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March 20, 2002



New Rules Will Promote Restoration and Affordable Housing

Charlotte, NC – Now that Mecklenburg County has turned the corner into the 21st century, new construction rules will make it easier and more affordable to retain memories of the 20th century. Instead of tearing down older buildings – buildings with character, history and a story to tell – developers will be allowed to rehabilitate them using a construction code tailored to older buildings and their needs.

On Tuesday, March 19, 2002, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners adopted the North Carolina Pilot Rehab Code, developed by Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement. The new rules are based on a set of regulations already in use in New Jersey and Maryland, states that have demonstrated great success in restoring older buildings and neighborhoods. Legislation passed by the N.C. General Assembly in 2001 provided that Mecklenburg County would take the lead in developing the regulations for the entire state of North Carolina.
With the development process now complete, the rehab code is ready to be used by developers, contractors and home re-modelers. The code is available to the public at Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement, Hal Marshall Services Center, 700 North Tryon Street, Charlotte. It can also be viewed at www.ncrehabcode.com.

Previously, developers wishing to rehabilitate an older building were forced to adhere to either modern-day building regulations or the very cumbersome North Carolina Existing Building Code. But that can often cost more than demolishing the structure and rebuilding on the site, leading many developers to opt for demolition. The new regulations will give local buildings inspectors more latitude to accept alternative code measures in rehabilitation projects without compromising safety. The rules are designed to encourage investment in existing neighborhoods and older buildings and will:

  • Provide additional compliance tools for historic buildings.
  • Promote affordable housing
  • Promote strong downtown areas and “Main Streets”
  • Focus development on existing infrastructure, reducing the need for new streets, water and gas lines, etc.

The rules are supported by a coalition including the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, the Sierra Club and the Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition. Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement will report back to the N.C. General Assembly in 2006 on the effectiveness of the regulations.

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For more information: James N. Bartl – 704-336-3827 or Druied Roberson – 704-432-0677.


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