the building shall be in residential use, the remainder shall be in commercial use. However, when an existing residential building is redeveloped to a mixed-use, at least 40% fo the habitable area shall be in residential use.

c) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • accessory dwelling, (9.1)
  • day care home (small), (9.11)
  • home occupation, (9.19)
  • parking lot as an accessory to any permitted principal use, on the same lot or on an abutting lot, according to the standards of Article 6
  • solar energy facilities, minor non-residential; on a flat roof, roof slopes not facing a street and building integrated solar panels on roof slopes facing a street that are not noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facilities, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes (9.54)
  • accessory uses permitted in all Districts (8.11)
d) General Requirements
1) To integrate the larger scale of buildings in transit-oriented developments into the existing built fabric of the community, the edge conditions of paragraph f) 6), below shall be met.

2) Along existing streets, new buildings shall create a transition in spacing, mass, scale, and street frontage relationship from existing buildings to buildings in the Transit Oriented Residential district.
  • New buildings are expected to exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings, but shall demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.
3) On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

4) Within a TOD-R zoning district, a minimum average density of 15 dwelling units per acre shall be achieved; residential density shall be calculated by dividing the total number of housing units planned by the number of acres designated for residential use, net of streets.

5) A master subdivision sketch plan shall be provided with any application for development approval. It shall comply with the standards of this district and with the most detailed development policies and/or plans adopted by the Town Board for the station’s catchment area. The master plan shall include a topographic survey and shall show the location and hierarchy of streets and public open spaces, location of residential, commercial, and civic building lots, street sections and/or plans, approximate unit count, square footage on non-residential buildings and uses, proposed building heights, an outline of any additional regulatory intentions, phasing, and any other information, including building elevations, which may be required to evaluate the interior pedestrian environment and conditions at project edges. Phasing of development to provide for future horizontal and vertical intensification to meet the standards of this section is permitted. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 6.320 of the Huntersville Subdivision Ordinance, approval of the master sketch plan will be administrative.

6) A single building on an existing lot shall comply with the standards of this district and with the most detailed development policies and/or plans adopted by the Town Board for the station’s catchment area, but shall require zoning and building permits only.

e) Development Provisions
1) Minimum Development Size: None

2) Maximum Development Size: None

3) Residential Density: Within a TOD-R zoning district, a minimum average density of 15 dwelling units per acre (net of streets) shall be achieved; residential density shall be calculated by dividing the total number of housing units planned by the acreage of all lots that are designated for residential use. When designing the site, higher densities (18 du/a and greater) should be concentrated within approximately ¼ mile walking distance of the station site while lower densities (6 du/a and greater) may be placed beyond the approximate ¼ mile walking distance. The maximum density permitted on any lot in a TOD-R is 40 units per acre (net of streets).

4) Special parking provisions for residential development in the TOD-R:

  Minimum Maximum
 Efficiency Apartment
 1 space/unit
 2 space/unit
 One or Two Bedroom Apartment/
Attached House

 1 space/unit
 2 space/unit
 Other Dwelling Units
 1 space/unit
 2 space/unit




 




5) Siting requirements for non-residential development: All non-residential development shall be oriented to provide direct pedestrian access from the transit station by way of the public street system, designated pedestrian paths, or any combination of the two. In addition, the locational standards below shall apply.
  • Within a ¼ mile walking distance of the station site, a master subdivision sketch plan may include up to 10,000 square feet of retail/services/commercial/office development for each 250 dwelling units master planned in the ½ mile catchment area.
  • If placed in a TOD-R district, religious institutions without shared parking, schools, and neighborhood recreation facilities, up to the maximum size permitted in the district, should be located between the ¼ mile and ½ mile walk of the station site.
  • Without regard to station proximity, day care centers and religious institutions with shared parking provisions that meet the size provisions of the TOD-R are permitted.
f) Design Provisions
1) Neighborhood Form
  • The illustration below shall guide the general arrangement and distribution of uses in the project.



Reprinted with permission from PAS Report Number 468, copyright December, 1996 by the American Planning Association, Suite 1600, 122 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603-6107
  • The area of the project shall be divided into blocks, streets, lots, and open space.
  • Similar land uses shall generally front across each street. Dissimilar categories shall generally abut at rear lot lines. Corner lots which front on streets of dissimilar use shall approximate the setback established on each fronting street.
2) Streets
  • Public streets shall provide access to all tracts and lots.
  • Streets and alleys shall, wherever practicable, terminate at other streets within the neighborhood and connect to existing and projected streets outside the development. Cul-de-sacs shall not exceed 250 feet in length, must be accessed from a street providing internal or external connectivity, shall be permanently terminated by a vehicular turnaround, and are permitted only where topography makes a street connection impracticable. In most instances, a “close” or “eyebrow” is preferred to a cul-de-sac. Vehicular turnarounds of various configurations are acceptable so long as emergency access is adequately provided.
  • No block face may exceed 500 feet in length without a dedicated alley or pathway providing through access for pedestrians.
  • Utilities shall run along alleys where alleys are provided.
  • Streets shall be organized according to a hierarchy based on function, size, capacity, and design speed; streets and rights-of-way are therefore expected to differ in dimension. The proposed hierarchy of streets shall be indicated on the submitted master subdivision sketch plan. Each street type shall be separately detailed. Street types illustrated in Article 5 represent the array of elements that are combined to meet the purposes of neighborhood streets: building placement line, optional utility allocation, sidewalk, planting strip, curb and gutter, optional parallel parking, and travel lane(s). Alternative methods of assembling the required street elements will be considered to allow neighborhood street designs that are most appropriate to setting and use. Proposed routing for private vehicles and feeder buses entering and leaving the station area shall be shown.
  • To prevent the buildup of vehicular speed, disperse traffic flow, and create a sense of visual enclosure, long uninterrupted segments of straight streets should be avoided. Methods: (1) a street can be interrupted by intersections designed to calm the speed and disperse the flow of traffic (Article 5) and terminate vistas with a significant feature (building, park, natural feature); (2) a street can be terminated with a public monument, specifically designed building facade, or a gateway to the ensuing space; (3) perceived street length can be reduced by a noticeable street curve where the outside edge of the curve is bounded by buildings or other vertical elements that hug the curve and deflect the view; (4) other traffic calming configurations are acceptable so long as emergency access is adequately provided.
3) Buildings and Lots
  • Every building lot shall share a frontage line with a street, square, or other urban open space; lots fronting directly onto a formal open space (i.e., without intervening street) shall be provided rear alley access.
  • Consistent build-to lines shall be established along all streets and urban open space frontages; build-to lines determine the width and ratio of enclosure for each public street or space. A minimum percentage build-out at the build-to line shall be established on the plan along all streets and urban open space frontages.
  • Building and lot types shall comply with Article 4. However, notwithstanding the height restrictions of Article 4, Building and Lot Types, new buildings in the Transit Oriented Residential district are limited to thirteen (13) stories or on hundred eighty-two (182) feet in height, whichever is greater. New buildings in the Transit Oriented Residential District within one (1) mile of the Town Center Zoning District are limited to four (4) stories or fourty-six (46) feet in height, whichever is greater. Minimum building height is twenty-six (26) feet, measured at the eave line.
  • Large-scale, single use facilities (conference spaces, theaters, athletic facilities, for example) shall occur behind or above smaller scale uses of pedestrian orientation. Such facilities may exceed maximum first floor area standards if so sited.
4) Open Space
Open Space is defined as any area which is not divided into private or civic building lots, streets, rights-of-way, parking, or easements that diminish the utility or aesthetic quality of the space. Design of urban open space shall comply with Article 7.

5) Parking Lot Landscaping 
Parking lot landscaping shall comply with Article 6.

6) District Edge Conditions
Along any boundary of a TOD-R district that abuts a pre-existing subdivision of 20 or more single-family detached homes, one of the following edge conditions shall apply to abutting lot boundaries, however no buffer or wall shall be allowed to block extension of a street from existing development into a planned TOD-R development.
a) A free-standing structure or the end unit of an attached structure on lots along the common boundary shall be limited to two stories or 26 feet in height, whichever is less, or

b) A semi-opaque buffer shall be constructed along the common boundary, on the site of the developing use. The width of the buffer shall at a minimum equal ½ the height of the abutting building in the TOD-R district, or

c) A 6’ masonry wall may be constructed by the developer along the common lot boundaries, in which case the width of the buffer may be reduced to the width of the wall.



