Town of Davidson Land Plan and Planning Ordinance

Description: To the residents of Davidson, North Carolina, located just 20 miles from Charlotte, the essence of their small town is great neighbors and great neighborhoods. The town’s high quality of life is attracting development. To preserve and enhance Davidson’s character, the town adopted the Davidson Land Plan in 1995 and an innovative Planning Ordinance in 2001.

The ordinance seeks significant public involvement, a critical component for any community that wants to plan where and how it will grow. For example, the Planning Ordinance provides charrettes for every new development project. These charrettes allow the developer and the community to understand each other’s goals.

The town requires pedestrian, bicycle, and street circulation plans for all new development. Streets are designed to discourage cars from speeding, making it easier for Davidson’s 7,800 residents to walk and bicycle around the town. To further encourage walking, the town requires narrow, tree lined streets with on-street parking and sidewalks on both sides of the street.

Recognizing that housing prices can sometimes increase when a community creates great places to live, the town requires that 12.5% of all new housing be affordable to families making less than the county’s median family income.

Davidson’s plan and ordinance have allowed the town to build on its strengths while accommodating new growth. For example, the old Davidson Cotton Mill complex has been revitalized and transformed into offices, condominiums, and a restaurant. The plan and ordinance also clearly articulate the town’s vision for its growth. This, in turn, makes developers active partners in implementing the community’s vision of connected, walkable neighborhoods that maintain Davidson’s legacy as a traditional small town.

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Source: Town of Davidson, North Carolina
Date: 1995 – 2001
Format: Website

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