Welcome to the Planning Department homepage. By clicking on the tabs at the top of this page you can find updates about the work underway, how to contact us, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions. On the left side of this page is a list of relevant and major topics related to the department's work. This includes the tools needed to: File a building permit (Submit a Permit); research a parcel or project (Maps & GIS, Planning Ordinance, Development Projects); or, understand our town's approach to planning and development (Planning Principles).
About the Department
Davidson's traditional character is that of a small town, so land planning will reflect its historic patterns of village-centered growth, with connection of neighborhoods, preservation of rural areas, and provision of public spaces. Our quality of life is enhanced through the Town’s Planning Principles, the Davidson Planning Ordinance, and by assessing town needs through plans, reports, and studies.
Our department's webpages contain an array of resources and are one of the best ways to learn about the work underway. For example, if you received a letter about a proposal or saw a sign announcing a hearing or project, see the Development Projects or Map & Text Amendments sections for more information. These webpages can be accessed on the left-hand side of this page.
Hello Davidson Community Members,
Below you’ll find a list and short description of things that we’re working on, along with how to find additional information about each topic. We hope you find this information useful. If you want to follow up with us about any questions you may have, please do so – our contact information is available on our department’s homepage. Check back from time to time for updates.
- Town of Davidson Planning Department
1. Mobility Plan: The Davidson Mobility Plan is a local comprehensive transportation plan (CTP) that provides a town-wide vision of projects, policies, and programs to manage congestion and improve multimodal travel within and through town. This plan provides a detailed transportation guide to the community that will serve residents as the region continues to experience significant growth. The vision of the Mobility Plan is to provide a balance and connected network of comfortable facilities for pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and drivers; where mobility options are efficient, safe, and convenient; and where Complete Street design is prioritized in all roadway and development projects.
To achieve this vision, the plan includes recommendations for policies, programs, and projects to encourage Davidsonians to think differently about mobility. This plan formed from extensive public engagement, feedback, and analysis over an 18-month process. Once adopted, this plan will help the Town implement its goals for transportation while setting clear priorities for the future.
After receiving positive recommendations from the Planning Board and Livability Board, the Davidson Board of Commissioners will review the Mobility Plan for adoption at its August 13 public meeting. Learn more, and read the Final Draft of the Mobility Plan at www.davidsonmobilityplan.com.
2. Comprehensive Plan: Davidson has a long, successful history of planning that created the vibrant community we love today. What’s Next? is a public engagement process to build upon previous successes and update the town’s comprehensive plan. The updated plan will act as a guide for Davidson to ensure the town continues to embody the character and special qualities for which our community is known. Above all else, What’s Next? is an opportunity to make an already great Davidson even better in the future.
Between January and April 2019, the What’s Next team, led by consulting firm Clarion, conducted the second and third rounds of public engagement. Key touch points included a Conversation on What’s Next community dialogue in January, and the multi-day Shaping What’s Next workshop in April. Published in late May, the Testing Policy Direction Public Engagement Report presents an overview of activities, feedback, and conclusions drawn from these events. Included are the public responses to topics like growth management, community character, open space, housing, transportation, and diversity. This report, along with a video of the Shaping What’s Next event, is now available online at www.whatsnextdavidson.com.
The release of this report ended the Testing Policy Direction phase of the project, and began Phase 3: Plan Development. The project team, with guidance from the Plan Advisory Group (PAG) citizen steering committee, have begun drafting the comprehensive plan based on public feedback. A draft plan will be presented for public input in the Fall.
Learn more about the comprehensive planning process, and read the Engagement Report, at www.whatsnextdavidson.com.
3. Fee Schedule Update: As part of the FY 2020 budget adopted by the Board of Commissioners at their June meeting, an updated fee schedule was also approved. The majority of the fees had not been updated since the early 2000s. The increases better align with feeds in benchmark communities, as well as staff time dedicated to project review. To view the updated fee schedule, click here.
4. Development Proposals:
- Summers Walk Phase 6: Located at the front of the existing Summers Walk neighborhood, Blue Heel Development proposes to construct 40 town homes and one single-family detached house along or adjacent to Summers Walk Boulevard at its entrance near the intersection of Summers Walk Boulevard and NC 73. The Planning Board reviewed the master plan for the third and final time on Monday, April 29, 2019 at their regularly-scheduled monthly meeting. Staff noted the positive responses that the project team had made in response to earlier Planning Board comments, including the preservation of a 38-inch oak tree as a focal point within the development. The Master Plan was approved in early May. The project team must now receive approval for their construction documents before any work on the site can begin.
- Kenmare: NVR-Ryan homes is in the process of developing a 52-acre neighborhood called Kenmare on the south side of June Washam Road. This project is occurring after the original developer was foreclosed upon by their lender. The development will feature 82 single-family detached housing units. Homes at Kenmare will be built on lots of up to 1/3 of an acre, and roughly 21 acres of the property will be preserved as open space. The developer is coordinating with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Town of Davidson regarding the realignment of a portion of June Washam Road in order to provide additional traffic calming measures to support safer mobility in the area. Grading and infrastructure is in place, and construction on homes is expected to begin by the end of summer 2019.
- West Branch: Construction at West Branch is well under way. Once completed, the new neighborhood will include 199 detaches homes, 107 townhomes, 51.7% open space (+/- 88 acres), and new trail connections to the greenway. Additionally, a new street connection to Davidson Wood via Hudson Place is under construction. Clearing started in early July, and the connection is expected to be completed by mid-September.