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3.2.14 TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT – EMPLOYMENT (TOD-E)
Intent: The transit-oriented employment district is established to accommodate general office uses and office support services in a highly pedestrianized setting. General office, characterized by 40 to 70 employees per acre, is the predominant use. Uses that employ relatively few workers, such as warehousing and distribution, are excluded from this district. The TOD-E may be located on developable parcels within the ½ mile catchment area of rapid transit stations. The district establishes an employment node within a 10-minute walk of a M.I.S. designated transit station that serves a workforce of sufficient size to constitute a destination for purposes of rapid transit service.

a) Permitted Uses
Uses Permitted by Right
  • financial services
  • greenways
  • government offices
  • inns
  • offices
  • professional, personal, and technical services
  • transit stations
Uses Permitted with Conditions
  • conference centers, up to 15,000 SF of gross floor area
  • day care center, (9.11)
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • multi-family homes in mixed use buildings
  • squares, plazas, or other urban open spaces not exceeding ½ acre in area
  • single family attached homes in mixed use buildings
  • workshops and studios for the design and manufacture of art, craft, and artisan products, up to 8,000 SF of gross area
  • parking lot or structure as a principal use, (9.48)
Uses Permitted with a Special Use Permit
  • accessory warehousing exceeding 25% of the finished floor area of the principal use, (9.48)
  • light manufacturing, on not more than 5 acres, (9.48)
  • hospitals, (9.48)
  • solar energy facility, minor residential, as follows: located on the facade elevation facing public street or common access; or located on the roof slope above the facade of the structure facing public street or common access (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor free-standing non-residential, (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, minor rooftop non-residential on roof slope facing a street that are noticeable (9.54)
  • wind energy facility, minor (accessory) (9.53)
b) Permitted Building and Lot Types
  • civic building
  • highway commercial (for conference facilities only), minimum FAR of .35
  • mixed use[1]
  • shopfront
  • workplace, minimum F.A.R. of .35
[1] The mixed use building duplicates the shopfront building type and has at least two occupiable stories; at least 50% of the habitable area of the building shall be in residential use, the remainder shall be in commercial use. However, when an existing residential building is redeveloped to a mixed-use, at least 40% fo the habitable area shall be in residential use.

c) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • parking lot as an accessory to any permitted principal use, on the same lot or on an abutting lot according to the standards of Article 6
  • retail, restaurant, bars and taverns, personal services, clinics and similar workplace support uses up to 20 percent of first floor area of any building, or of a multi-building project taken as a whole
  • solar energy facilities, minor non-residential; on a flat roof, roof slopes not facing a street and building integrated solar panels on roof slopes facing a street that are not noticeable (9.54)
  • solar energy facilities, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes (9.54)
  • warehousing not to exceed 25% of the finished floor area of the principal use
  • accessory uses permitted in all districts, (8.11)
d) General Requirements
1) Along existing streets, new buildings shall create a transition in spacing, mass, scale, and street frontage relationship from existing buildings to buildings in the Transit Oriented Employment district.
  • New buildings are expected to exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings, but shall demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.
2) On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

3) A master subdivision sketch plan in compliance with this district shall be provided with any application for development approval. It shall comply with the standards of this district and with the most detailed development policies and/or plans adopted by the Town Board for the station’s catchment area. The master plan shall include a topographic survey and shall show the location and hierarchy of streets and public open spaces, location of residential, commercial, and civic building lots, street sections and/or plans, approximate square footage of office/commercial buildings and uses, residential unit count, proposed building heights, an outline of any additional regulatory intentions, phasing, and any other information, including building elevations, which may be required to evaluate the interior pedestrian environment and conditions at project edges. Phasing of development to provide for future horizontal and vertical intensification to meet the standards of this section is permitted. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 6.320 of the Huntersville Subdivision Ordinance, approval of the master sketch plan will be administrative.

4) A single building on an existing lot shall comply with the standards of this district and with the most detailed development policies and/or plans adopted by the Town Board for the station’s catchment area, but shall require zoning and building permits only.

e) Design Provisions
1) Every building shall share a frontage line with a street, square, or other urban open space; lots fronting directly onto a urban open space (i.e., without intervening street) shall be provided rear alley access.

2) New construction favors general office uses, with accessory retail, personal services, restaurant, and similar uses located at street level and residential uses permitted on third and higher floors.

3) Notwithstanding the height restrictions of Article 4, Building and Lot Types, new buildings in the Transit Oriented Employment district are limited to seven stories or 80 feet in height, whichever is greater. Minimum building height is 26 feet, measured at the eave line.

4) Minimum permitted Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is .35; preferred FAR will range from .5 to 1.5.

5) Special parking provisions for residential development in the TOD-E:


   Minimum  Maximum
 Office/Commercial Uses
 1 space/1,000 SF
 1 space/500 SF
 Efficiency Apartment
 1 space/unit
 2 space/unit
 One or Two Bedroom Apartment
 1 space/unit
 2 space/unit

6) District Edge Conditions
Along any boundary of a TOD-E district that abuts a pre-existing subdivision of 20 or more single-family detached homes, one of the following edge conditions shall apply to abutting lot boundaries, however no buffer or wall shall be allowed to block extension of a street from existing development into a planned TOD-E development.
  • A free-standing structure or the end unit of an attached structure on lots along the common boundary shall be limited to two stories or 26 feet in height, whichever is less, or
  • A semi-opaque buffer shall be constructed along the common boundary, on the site of the developing use. The width of the buffer shall at a minimum equal ½ the height of the abutting building in the TOD-E district, or
  • A 6’ masonry wall may be constructed by the developer along the common lot boundaries, in which case the width of the buffer may be reduced to the width of the wall.
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3.3 Overlay Districts

3.3.1 MANUFACTURED HOME OVERLAY DISTRICT (MH-O)
Intent: The Manufactured Home Overlay District is established to provide for existing and proposed neighborhoods which include or are proposed to include manufactured homes. The requirements herein are intended to ensure compatibility with existing housing stock by imposing supplemental appearance standards for manufactured housing. The Manufactured Home Overlay district may be applied to tracts zoned NR, GR, TR, or R. It supplements the range of residential types permitted in the underlying district while limiting some accessory uses. For existing neighborhoods, the MH Overlay may be established by map adoption; for proposed neighborhoods, the MH Overlay district requires zoning approval accompanied by a detailed development plan and supporting materials.

a) Permitted Uses
Uses permitted by right
  • all uses permitted by right in the underlying district, according to the standards of the underlying district
  • family care homes
Uses permitted with conditions
  • all uses permitted with conditions in the underlying district, according to the standards and conditions associated with the underlying district.
  • Manufactured Homes, provided that:
(a) The home shall be set up in accordance with the standards set by the North Carolina Department of Insurance.

(b) A continuous, permanent masonry wall, having the appearance of a conventional load-bearing foundation wall, unpierced except for required ventilation and access, shall be installed under the perimeter of the manufactured home.

(c) The home will have all wheels, transporting lights, and towing apparatuses removed.

(d) The structure must be at least 14 feet in width along the majority of its length.

(e) The roof shall have at least a 3:12 pitch.

(f) Exterior wall and roofing materials and finishes shall be comparable in composition, appearance and durability to those commonly used in conventional residential construction. As examples, exterior walls would be expected to be covered in wood, stucco, brick, stone, other masonry materials, or similar conventional exterior finishes. Roofing material should consist of wood shingle, wood shake, synthetic composite shingle, ceramic tile, concrete tile, or similar conventional roofing materials.

(g) All entrances to a manufactured home shall be provided with permanent steps, porch or similar suitable entry.

b) Permitted Building and Lot Types
  • all building and lot types permitted in the underlying zoning district
  • manufactured home placed according to the standards for a detached house
c) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • dwelling accessory to any principal dwelling which meets the NC Housing Code, (9.1)
  • day care home (small), accessory to any principal dwelling which meets the NC Housing Code, (9.11)
  • home occupation accessory to any principal dwelling which meets the NC Housing Code, (9.19)
  • marinas accessory to residential uses (9.42)
  • accessory uses permitted in all districts, (8.11)
d) General Requirements
1) Along existing streets, new buildings shall respect the general spacing of structures, building mass and scale, and street frontage relationships of existing buildings.
  • New buildings which adhere to the scale, massing, volume, spacing, and setback of existing buildings along fronting streets exhibit demonstrable compatibility.
  • New buildings which exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings may demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.
2) On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

3) All subdivision standards shall be met.

4) In nonconforming subdivisions or manufactured home parks, any manufactured home may be replaced with another manufactured home of at least comparable width (i.e. a single-wide home may be replaced with a home of minimum 12 feet width or with a larger home, while a double-wide home can be replaced only by another double-wide home); a replacement home shall have been manufactured no earlier than 1984 and, with the exception of width, shall meet all design and safety conditions of (Section 3.3.2 a).

5) Existing manufactured home parks which are not subdivided into individual deeded lots may continue operation but may not be expanded except in conformance with this ordinance and the subdivision ordinance.

6) For proposed neighborhoods, homes shall be a minimum of 14 feet wide and manufactured no earlier than 1984.

