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'It's gonna be a heavy lift' | City leaders chart course for 2022

On Flashpoint, two Charlotte Council members lay out a busy agenda during an election year.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Several big-ticket issues and an off-year municipal election are creating a daunting agenda for Charlotte city leaders in 2022.

"There's a lot of priorities," District 6 councilman Tariq Bokhari said.

Bokhari listed public safety, the Unified Development Ordinance, or UDO, and the Transformational Mobility Network as top issues.

"Trying to do a lot of things at once, and doing them with a lot of funding at once is what makes this different than years past," district 1 councilman Larken Egleston said.

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The UDO is a sweeping plan that consolidates the city's regulations on development and zoning.  The city is inviting public comment on the plan through March. Controversial proposals include banning future single-family-only housing zoning. 

"We haven't updated our land-use policies in a long time, other than in bits and pieces, and this is gonna be one wholesale look at how our city is built," Egleston said.

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The transit and mobility plan is an equally daunting issue.  It requires coordination between the council, regional stakeholders, state lawmakers and federal transportation officials. It includes having 110 miles of rapid transit corridors like the light rail, 140 miles of bussing, 115 miles of a greenway system, 75 miles of a bicycle network, and more. It would come with a proposed a one-cent sales tax to create revenue for the network. 

It's a tall order for a council also running for re-election.  Because of delayed census numbers in 2021, the council delayed municipal elections to this spring.  The election was delayed a second time by a court ruling related to state redistricting.  It's now scheduled for May.   The challenging timeline means some of the big issues might bleed into next year.

"Maybe it's 2023.  But there's a lot of work to be done this year," Egleston said.


Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
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