5. Text Amendments: At the direction of the Davidson Board of Commissioners, proposed text amendments are currently under development by the board of commissioners, staff, and the Planning Board/Livability Board:
- Davidson Planning Ordinance Section 9, Tree Preservation, Landscaping, & Screening: This section of the ordinance regulates the preservation and cultivation of a mature, healthy tree canopy and natural landscape throughout town. The board of commissioners included revisions of this ordinance as part of their 2018-2019 Strategic Plan passed last year. Planning Director Jason Burdette, Senior Planner Trey Akers, and Planning Board Ordinance Committee (PBOC) Members Dave Cable and Ellen Donaldson presented the first round of draft text amendments for tree canopy revisions at the June 11, 2019 Board of Commissioner’s meeting. A finalized draft, which included information on violations and fees, was presented at the July 9 Board of Commissioners meeting, with PBOC member Shawn Copeland joining the previous group of presenters. A public hearing on these revisions will be presented at the July 23 Board meeting, the PBOC will make a recommendation at their July meeting, and commissioners may consider approval at their August general meeting.
- Local Historic District Expansion: The Town of Davidson is exploring the expansion of its local historic district, which currently only includes the two to three blocks that comprise downtown. While a large portion of “old” Davidson is on the National Register of Historic Places, it is the smaller local district (originally established in 1989) that contains the legal provisions to protect historic properties and guide historically-sensitive repairs and construction within the district. The Town hired Mary Ruffin Hanbury, a historic district consultant, to determine which neighborhoods are most appropriate for local historic district designation. Since Fall 2018, Hanbury has led public information sessions and conducted a windshield survey of the areas in the National Register District. The Town of Davidson, with the approval of the Board of Commissioners, will begin a rezoning process for the properties the consultant recommends be incorporated into the local historic district. This process will include additional public input, a recommendation from the historic preservation commission and the planning board, a public hearing, and final Board of Commissioners approval. Click here to learn more.
Welcome to our contact page, where you can find information about reaching the department or individual staff members. Please note: The quickest way to schedule an appointment is by email or phone. If you leave a voicemail, we'll be sure to return your call within 24 hours.
- Email: email@example.com. For general inquiries this is the quickest way to get an answer to your question. Questions received are routed to the staff member best equipped to respond with the information you need.
- Phone: 704-892-7592. Please be sure to leave a voicemail - this is the quickest way to get an answer to a question via phone.
- Mailing Address: 216 S. Main Street, P.O. Box 579, Davidson, NC 28036.
- Staff Directory: For contact information for each individual please see the Staff Directory
Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of our most frequently asked questions, responses, and links to resources.
- 1. Do I need an appointment to meet with a planner? Yes, appointments are preferred. Please call (704 892-7592) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) the Planning Department to schedule an appointment.
- 2. What is the zoning (planning area) of my property? The Town of Davidson planning ordinance categorizes properties into planning areas. You may locate your property on the Davidson Planning Ordinance map and use the legend to determine the planning area for your property.
- 3. What types of permits are required? There are several types of permits required by the Town of Davidson. They are:
- 4. How do I get a permit reviewed? Permit applications may be picked up at Davidson Town Hall, 216 South Main Street, or downloaded from the permit webpage. You may submit a permit either by bringing it to town hall or using the online permit submittal form. Town planners will review the permit application for compliance with the Town of Davidson Planning Ordinance. Upon approval and payment of the fee, the applicant must submit the permit to Mecklenburg County Land Use and Environmental Services Agency for their review.
- 5. How much does a building/sign permit cost? Fees associated with building and sign permits vary depending on the nature of the project. For more information on planning fees, please see our Fee Schedule.
- 6. How can I develop my property? The Town of Davidson does not generally use density limits or standard setback requirements. Instead, we encourage designers and developers to consider the surrounding context and creatively address the constraints and opportunities on a site by site basis. Sections two and four of the Davidson Planning Ordinance provide a list of permitted uses and site design regulations per planning area. Refer to these sections first, and then contact a planner to set up an appointment to discuss your property further.
- 7. How do I determine the permitted uses for my property? The description of each planning area and its permitted uses is outlined in section two of the Davidson planning ordinance. You may view section two and associated amendments in the Planning Ordinance. Refer to this section first, and then contact a planner to set up an appointment to discuss your property further.
- 8. What are the minimum required setbacks from my property line? Design regulations, including building types, minimum required setbacks, and height restrictions are outlined in section two of the planning ordinance. Additional uses and regulations, including accessory structures, are described in section four of the planning ordinance. You may view sections four and two and their associated amendments at Planning Ordinance. If you have additional questions, please make an appointment to meet with a member of the planning department staff.
Below is a list of links to various websites that may be useful in understanding the town's approach to planning and its requirements. The list also includes various resources and organizations related to planning and development.
- Davidson Mobility Plan
- American Planning Association North Carolina Chapter
- American Planning Association
- Centralina Council of Governments
- Charlotte Area Transit System
- Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Services
- Charlotte Mecklenburg Storm Water Services
- Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities
- Charlotte Mecklenburg Water & Land Resources
- Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization
- Commercial Technical Assistance Center (CTAC)
- Davidson Housing Coalition
- Davidson Lands Conservancy
- Duke Energy
- Energy United
- Historic Landmarks Commission
- Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement
- Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation
- Mi-Connection Mecklenburg - Iredell
- New Urbanism
- North Carolina Department of Transportation
- PSNC Energy
- Polaris for Mecklenburg County
- Residential Technical Assistance Center (RTAC)
- Scenic Byways
- U.S. Census Bureau Fact Finder