7) For proposed neighborhoods, an application to classify property to the MH-O district shall require a master plan that shows the location and hierarchy of streets and public spaces, location of residential, non-residential, and civic building lots, street sections and/or plans, phasing, and any other information which may be required to evaluate the subdivision’s adherence to the standards of this ordinance and the subdivision ordinance.

e) MH-O Development Provisions
1) Minimum Development Size: 3 acres for new developments

2) Maximum Development Size: 25 acres for new developments

3) Maximum Permitted Densities are determined by the standards of the underlying district. Density in the RURAL AND TRANSITIONAL District correlates to amount of open space provided, as set forth in the district regulations. Density in the NR district is a function of building and lot type.


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3.3.2 MOUNTAIN ISLAND LAKE WATERSHED OVERLAY DISTRICT (MIL-O)
Intent: The intent of the Mountain Island Lake Watershed Overlay District is to provide for the protection of public water supplies as required by the N.C. Water Supply Watershed Classification and Protection Act (G.S. 143-214.5) and regulations promulgated there under. The Mountain Island Lake Watershed Overlay may be applied in any zoning district. The Mountain Island Lake Watershed Overlay District supplements the regulations of the underlying zoning district within the Mountain Island Lake Watershed Protection Area to ensure protection of public drinking water supplies. All regulations for the underlying district shall continue to remain in effect for properties classified under the Mountain Island Lake Watershed Overlay District.

.1 Applicability: The Mountain Island Lake Watershed Protection Area is that area within Mecklenburg County which contributes surface drainage into Mountain Island Lake and which is bounded as follows: beginning at the Mountain Island Lake Dam on the Catawba River and proceeding along the ridgeline in an easterly direction to Rozzelle's Ferry Road and proceeding thence in a southeasterly direction along Rozzelle's Ferry Road to the intersection of Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road, and thence proceeding along Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road in a northeasterly direction to the intersection of Hambright Road, and thence proceeding in an easterly direction along Hambright Road to N.C. 115, and thence proceeding in a northerly direction along N.C. 115 to the intersection of N.C. 73 and thence in a westerly-southwesterly direction along N.C. 73 to the Lake Norman Dam and thence proceeding in a southerly direction along the Catawba River to the beginning point.

.2 Exceptions to Applicability:
a) Existing development, as defined in Section 12.2.3, is not subject to the requirements of the Mountain Island Lake Watershed Overlay District. Expansions to structures classified as existing development must meet the requirements of this section, however the built-upon area of the existing development is not required to be included in the impervious area calculations.

b) An existing lot, as defined in Section 12.2.3, owned prior to the effective date of this ordinance, regardless of whether or not a vested right has been established, may be developed for single family residential purposes subject only to the buffer requirements of Section 3.3.3-A, f) and g) or Section 3.3.3-B, f) and g), whichever are applicable; however this exemption is not applicable to more than two multiple contiguous lots under single ownership.

c) Existing public utilities may expand without being subject to the restrictions of this part provided that:
(i) Such expansion complies with all applicable laws of the State of North Carolina and the United States of America, and

(ii) Discharges associated with the existing public utilities may be expanded, however the pollutant load shall not be increased beyond presently permitted levels.

.3 Watershed Subareas Established:

a) Critical Areas:
CA1 - Lower Gar Creek. From normal pool elevation of Mountain Island Lake extending up Gar Creek to Beatties Ford Road and to approximately the ridge line along the north side of Gar Creek and to Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road on the south side of Gar Creek, as shown specifically on Town of Huntersville Zoning Maps.
CA2 - Upper Gar Creek. From Beatties Ford Road upstream along Gar Creek to the limits of the Gar Creek drainage basin and to approximately the ridge line along either side of Gar Creek, as shown specifically on Town of Huntersville Zoning Maps.

CA3 - McDowell Creek. From normal pool elevation of Mountain Island Lake extending one mile upstream on McDowell Creek and to approximately the ridge line along either side of McDowell Creek, as shown specifically on Town of Huntersville Zoning Maps.

CA4 - Lake Front. Extending landward one half mile from normal pool elevation along Mountain Island Lake and the Catawba River between Cowan's Ford Dam and Mountain Island Lake Dam, as shown specifically on Town of Huntersville Zoning Maps.

b) Protected Areas:
PA1 - The area extending from the outer limits of the critical areas to five hydrologic miles from the normal pool elevation and draining to Mountain Island Lake, as shown specifically on Town of Huntersville Zoning Maps.

PA2 - The area extending from the outer limit of the PA1 area where it intersects with N.C. 73 and running in a north-northeasterly direction along N.C. 73 to the intersection of I-77 and thence proceeding in a southerly direction along I-77 to the intersection of Gilead Road and thence in an easterly direction along Gilead Road to the intersection of N.C. 115 and thence in a southerly direction along N.C. 115 to the intersection of Hambright Road and thence in a westerly direction along Hambright Road to the intersection of Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road and thence in a northwesterly direction along the outer limits of the CA2 and PA1 areas to the beginning point, as shown specifically on Town of Huntersville Zoning Maps.

PA3 - The area extending from the outer limits of the PA2 area to the limits of the Mountain Island Lake Watershed, as shown specifically on Town of Huntersville Zoning Maps.

3.3.2-A Critical Areas (CA-1, CA-2, CA-3, CA4)
Intent: The intent of these regulations is to require higher standards in the Critical Areas of the Mountain Island Lake Watershed because of the greater risk of water quality degradation from pollution. All uses permitted in the Critical Areas are subject to the standards of both the overlay district and the underlying zoning district. In every case, the more restrictive standard controls.

a) Permitted Uses
Uses permitted with conditions
  • essential services 1 and 2, provided that there shall be no new industrial process or domestic discharges into any stream or lake in the Mountain Island Lake Watershed, but existing wastewater treatment plant(s) may expand so long as the total pollutant load per parameter is not increased beyond the effluent limits permitted as of October 1, 1993, the effective date of watershed protection regulations;
  • agriculture, subject to the provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985 and the Food, Agricultural, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990. All agricultural activities conducted after January 1, 1993 shall maintain a minimum ten foot vegetative buffer, or equivalent control as determined by the Soil and Water Conservation Commission, along all perennial waters indicated on the most recent versions of U.S.G.S. 1:24,000 scale topographic maps or as determined by local government studies. Agricultural activities begun after October 1, 1993 shall comply with the buffer standards of Section 3.3.3 -A(f). Animal operations greater than 100 animal units shall employ Best Management Practices by July 1, 1994 recommended by the Soil and Water Conservation Commission;
  • silviculture, subject to the provisions of the Forest Practices Guidelines Related to Water Quality (15A NCAC1T.0201-.0209);
  • residential uses permitted in the underlying district, subject to density and built-upon limits of the low density development option; cluster development allowed in the underlying district is permitted;
  • non-residential uses permitted in the underlying district, subject to the built-upon limits of the low-density development option; cluster development allowed in the underlying district is permitted.
b) Prohibited Uses
  • all uses not permitted in the underlying zoning district
  • residual applications
  • landfills, sanitary
  • landfills, off-site demolition
  • new or expanded domestic and industrial discharges
  • structural BMP's not associated with agriculture
  • disposal or treatment of petroleum contaminated soils (land farming)
c) Permitted Building and Lot Types
  • building and lot types permitted in the underlying zoning district
d) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • accessory uses permitted in the underlying zoning district; uses prohibited as principle uses are also prohibited as accessory uses
e) Built-Upon Area Development Standards
For individual buildings or for development projects within the Critical Areas, the following impervious area limitations are established on a building or project basis.

 CA1  6% B.U. [1]
 CA2  12% B.U. [1]
 CA3  12% B.U. [1]
 CA4
 24% B.U. [1]

[1] Residential subdivisions approved after 2/17/03 shall reserve, at minimum, 1% of the lot area but in no case less than 150 sq. ft. impervious area per lot to allow for addition of future impervious areas by homeowner/occupant

f) Buffer Size
Undisturbed buffers, except as specifically provided in this section, are required in the Critical Areas along the shoreline of Mountain Island Lake, measured horizontally by a licensed land surveyor from the normal pool elevation (648’ contour), and along all perennial streams, measured from the top of the bank on each side of the stream.

 CA1 100 feet or 100 year flood plain boundary, whichever is greater
 CA2 100 feet or 100 year flood plain boundary, whichever is greater
 CA3 100 feet or 100 year flood plain boundary, whichever is greater
 CA4             (lake shore)
100 feet

g) Buffer Protection
No permanent structures, impervious covers, septic tank systems or any other disturbance of existing vegetation shall be allowed within the buffer except as follows:

1) The surveyed buffer boundary must be clearly marked on-site with orange “tree-protection” or “high-hazard” fence prior to any land disturbing activities. Tree protection is required by Section 7.4(3) of this Ordinance.

