Mandated Design Features

  • Build a public realm. A consciously conceived public realm must be provided to strengthen and enliven the public life of the town. Town streets in combination with squares, greens, parks, or plazas should be designed into each project.
  • Connect pedestrian-friendly streets. The classification of town streets is found in the zoning ordinance; it supplements, but does not replace, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg-NCDOT classification of thoroughfares. Town streets are characterized by low-speed geometry and the presence of sidewalks and street trees. Space for parallel parking is provided where on-street parking will meet the day-to-day needs of adjoining development. Town streets are fully connected in a system of blocks, creating a fine-grained network to disperse traffic and meet the mobility needs of vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Street design should incorporate traffic calming intersections to forestall high-speed through traffic opportunities in neighborhoods.
  • Delineate town and country. Regulations work in concert with the zoning map to strengthen the identity of Huntersville by delineating clear edges to town development while providing for a more rural-appearing landscape punctuated by pockets of development.
  • Design buildings to respect human scale. Rigorous attention must be paid to the scale and massing of buildings and the character of pedestrian entrances along streets. Appearance standards are provided to allow for a mixture of uses and housing types while maintaining compatible relationships among buildings.
  • Enclose streets with buildings to create the public space of the street. Buildings should have consistent set backs and be aligned along the streets. In urban, village, or hamlet settings, buildings will be close to the street. In less urban settings, a larger setback is permitted as long as regular rows of large maturing street trees are provided to form the vertical edge of the street. Parking is placed behind buildings.
  • Maintain compatible building relationships along streets. Buildings of similar scale are placed alongside and across the street from one another. Changes in building scale should be negotiated at mid-block (i.e. at back property lines). This technique reduces dependency on wide buffers to separate variously sized buildings and differing uses.
  • Mix housing types. Infrastructure cost is offset and affordable housing is encouraged by allowing a broad mixture of lot sizes and housing types in the residential districts.
  • The Rural District (R) is provided to encourage the development of neighborhoods and rural compounds that set aside significant natural vistas and landscape features for permanent conservation. Development typologies associated with the Rural District are farms, the single house, the conservation subdivision, the farmhouse cluster, and the residential neighborhood.
  • Screen unattractive uses thoroughly. Dense screening of parking lots and other unsightly areas of projects provides good visual separation without space-consuming buffers.
  • Thoroughly buffer uses that disregard the human scale. Most non-residential land uses can be integrated into the townscape by regulating building placement, massing, and scale. However rigorous conditions and large buffers apply to uses that cannot respect human scale or may detract from neighborhood livability. These include big box retail, quarries, commercial communication towers, various waste handling facilities, junk yards, outdoor storage, and the like.