Article 5: Streets

5.1 Summary

Streets are an integral component of community design and represent the largest percentage of public open space in town.  In Huntersville, public streets are designed with the land uses adjacent to the street to safely accommodate mobility, access and travel for all users.  All streets should connect to help create a comprehensive network of public areas to allow movement of automobiles, transit vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.  All elements of community design must be incorporated with the design of the street network to promote motorized speeds that are appropriate to their context.

The processes described in this Article in conjunction with the Town’s Engineering Standards and Procedures Manual shall be used for the design of all public streets in the Town’s jurisdiction, which includes both the Town corporate limits and the Extraterritorial Zoning Jurisdiction (ETJ).

Streets shall:

1. Incorporate appropriate accommodations for all modes of transportation including, vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users, and may include user amenities such as shelters, benches and bike racks.

2. Interconnect within a development and with adjoining development.  Cul-de-sac streets may be allowed only where topographical and/or adjacent development offer no practical alternatives for connections or through traffic.  Street stubs shall be provided within developments adjacent to vacant land or land suitable for redevelopment, wherever possible, to provide for future connections.  The Land Development Map, Huntersville Community Plan and any applicable Small Area Plans should be reviewed to locate potential connections in new neighborhoods.

3. Be bordered by sidewalks on both sides, with the exception of ditch-type local streets, alleys, and the undeveloped edge of parkways (see Article 7.11).  Sidewalks on one side of the road may be permitted in the Rural zone as an incentive to protect water quality.

4. Be lined with street trees on both sides, with the exception of ditch-type local streets, alleys, and the undeveloped edge of parkways (see Article 7.11).

5. Be public. Private streets are not permitted within any new development.  Alleys will be classified as public or private depending on function. Private drives are permitted only as specifically provided for in these regulations. 

6. Generally, all buildings will front on public streets.

5.2 Intersections, Blocks & TRAFFIC CALMING


Street blocks defined by public streets are the foundation of traditional neighborhoods. Block dimensions are as follows:

New Development TypeLinear feet as measured between cross streets
Urban Conditions
 250 to 500 feet
Major Residential Subdivisions
Not to exceed 800 feet
Large Lot Subdivisions/Industrial Areas
 Not to exceed 1500 feet

The block pattern should continue to establish the development pattern at the project edge. Where a longer block will reduce the number of railroad grade crossings, major stream crossings, or where longer blocks will result in an arrangement of street connections, lots and public space that comply with this Article and Article 7 of these regulations, Planning Staff may authorize up to 30% greater block lengths at the time of subdivision sketch plan review and approval. Any block length extension beyond 30% shall be processed as a subdivision variance in accordance with 4.00 of the Subdivision Ordinance.

b. Intersections

Segments of straight streets should be interrupted by intersections designed to

1. Disperse traffic flow and reduce speeds, thereby eliminating the creation of defacto collector streets with high speed, high volume traffic; and

2. Terminate vistas with a significant natural feature, a building, a small park or other public space.

Intersections and Blocks

c. Traffic Calming

Other traffic calming measures such as mini traffic-circles, neck-downs, chicanes, mid-block diverters, intersection diverters, curb bulbs, serial hill crests, and related devices will be considered on a case-by-case basis, based on safety and appropriateness in the proposed location.

5.3 Acceptance of Streets

Streets shall be accepted in accordance with the Street Acceptance Policy adopted by the Board of Commissioners and as explained in Section I.J of the Engineering Standards and Procedures Manual.

5.4 Defining the Public Space of the Street

As the most prevalent public spaces in Huntersville, streets should be spatially defined by buildings.  Proper alignment and delineation of the public street space occurs when the facades of adjacent buildings are aligned much like the walls forming a room.  Buildings that make up the street edges are aligned in a disciplined manner. The defined space observes a certain ratio of height to width.

Building articulation must take place primarily in the vertical plane of the façade.  Appendages such as porches, balconies, and bay windows are encouraged to promote the transition between the public street and the private dwelling.

For good definition, the ratio of one increment of height to six of width is the absolute maximum, with one to three being a good effective minimum.  As a general rule, the tighter the ratio, the stronger the sense of place.  Very tight relationships of one to one can create special pedestrian places.

In the absence of spatial definition by facades, disciplined tree planting is an alternative. Trees aligned for spatial enclosure are necessary on streets with deep building setbacks.

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