2) The surveyed buffer boundary must be permanently marked with an iron pin at the intersection of the watershed buffer and each property line following the completion of land disturbing activities and prior to occupancy. Properties greater than 200’ in width shall be marked at a maximum of 100’ intervals.

3) No trees larger than 2-inch caliper, measured at 6 inches above the existing grade, are to be removed except for dead or diseased trees. Undergrowth and trees less than 2-inch caliper, measured at 6 inches above the existing grade, may be removed to be replaced by an effective stabilizing and filtering ground cover based upon the most recent edition of the “Watershed Buffer Guidelines for Mecklenburg County, NC” and as approved by the Mecklenburg County Water Quality Program.

4) Stream bank or shoreline stabilization is allowed as approved on a plan submitted to the Town Engineering Department and the Mecklenburg County Water Quality Program.

5) Water dependent structures and public projects such as road crossings and greenway paths are allowed where no practical alternatives exist. These activities should minimize built-upon area, direct runoff away from surface waters, and maximize the utilization of nonstructural BMP's and pervious materials.

6) During new development or the expansion of existing development, the Town, upon the advice of the Mecklenburg County Water Quality Program, can require enhancement of the existing vegetation in the buffer if necessary so that the buffer can effectively perform its filtering and absorption functions. Buffer enhancement requirements shall be based on the most recent edition of the “Watershed Buffer Guidelines for Mecklenburg County, NC”.

7) Mitigation of disturbed buffers required. Should existing vegetation within the buffer be disturbed (except as allowed by this Ordinance) or should vegetation added to a buffer pursuant to paragraph 6) be disturbed, the property owner shall be required to enhance the buffer in accordance with the most recent edition of the “Watershed Buffer Guidelines for Mecklenburg County, NC” so that the buffer can effectively perform its filtering and absorption functions.

8) Non-impervious recreational development and non-impervious pedestrian trails are allowed in the required buffer in compliance with paragraph 3), above. Pathway guidelines are available in the most recent edition of the “Watershed Buffer Guidelines for Mecklenburg County, NC.” If in a common area, such development and trails must be located a minimum of 30 feet from the normal pool elevation of Mountain Island Lake (648’ contour), or a minimum of 30 feet from the top of the bank on each side of all perennial streams; except for waterfront access points approved by the Town, upon the advice of the Mecklenburg County Water Quality Program.

9) Non-conforming structures and increasing built-upon area may permitted if the following criteria are met:
a.  The existing structure (to be expanded) was built prior to the enactment of the 1993 watershed ordinance.
b.  The Built-upon area (BUA) of the existing structure must cover a minimum of 10% of the 100-foot buffer on the lot.

c.  In Critical Area 1 (CA1), which has a 6% BUA cap, the maximum allowable increase in BUA in the buffers is 2%. In Critical Area 2 (CA2) and Critical Area 3 (CA3), which have a 12% BUA cap and Critical Area 4 (CA4), which has a 24% BUA cap, the maximum allowable increase in BUA is the buffer is 4%.

d.  Existing BUA shall not be increased within the State minimum 50-foot buffer.

e.  Best Management Practices (BMPs) (including rain gardens and plantings) must be installed to achieve the following removal efficiencies for all BUA on the lot (not just the BUA in the buffer):

i.  85% removal of Total Suspended Solids (TSS)
ii.  60% removal of Total Phosphorus (TP)
f.  All BMPs shall be installed or planted in accordance with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg BMP Design Manual and in accordance with Huntersville’s Water Quality Ordinance.

g.  Maintenance Agreements and Maintenance Plans must be recorded for all BMPs installed and/or planted and the location of the BMP and corresponding notes must be recorded on the deed in compliance with Huntersville’s Water Quality Ordinance.

h.  Mitigation measures, including all BMPs, must be installed, inspected and approved and the provisions described in item g (above) satisfied prior to the release of any certificates of occupancy for the structural expansion.

i.  All structural BMPs must be inspected and certified annually for compliance with design criteria by a licensed N.C. engineer in accordance with the Huntersville Water Quality Ordinance. Inspection reports must be submitted to Mecklenburg County for approval.

j.  Any deficiencies detected to the BMP or any other mitigation measure must be corrected within 30 days of detection at the sole expense of the property owner. Failure to do so will be in violation of the Huntersville Water Quality Ordinance and could result in the assessment of penalties.


h) Paired-Parcel Averaged-Density Development
The transfer of impervious development rights between two (2) parcels not within the boundaries of the same subdivision by way of designated undisturbed natural areas. A metes and bounds description of the space to be undisturbed and limits on use shall be recorded on the subdivision plat, in homeowner covenants, and on individual deed and shall be irrevocable. The resultant impervious area/amount for the two lots combined shall not exceed the original allowable impervious amount for each individual lot if they were developed separately.
  1. A density averaging certificate shall be considered one development request.
  2. Overall impervious area/amount of the paired parcel averaged-density development, calculated by built-upon area, shall not exceed the impervious that would be allowed if the parcels were developed separately. The parcel pair shall be located in the same water supply watershed and preferably in the same drainage area of the watershed. Parcel pairs may be located in the Critical Area and in the Protected Area. However, if one of the parcels is located in the Critical Area and one is located in the Protected Area, the Critical Area parcel shall not be developed beyond those impervious amounts allowed in the critical area provisions of the Huntersville Zoning Ordinance. A property in a more restricted watershed area shall not acquire impervious rights from a property in a less restricted area of the watershed. The purpose of this provision is to preserve open space in the more sensitive areas of the watershed.
  3. The paired parcels may include or be developed for residential or non-residential purposes.
  4. Buffers shall at least meet the appropriate minimum Huntersville Zoning Ordinance water supply watershed protection requirements on both parcels in the parcel pair.
  5. The portion of the parcel(s) which is not developed as part of the paired parcel, but that is being averaged in the land area being evaluated to meet the built-upon surface area, shall remain in an undisturbed vegetated or natural state. A metes and bounds description of the space to be undisturbed and limits on use shall be recorded on the subdivision plat, in homeowner covenants, and on individual deed and shall be irrevocable. The resultant impervious area/amount for the two lots combined shall not exceed the original allowable impervious amount for each individual lot if they were developed separately. It shall be noted on the plat that the Zoning Administrator shall reserve the right to make periodic inspections to ensure compliance.
  6. A Density Averaging Certificate shall be obtained from the Watershed Review Board (Board of Adjustment) to ensure that both parcels considered together meet the standards of the ordinance and that potential owners have record of how the watershed regulations were applied to the parcel pair. Only the owner(s) of both of the paired parcels may submit the application for the Density Averaging Certificate. A site plan for both of the parcels must be submitted and approved as part of the Density Averaging Certificate. If such a certificate is granted, no change in the development proposal authorized for either parcel shall be made unless the certificate is amended. Upon issuance of such certificate, one copy will be forwarded to the North Carolina Division of Water Quality (DWQ). Included with the Density Averaging Certificate will be a site plan, registered plats for both properties, a description of both properties, and documentation reflecting the development restrictions to the parcel pair that will remain undeveloped.
  7. The Watershed Review Board shall make written findings supported by appropriate calculations and documentation that the paired parcel averaged-density development plan as a whole conforms to the intent and requirements of this Article and Section, and that the proposed agreement assures protection of the public interest.
  8. The undisturbed land area shall be recorded in the deed for the parcel to which it applies. The Density Averaging Certificate shall be recorded in the deed for each of the parcels in the parcel pair. Both the designated undisturbed land area and the certificate shall be noted on the subdivision plat that applies to each of the parcels.
  9. Stormwater runoff from paired parcel averaged density-averaged development which meets the low-density option development requirements shall be controlled by vegetative conveyances to the maximum extent practicable and shall be approved by Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services’, Water Quality Program.
  10. Stormwater runoff from paired parcel averaged density development which meets the high-density option development requirements shall be controlled on the parcel(s) where the high-density development is occurring in accordance with the criteria specified in the Huntersville Water Quality Design Manual and the Huntersville Zoning Ordinance for high-density development.
  11. No parcel for which a watershed variance has been granted, or would be required, may be included as part of a parcel pair.
  12. Compliance with criteria 1-12 shall be evidence that the parcel pair is consistent with the orderly and planned distribution of development throughout the watershed.

3.3.2-B Protected Areas (PA-1, PA-2)
Intent: The intent of these regulations is to allow development with fewer restrictions in protected areas 1 and 2 than in the critical areas because the risk of water quality degradation from pollution is less in the protected areas than in the critical areas. All uses permitted in the Protected Areas are subject to the standards of both the overlay district and the underlying zoning district. In every case, the more restrictive standard controls. Note: Protected area 3 defines the remainder of watershed and is not subject to watershed regulation.

a) Permitted Uses
Uses permitted with conditions
  • essential services 1 and 2, provided that there shall be no new industrial process or domestic discharges into any stream or lake in the Mountain Island Lake Watershed, but existing wastewater treatment plant(s) may expand so long as the total pollutant load per parameter is not increased beyond the effluent limits permitted as of October 1, 1993, the effective date of watershed protection regulations;
  • agriculture, subject to the provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985 and the Food, Agricultural, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990. All agricultural activities conducted after January 1, 1993 shall maintain a minimum ten foot vegetative buffer, or equivalent control as determined by the Soil and Water Conservation Commission, along all perennial waters indicated on the most recent versions of U.S.G.S. 1:24,000 scale topographic maps or as determined by local government studies. Agricultural activities begun after October 1, 1993 shall comply with the buffer standards of Section 3.3.3-B(f). Animal operations greater than 100 animal units shall employ Best Management Practices by July 1, 1994 recommended by the Soil and Water Conservation Commission;
  • silviculture, subject to the provisions of the Forest Practices Guidelines Related to Water Quality (15A NCAC1T.0201-.0209);
  • storage of Hazardous Materials, subject to the filing of a spill/failure containment plan with Mecklenburg County Fire Marshall and the fire department(s) with jurisdiction in the Huntersville Mountain Island Lake Watershed Overlay District;
  • residential uses permitted in the underlying district, subject to either the low density or the high density option; cluster development allowed in the underlying district is permitted;
  • non-residential uses permitted in the underlying district, subject to either the low density or the high-density option; cluster development allowed in the underlying district is permitted.
b) Prohibited Uses
  • all uses not permitted in the underlying zoning district
  • in PA 1, off-site demolition landfills
  • in PA 1, sanitary landfills
  • in PA 1, wastewater treatment facilities
c) Permitted Building and Lot Types
building and lot types permitted in the underlying zoning district d) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • accessory uses permitted in the underlying zoning district; uses prohibited as principal uses are also prohibited as accessory uses
e) Built-Upon Area Development Standards
For individual buildings or for development projects within Protected Areas 1 and 2, the following impervious area limitations are established on a building or project basis.

 PA1 and PA2, low density option  24% B.U. with curb and gutter streets[1]
   36% B.U. without curb and gutter streets[1]
 PA1 and PA2, high density option,
 where permitted
 70% B.U. with BMP[1]

[1] Residential subdivisions approved after 2/17/03 shall reserve, at minimum, 1% of the lot area but not less than 150 sq. ft. impervious area per lot to allow for addition of future impervious areas by homeowner/occupant.

f) Buffer Size
Undisturbed buffers, except as specifically provided in this section, are required in the Protected Areas along all perennial streams, measured horizontally by a licensed land surveyor from the top of the bank on each side of the stream.

PA1, low density option  50 feet
PA2, low density option  30 feet; 50 feet for agricultural uses
PA1, high density option  100 feet
PA2, high density option  100 feet

g) Buffer Protection
No permanent structures, impervious covers, septic tank systems or any other disturbance of existing vegetation shall be allowed within the buffer except as follows:

1) The surveyed buffer boundary must be clearly marked on-site with orange “tree-protection” or “high-hazard” fence prior to any land disturbing activities. Tree protection is required by Section 7.4(3) of this Ordinance.

2) The surveyed buffer boundary must be permanently marked with an iron pin at the intersection of the watershed buffer and each property line following the completion of land disturbing activities and prior to occupancy. Properties greater than 200’ in width shall be marked at a maximum of 100’ intervals.

3) No trees larger than 2-inch caliper, measured at 6 inches above the existing grade, are to be removed except for dead or diseased trees. Undergrowth and trees less than 2-inch caliper, measured at 6 inches above existing grade, may be removed to be replaced by an effective stabilizing and filtering ground cover based upon the most recent edition of the “Watershed Buffer Guidelines for Mecklenburg County, NC” and as approved by the Mecklenburg County Water Quality Program.

4) Stream bank or shoreline stabilization is allowed as approved on a plan submitted to the Mecklenburg County Engineering Department and the Mecklenburg County Water Quality Program.

5) Water dependent structures and public projects such as road crossings and greenway paths are allowed where no practical alternatives exist. These activities should minimize built-upon area, direct runoff away from surface waters, and maximize the utilization of nonstructural BMP's and pervious materials.

6) During new development or the expansion of existing development, the Town, upon the advice of the Mecklenburg County Water Quality Program, can require enhancement of the existing vegetation in the buffer if necessary so that the buffer can effectively perform its filtering and absorption functions. Buffer enhancement requirements shall be based on the most recent edition of the “Watershed Buffer Guidelines for Mecklenburg County, NC”.

7) Mitigation of disturbed buffers required. Should existing vegetation within the buffer be disturbed (except as allowed by this Ordinance) or should vegetation added to a buffer pursuant to paragraph 6) be disturbed, the property owner shall be required to enhance the buffer in accordance with the most recent edition of the “Watershed Buffer Guidelines for Mecklenburg County, NC” so that the buffer can effectively perform its filtering and absorption functions.

8) Non-impervious recreational development and non-impervious pedestrian trails are allowed in the required buffer in compliance with paragraph 3), above. Pathway guidelines are available in the most recent edition of the “Watershed Buffer Guidelines for Mecklenburg County, NC.” If in a common area, such development and trails must be located a minimum of 30 feet from the top of the bank on each side of all perennial streams; except for waterfront access points approved by the Town, upon the advice of the Mecklenburg County Water Quality Program.

9) Non-conforming structures and increasing built-upon area may permitted if the following criteria are met:
a.  The existing structure (to be expanded) was built prior to the enactment of the 1993_watershed ordinance.

b.  The Built-upon area (BUA) of the existing structure must cover a minimum of 10% of the 100-foot buffer on the lot.

c.  In Critical Area 1 (CA1), which has a 6% BUA cap, the maximum allowable increase in BUA in the buffers is 2%. In Critical Area 2 (CA2) and Critical Area 3 (CA3), which have a 12% BUA cap and Critical Area 4 (CA4), which has a 24% BUA cap, the maximum allowable increase in BUA is the buffer is 4%.

d.  Existing BUA shall not be increased within the State minimum 50-foot buffer.

e.  Best Management Practices (BMPs) (including rain gardens and plantings) must be installed to achieve the following removal efficiencies for all BUA on the lot (not just the BUA in the buffer):
i.  85% removal of Total Suspended Solids (TSS)

ii.  60% removal of Total Phosphorus (TP)
f.  All BMPs shall be installed or planted in accordance with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg BMP Design Manual and in accordance with Huntersville’s Water Quality Ordinance.

g.  Maintenance Agreements and Maintenance Plans must be recorded for all BMPs installed and/or planted and the location of the BMP and corresponding notes must be recorded on the deed in compliance with Huntersville’s Water Quality Ordinance.

h.  Mitigation measures, including all BMPs, must be installed, inspected and approved and the provisions described in item g (above) satisfied prior to the release of any certificates of occupancy for the structural expansion.

i.  All structural BMPs must be inspected and certified annually for compliance with design criteria by a licensed N.C. engineer in accordance with the Huntersville Water Quality Ordinance. Inspection reports must be submitted to Mecklenburg County for approval.

j. Any deficiencies detected to the BMP or any other mitigation measure must be corrected within 30 days of detection at the sole expense of the property owner. Failure to do so will be in violation of the Huntersville Water Quality Ordinance and could result in the assessment of penalties.

h) High Density Option Requirements in Protected Areas of the MIL Watershed
(1) The High Density Option allows for greater development density provided engineered controls (structural BMPs) are used to manage storm water runoff. Structural BMPs are required under the High Density Option. The HIGH DENSITY OPTION is permitted in the PA1 and PA2 subareas. It shall be permitted only for such time as an interlocal agreement remains in force between the Town of Huntersville and Mecklenburg County, whereby Mecklenburg County assumes responsibility for review and approval of High Density Development Permits, initial inspection and approval, annual inspection and reporting, and maintenance of structural BMPs within the jurisdiction of the Town of Huntersville, as set forth in a Storm Water Management Interlocal agreement between the County of Mecklenburg and the Town of Huntersville. In addition to meeting basic zoning and subdivision standards of the Town of Huntersville, high density development shall meet the requirements of this section, the Land Development Standards Manual, other published standards of the Town Engineering Department, and Section 10.509 paragraph 3 of the Mecklenburg County Zoning Ordinance as may be amended from time to time.

(2) High Density Permit Application.
(a) A High Density Development Permit shall be required for new development exceeding the requirements of the low-density option.
(b) Application for a High Density Development Permit shall be submitted as follows:
(i) Development plans subject to the Huntersville Subdivision Ordinance and the Sediment and Erosion Control Ordinance will submit the High Density Development Permit to the Town Engineering Department and the Huntersville Planning Director, or designee, as part of the subdivision review application process.

(ii) Development plans exempt from subdivision ordinance regulations will submit the High Density Development Permit to the Town Engineer or their designee as part of the Sediment and Erosion Control requirements of the building permit application process.

(iii) Applications for the High Density Option shall be made on the proper form and shall include the following information:
  • A completed High Density Development Permit Application signed by the owner of the property. The signature of the consulting engineer or other agent will be accepted on the application only if accompanied by a letter of authorization.
  • Required number of development plans and specifications of the storm water control structure.
  • Submittal of a sediment and erosion control plan to the appropriate agency.
  • Permit application fees.
(3) Structural BMPs.
(a) All structural BMPs shall be designed, and the plans sealed, by a North Carolina registered professional with qualifications appropriate for the type of system required; these registered professionals are defined as professional engineers, landscape architects, to the extent that the General Statutes, Chapter 89A allow, and land surveyors, to the extent that the design represents incidental drainage within a subdivision, as provided in General Statutes 89(C)-3(7).

(b) Structural BMPs shall be designed for specific pollutant removal according to modeling techniques approved by the North Carolina Division of Water Quality. Specific requirements for these systems shall be in accordance with the design criteria and standards contained in the Land Development Standards Manual.

(c) Qualifying areas of the structural BMP may be considered pervious when computing total built-upon area. However, if the structure is used to compute the percentage built-upon area for one site, it shall not be used to compute the built-upon area for any other site or area.

(d) The design of the structural BMP shall include the appropriate easements for ingress and egress necessary to perform inspections, maintenance, repairs and reconstruction.

(4) Posting of Financial Security Required.
(a) When Structural BMP's are required under the High Density Option, the approval of the High Density Development Permit will be subject to developer compliance with Section 10.509 paragraph 3 of the Mecklenburg County Zoning Ordinance, the provisions of which, including subsequent amendments, are incorporated herein.
(5) Additional Requirements.
(a) An Occupancy Permit shall not be issued for any building within the permitted development until the Town Engineering Department has approved the storm water control structure.

(b) Appeals of any order, requirement, decision or determination shall be made to and decided by the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Town of Huntersville.


i) Paired-Parcel Averaged-Density Development
The transfer of impervious development rights between two (2) parcels not within the boundaries of the same subdivision by way of designated undisturbed natural areas. A metes and bounds description of the space to be undisturbed and limits on use shall be recorded on the subdivision plat, in homeowner covenants, and on individual deed and shall be irrevocable. The resultant impervious area/amount for the two lots combined shall not exceed the original allowable impervious amount for each individual lot if they were developed separately.
  1. A density averaging certificate shall be considered one development request.
  2. Overall impervious area/amount of the paired parcel averaged-density development, calculated by built-upon area, shall not exceed the impervious that would be allowed if the parcels were developed separately. The parcel pair shall be located in the same water supply watershed and preferably in the same drainage area of the watershed. Parcel pairs may be located in the Critical Area and in the Protected Area. However, if one of the parcels is located in the Critical Area and one is located in the Protected Area, the Critical Area parcel shall not be developed beyond those impervious amounts allowed in the critical area provisions of the Huntersville Zoning Ordinance. A property in a more restricted watershed area shall not acquire impervious rights from a property in a less restricted area of the watershed. The purpose of this provision is to preserve open space in the more sensitive areas of the watershed.
  3. The paired parcels may include or be developed for residential or non-residential purposes.
  4. Buffers shall at least meet the appropriate minimum Huntersville Zoning Ordinance water supply watershed protection requirements on both parcels in the parcel pair.
  5. The portion of the parcel(s) which is not developed as part of the paired parcel, but that is being averaged in the land area being evaluated to meet the built-upon surface area, shall remain in an undisturbed vegetated or natural state. A metes and bounds description of the space to be undisturbed and limits on use shall be recorded on the subdivision plat, in homeowner covenants, and on individual deed and shall be irrevocable. The resultant impervious area/amount for the two lots combined shall not exceed the original allowable impervious amount for each individual lot if they were developed separately. It shall be noted on the plat that the Zoning Administrator shall reserve the right to make periodic inspections to ensure compliance.
  6. A Density Averaging Certificate shall be obtained from the Watershed Review Board (Board of Adjustment) to ensure that both parcels considered together meet the standards of the ordinance and that potential owners have record of how the watershed regulations were applied to the parcel pair. Only the owner(s) of both of the paired parcels may submit the application for the Density Averaging Certificate. A site plan for both of the parcels must be submitted and approved as part of the Density Averaging Certificate. If such a certificate is granted, no change in the development proposal authorized for either parcel shall be made unless the certificate is amended. Upon issuance of such certificate, one copy will be forwarded to the North Carolina Division of Water Quality (DWQ). Included with the Density Averaging Certificate will be a site plan, registered plats for both properties, a description of both properties, and documentation reflecting the development restrictions to the parcel pair that will remain undeveloped.
  7. The Watershed Review Board shall make written findings supported by appropriate calculations and documentation that the paired parcel averaged-density development plan as a whole conforms to the intent and requirements of this Article and Section, and that the proposed agreement assures protection of the public interest.
  8. The undisturbed land area shall be recorded in the deed for the parcel to which it applies. The Density Averaging Certificate shall be recorded in the deed for each of the parcels in the parcel pair. Both the designated undisturbed land area and the certificate shall be noted on the subdivision plat that applies to each of the parcels.
  9. Stormwater runoff from paired parcel averaged density-averaged development which meets the low-density option development requirements shall be controlled by vegetative conveyances to the maximum extent practicable and shall be approved by Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services’, Water Quality Program.
  10. Stormwater runoff from paired parcel averaged density development which meets the high-density option development requirements shall be controlled on the parcel(s) where the high-density development is occurring in accordance with the criteria specified in the Huntersville Water Quality Design Manual and the Huntersville Zoning Ordinance for high-density development.
  11. No parcel for which a watershed variance has been granted, or would be required, may be included as part of a parcel pair.
  12. Compliance with criteria 1-12 shall be evidence that the parcel pair is consistent with the orderly and planned distribution of development throughout the watershed.

3.3.2-C Appeals and Variances in MIL-O District
.1 The Zoning Board of Adjustment is hereby designated the Watershed Review Board.

.2 An appeal to reverse or modify the order, decision, determination, or interpretation of the Zoning Administrator (herein designated the Watershed Administrator), shall comply with the procedures and standards of Section 11.3 of these regulations.

.3 A petition for variance to the standards of the Mountain Island Lake Watershed Overlay District shall comply with the procedures and standards of Section 11.3 of these regulations, with the following exceptions.
a) In addition to the notification requirements of Section 11.3, the Watershed Administrator shall also notify in writing each local government having jurisdiction in the watershed and the entity using the water supply for consumption. Such notice shall include a description of the variance being requested. Local governments receiving notice of the variance request may submit comments to the Watershed Administrator prior to a decision by the Watershed Review Board. Such comments shall become a part of the record of proceedings of the Watershed Review Board.

b) Major and Minor Variances are differentiated by definition.

Minor variances shall include petitions for the reduction of any numerical standard of the low-density option in the overlay district by a factor of 10% or less.

Major variances mean variance from the minimum statewide water supply watershed protection criteria that result in any one or more of the following:

Petitions for the reduction of any numerical standard of the low density option in the overlay district by a factor of more than 10%; and

Petitions for variation in the design, maintenance or operation requirements of a wet detention pond or other approved storm water system; and

Petitions for the reduction of any management requirement that applies to a development proposal intended to qualify under the high-density option.

c) Major and Minor Variances are differentiated as to procedures and standards.
Minor variances shall comply with the procedures and standards of Section 11.3 of these regulations. An annual report of minor variances granted shall be submitted by the Watershed Administrator for each calendar year to the Division of Water Quality on or before January 1st of the following year and provide a description of each project receiving a variance and the reasons for granting the variance.

Major variances shall comply with the procedures and standards of Section 11.3 except that:
A decision by the Watershed Review Board to deny a major variance shall be final. Appeal shall be to a court of competent jurisdiction as provided in Section 11.3.

A decision by the Watershed Review Board to approve a major variance shall be advisory only. The Watershed Administrator shall within 30 days forward a record of the Board of Adjustment hearing, findings, and conclusions to the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission for final decision.

The Watershed Review Board may advise approval of a major variance petition upon satisfying the findings of Section 11.3.2ƒ, or upon the finding that significant community economic or social benefit would be derived from the grant of the variance.

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3.3.3 LAKE NORMAN WATERSHED OVERLAY DISTRICT (LN-O)
Intent: The intent of the Lake Norman Watershed Overlay District is to provide for the protection of public water supplies as required by the N.C. Water Supply Watershed Classification and Protection Act (G.S. 143-214.5) and regulations promulgated there under. The Lake Norman Watershed Overlay may be applied in any zoning district. The Lake Norman Watershed Overlay District supplements the regulations of the underlying zoning district within the Lake Norman Watershed Protection Area to ensure protection of public drinking water supplies. All other uses and regulations for the underlying district shall continue to remain in effect for properties classified under the Lake Norman Watershed Overlay District.

.1 Applicability: The Lake Norman Watershed Protection Area is that area within the jurisdiction of the Town of Huntersville which contributes surface drainage into that portion of the Catawba River known as Lake Norman and its tributaries. The Lake Norman Watershed Protection area is specifically defined on the Huntersville Zoning Maps.

.2 Exceptions to Applicability:
a) Existing development, as defined in Section 12.2.3, is not subject to the requirements of the Lake Norman Watershed Overlay District. Expansions to structures classified as existing development must meet the requirements of this section, however the built-upon area of the existing development is not required to be included in the impervious area calculations.

b) An existing lot, as defined in Section 12.2.3, owned prior to the effective date of this ordinance, regardless of whether or not a vested right has been established, may be developed for single family residential purposes subject only to the buffer requirements of Section 3.3.3-A, f) and g); however this exemption is not applicable to more than two multiple contiguous lots under single ownership.

c) Existing public utilities may expand without being subject to the restrictions of this part provided that:

(i) Such expansion complies with all applicable laws of the State of North Carolina and the United States of America; and

(ii) Discharges associated with the existing public utilities may be expanded, however the pollutant load shall not be increased beyond presently permitted levels.

.3 Watershed Subareas Established:
a) Critical Area. The Critical Area is defined as the land area which begins at the normal pool elevation of Lake Norman and extends one-half mile inland or to the ridgeline, whichever is closest, as shown more specifically on the Huntersville Zoning Maps.

b) Protected Area. There is no Lake Norman Protected Area located within the jurisdiction of the Town of Huntersville.

3.3.3-A Critical Area (CA)
Intent: The intent of these regulations is to require higher standards in the Critical Area of the Lake Norman Watershed because of the greater risk of water quality degradation from pollution. All uses permitted in the Critical Area for which erosion/sedimentation control plans are required under Mecklenburg County regulations are subject to the standards of both the overlay district and the underlying zoning district. In every case the more restrictive standard controls.

a) Permitted Uses
Uses permitted with conditions
  • essential services 1 and 2, provided that there shall be no new industrial process or domestic discharges into any stream or lake in the Lake Norman Watershed, but existing wastewater treatment plant(s) may expand so long as the total pollutant load per parameter will not be increased beyond the effluent limits permitted as of October 1, 1993, the effective date of watershed protection regulations;
  • agriculture, subject to the provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985 and the Food, Agricultural, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990. All agricultural activities conducted after January 1, 1993 shall maintain a minimum ten foot vegetative buffer, or equivalent control as determined by the Soil and Water Conservation Commission, along all perennial waters indicated on the most recent versions of U.S.G.S. 1:24,000 scale topographic maps or as determined by local government studies. Agricultural activities begun after October 1, 1993 shall comply with the buffer standards of Section 3.3.3-A(f). Animal operations greater than 100 animal units shall employ Best Management Practices by July 1, 1994 recommended by the Soil and Water Conservation Commission;
  • silviculture, subject to the provisions of the Forest Practices Guidelines Related to Water Quality (15A NCACIT.0201-.0209);
  • residential uses permitted in the underlying district, subject to either the low or high density option; cluster development allowed in the underlying district is permitted;
  • non-residential uses permitted in the underlying district, subject to either the low or high-density development option; cluster development allowed in the underlying district is permitted.
b) Prohibited Uses
  • all uses not permitted in the underlying zoning district
  • residual applications
  • landfills, sanitary
  • landfills, off-site demolition
  • new or expanded domestic and industrial discharges
  • disposal or treatment of petroleum contaminated soils (land farming)
  • petroleum storage tanks as a principal use
c) Permitted Building and Lot Types
  • building and lot types permitted in the underlying zoning district
d) Permitted Accessory Uses
  • accessory uses permitted in the underlying zoning district; uses prohibited as principal uses are also prohibited as accessory uses
e) Built-Upon Area Development Standards
For individual buildings or for development projects within the Lake Norman Critical Area, the following impervious area limitations are established on a building or project basis.

 CA, low density option 24% B.U.[1]
 CA, high density option  50% B.U. with Structural BMP[1]

[1] Residential subdivisions approved after 2/17/03 shall reserve, at minimum, 1% of the lot area but not less than 150 sq. ft. impervious area per lot to allow for addition of future impervious areas by homeowner/occupant

f) Buffer Size
Undisturbed buffers, except as specifically provided in this section, are required along the shoreline of Lake Norman measured horizontally by a licensed land surveyor from the normal pool elevation (760’ contour) and along each side of all perennial streams measured from the top of the bank on each side on the stream. Minimum buffer widths are:

 CA, low density option  50 feet
 CA, high density option  100 feet

g) Buffer Protection
No permanent structures, impervious covers, septic tank systems or any other disturbance of existing vegetation shall be allowed within the buffer except as follows:

1) The surveyed buffer boundary must be clearly marked on-site with orange “tree-protection” or “high-hazard” fence prior to any land disturbing activities. Tree protection is required by Section 7.4(3) of this Ordinance.

2) The surveyed buffer boundary must be permanently marked with an iron pin at the intersection of the watershed buffer and each property line following the completion of land disturbing activities and prior to occupancy. Properties greater than 200’ in width shall be marked at a maximum of 100’ intervals.

3) No trees larger than 2-inch caliper, measured at 6 inches above the existing grade, are to be removed except for dead or diseased trees. Undergrowth and trees less than 2-inch caliper, measured at 6 inches above the existing grade, may be removed to be replaced by an effective stabilization and filtering ground cover based upon the most recent edition of the “Watershed Buffer Guidelines for Mecklenburg County, NC” and as approved by the Mecklenburg County Water Quality Program.

4) Stream bank or shoreline stabilization is allowed as approved on a plan submitted to the Town Engineering Department and the Mecklenburg County Water Quality Program.

5) Water dependent structures and public projects such as road crossings and greenway paths are allowed where no practical alternatives exist. These activities should minimize built-upon area, direct runoff away from surface waters, and maximize the utilization of nonstructural BMP's and pervious materials.

6) During new development or the expansion of existing development, the Town, upon the advice of the Mecklenburg County Water Quality Program, can require enhancement of the existing vegetation in the buffer if necessary so that the buffer can effectively perform its filtering and absorption functions. Buffer enhancement requirements shall be based on the most recent edition of the “Watershed Buffer Guidelines for Mecklenburg County, NC”.

7) Mitigation of disturbed buffers required. Should existing vegetation within the buffer be disturbed (except as allowed by this Ordinance) or should vegetation added to a buffer pursuant to paragraph 6) be disturbed, the property owner shall be required to enhance the buffer in accordance with the most recent edition of the “Watershed Buffer Guidelines for Mecklenburg County, NC” so that the buffer can effectively perform its filtering and absorption functions.

8) Non-impervious recreational development and non-impervious pedestrian trails are allowed in the required buffer in compliance with paragraph 3), above. Pathway guidelines are available in the most recent edition of the “Watershed Buffer Guidelines for Mecklenburg County, NC.” If in a common area, such development and trails must be if located a minimum of 30 feet from the normal pool elevation of Lake Norman (760’ contour), or a minimum of 30 feet from the top of the bank on each side of all perennial streams; except for waterfront access points approved by the Town, upon the advice of the Mecklenburg County Water Quality Program.

(h) High Density Option Requirements in the Critical Area of the LN Watershed
1) The High Density Option allows for greater development density provided engineered controls (structural BMPs) are used to manage storm water runoff. Structural BMPs are required under the High Density Option. The HIGH DENSITY OPTION is permitted in the CA subarea. It shall be permitted only for such time as an interlocal agreement remains in force between the Town of Huntersville and Mecklenburg County, whereby Mecklenburg County assumes responsibility for review and approval of High Density Development Permits, initial inspection and approval, annual inspection and reporting, and maintenance of structural BMPs within the jurisdiction of the Town of Huntersville, as set forth in a Storm Water Management interlocal agreement between the County of Mecklenburg and the Town of Huntersville. In addition to meeting basic zoning and subdivision standards of the Town of Huntersville, high density development shall meet the requirements of this section, the Land Development Standards Manual, other published standards of the Town Engineering Department, and Section 10.509 paragraph 3 of the Mecklenburg County Zoning Ordinance as may be amended from time to time.

2) High Density Permit Application.
(1) A High Density Development Permit shall be required for new development exceeding the requirements of the low-density option.

(2) Application for a High Density Development Permit shall be submitted as follows:

i. Development plans subject to the Huntersville Subdivision Ordinance and the Sediment and Erosion Control Ordinance will submit the High Density Development Permit to the Town Engineering Department and the Huntersville Planning Director, or designee, as part of the subdivision review application process.

ii. Development plans exempt from subdivision ordinance regulations will submit the High Density Development Permit to the Town Engineer or their designee as part of the Sediment and Erosion Control requirements of the building permit application process.

iii. Applications for the High Density Option shall be made on the proper form and shall include the following information:
  • A completed High Density Development Permit Application signed by the owner of the property. The signature of the consulting engineer or other agent will be accepted on the application only if accompanied by a letter of authorization.
  • Required number of development plans and specifications of the storm water control structure.
  • Submittal of a sediment and erosion control plan to the appropriate agency.
  • Permit application fees.
3) Structural BMPs.
(a) All structural BMPs shall be designed, and the plans sealed, by a North Carolina registered professional with qualifications appropriate for the type of system required; these registered professionals are defined as professional engineers, landscape architects, to the extent that the General Statutes, Chapter 89A allow, and land surveyors, to the extent that the design represents incidental drainage within a subdivision, as provided in General Statutes 89(C)-3(7).

(b) Structural BMPs shall be designed for specific pollutant removal according to modeling techniques approved by the North Carolina Division of Water Quality. Specific requirements for these systems shall be in accordance with the design criteria and standards contained in the Land Development Standards Manual.

(c) Qualifying areas of the structural BMP may be considered pervious when computing total built-upon area. However, if the structure is used to compute the percentage built-upon area for one site, it shall not be used to compute the built-upon area for any other site or area.

(d) The design of the structural BMP shall include the appropriate easements for ingress and egress necessary to perform inspections, maintenance, repairs and reconstruction.

4) Posting of Financial Security Required.
(a) When Structural BMPs are required under the High Density Option, the approval of the High Density Development Permit will be subject to developer compliance with Section 10.509 paragraph 3 of the Mecklenburg County Zoning Ordinance, the provisions of which, including subsequent amendments, are incorporated herein.
5) Additional Requirements.
(a) An Occupancy Permit shall not be issued for any building within the permitted development until the Town Engineering Department has approved the storm water control structure.

(b) Appeals of any order, requirement, decision or determination shall be made to and decided by the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Town of Huntersville.


i) Paired-Parcel Averaged-Density Development
The transfer of impervious development rights between two (2) parcels not within the boundaries of the same subdivision by way of designated undisturbed natural areas. A metes and bounds description of the space to be undisturbed and limits on use shall be recorded on the subdivision plat, in homeowner covenants, and on individual deed and shall be irrevocable. The resultant impervious area/amount for the two lots combined shall not exceed the original allowable impervious amount for each individual lot if they were developed separately.
  1. A density averaging certificate shall be considered one development request.
  2. Overall impervious area/amount of the paired parcel averaged-density development, calculated by built-upon area, shall not exceed the impervious that would be allowed if the parcels were developed separately. The parcel pair shall be located in the same water supply watershed and preferably in the same drainage area of the watershed. Parcel pairs may be located in the Critical Area and in the Protected Area. However, if one of the parcels is located in the Critical Area and one is located in the Protected Area, the Critical Area parcel shall not be developed beyond those impervious amounts allowed in the critical area provisions of the Huntersville Zoning Ordinance. A property in a more restricted watershed area shall not acquire impervious rights from a property in a less restricted area of the watershed. The purpose of this provision is to preserve open space in the more sensitive areas of the watershed. 
  3. The paired parcels may include or be developed for residential or non-residential purposes.
  4. Buffers shall at least meet the appropriate minimum Huntersville Zoning Ordinance water supply watershed protection requirements on both parcels in the parcel pair.
  5. The portion of the parcel(s) which is not developed as part of the paired parcel, but that is being averaged in the land area being evaluated to meet the built-upon surface area, shall remain in an undisturbed vegetated or natural state. A metes and bounds description of the space to be undisturbed and limits on use shall be recorded on the subdivision plat, in homeowner covenants, and on individual deed and shall be irrevocable. The resultant impervious area/amount for the two lots combined shall not exceed the original allowable impervious amount for each individual lot if they were developed separately. It shall be noted on the plat that the Zoning Administrator shall reserve the right to make periodic inspections to ensure compliance.
  6. A Density Averaging Certificate shall be obtained from the Watershed Review Board (Board of Adjustment) to ensure that both parcels considered together meet the standards of the ordinance and that potential owners have record of how the watershed regulations were applied to the parcel pair. Only the owner(s) of both of the paired parcels may submit the application for the Density Averaging Certificate. A site plan for both of the parcels must be submitted and approved as part of the Density Averaging Certificate. If such a certificate is granted, no change in the development proposal authorized for either parcel shall be made unless the certificate is amended. Upon issuance of such certificate, one copy will be forwarded to the North Carolina Division of Water Quality (DWQ). Included with the Density Averaging Certificate will be a site plan, registered plats for both properties, a description of both properties, and documentation reflecting the development restrictions to the parcel pair that will remain undeveloped.
  7. The Watershed Review Board shall make written findings supported by appropriate calculations and documentation that the paired parcel averaged-density development plan as a whole conforms to the intent and requirements of this Article and Section, and that the proposed agreement assures protection of the public interest.
  8. The undisturbed land area shall be recorded in the deed for the parcel to which it applies. The Density Averaging Certificate shall be recorded in the deed for each of the parcels in the parcel pair. Both the designated undisturbed land area and the certificate shall be noted on the subdivision plat that applies to each of the parcels.
  9. Stormwater runoff from paired parcel averaged density-averaged development which meets the low-density option development requirements shall be controlled by vegetative conveyances to the maximum extent practicable and shall be approved by Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services’, Water Quality Program.
  10. Stormwater runoff from paired parcel averaged density development which meets the high-density option development requirements shall be controlled on the parcel(s) where the high-density development is occurring in accordance with the criteria specified in the Huntersville Water Quality Design Manual and the Huntersville Zoning Ordinance for high-density development.
  11. No parcel for which a watershed variance has been granted, or would be required, may be included as part of a parcel pair.
  12. Compliance with criteria 1-12 shall be evidence that the parcel pair is consistent with the orderly and planned distribution of development throughout the watershed.

3.3.3-B Appeals and Variances in LN-O District
.1 The Zoning Board of Adjustment is hereby designated the Watershed Review Board.

.2 An appeal to reverse or modify the order, decision, determination, or interpretation of the Zoning Administrator (herein designated the Watershed Administrator), shall comply with the procedures and standards of Section 11.3 of these regulations.

.3 A petition for variance to the standards of the Lake Norman Watershed Overlay District shall comply with the procedures and standards of Section 11.3 of these regulations, with the following exceptions.
a) In addition to the notification requirements of Section 11.3, the Watershed Administrator shall also notify in writing each local government having jurisdiction in the watershed and the entity using the water supply for consumption. Such notice shall include a description of the variance being requested. Local governments receiving notice of the variance request may submit comments to the Watershed Administrator prior to a decision by the Watershed Review Board. Such comments shall become a part of the record of proceedings of the Watershed Review Board.

b) Major and Minor Variances are differentiated by definition.
Minor variances shall include petitions for the reduction of any numerical standard of the low-density option in the overlay district by a factor of 10% or less.

Major variances mean variance from the minimum statewide water supply watershed protection criteria that result in any one or more of the following:
Petitions for the reduction of any numerical standard of the low density option in the overlay district by a factor of more than 10%; and

Petitions for variation in the design, maintenance or operation requirements of a wet detention pond or other approved storm water system; and

Petitions for the reduction of any management requirement that applies to a development proposal intended to qualify under the high-density option.
c) Major and Minor Variances are differentiated as to procedures and standards.
Minor variances shall comply with the procedures and standards of Section 11.3 of these regulations. An annual report of minor variances granted shall be submitted by the Watershed Administrator for each calendar year to the Division of Water Quality on or before January 1st of the following year and provide a description of each project receiving a variance and the reasons for granting the variance.

Major variances shall comply with the procedures and standards of Section 11.3 except that:
A decision by the Watershed Review Board to deny a major variance shall be final. Appeal shall be to a court of competent jurisdiction as provided in Section 11.3.

A decision by the Watershed Review Board to approve a major variance shall be advisory only. The Watershed Administrator shall within 30 days forward a record of the Board of Adjustment hearing, findings, and conclusions to the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission for final decision.

The Watershed Review Board may advise approval of a major variance petition upon satisfying the findings of Section 11.3.2ƒ, or upon the finding that significant community economic or social benefit would be derived from the grant of the variance.

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