Zoning in Charlotte.

"Having a business being run out of your home"

The Charlotte Code defines this as a customary home occupation--"An occupation, service, profession or enterprise carried on by a resident member of a family within a dwelling unit. 

Section 12.408. Customary home occupations.

A customary home occupation shall be permitted as an accessory to any dwelling unit in accordance with the following requirements: 

(1) The home occupation must be clearly incidental to the residential use of the dwelling and must not change the essential residential character of the dwelling. 
(2) Use of the dwelling for this purpose must be limited to 25 percent of one floor of the principal building. 
(3) No accessory building or outside storage may be used in connection with the home occupation. 
(4) No chemical, mechanical or electrical equipment that is not normally a part of domestic or household equipment may be used primarily for commercial purposes, with the exception of medical, dental, and office equipment used for professional purposes. 
(5) Machinery that causes noises or other interference in radio or television reception is prohibited. 
(6) No internal or external alterations inconsistent with the residential use of the building will be permitted. 
(7) Only residents of the dwelling may be engaged in the home occupation. 
(8) No display of products may be visible from the street and only articles made on the premises may be sold on the premises. 
(9) The number of vehicles used by clients, patrons, or business related visitors to any home occupation shall be limited to three at any given time. (Editor's Note: The adopted ordinance included the following provision, "all existing home occupations shall comply with the provisions of this amendment within nine months of its adoption." Adopted August 20, 1992.) 
(10) Vehicles used primarily as passenger vehicles only will be permitted in connection with the conduct of the customary home occupation. 
(11) Signs are subject to the regulations in Chapter 13.

"How many people can live in one house"

The Charlotte Code addresses this by defining a family "An individual, or two or more persons related by blood, marriage or adoption living together as a single housekeeping unit; or a group of not more than six persons not related by blood, marriage or adoption, living together as a single housekeeping unit."

"Cars parked in yard"

I was told that as long as cars are parked IN THE DRIVEWAY and have tags/insurance, that is allowed - they are not allowed to be in the yard.

Rezoning Process.

Upon receipt of the complete application and filing fee. the planning staff will have rezoning signs posted on the subject property approximately 6 weeks prior to the public hearing. The Planning Commission also places a legal ad in the newspaper advertising the request prior to the public hearing.

Public Hearing are held monthly.


1. The staff present a brief report explaining the request and describes the land uses and zoning classifications in the surrounding area and the nature of the rezoning request.

2. The applicant and other persons who support the request are allowed a total of 10 minutes to present their comments in favor of the request.

3. Those persons in opposition are then allowed a total of 10 minutes to present their comments against the request.

4. The proponents for the petition are allowed a 2 minute rebuttal.

5. Those presenting comments to the Commission or the Council may use visual aids and handouts may be distributed.

For City rezoning petitions, the normal hearing procedures are waived in the event that there is no opposition to the petition and City Council has no questions of staff. If the petitioner wishes to address City Council in these instances, a total of 3 minutes is allowed.

STAFF REPORT TO COUNCIL: Prior to the Public Hearing, The Planning Commission staff prepares a zoning report that includes an analysis and recommendation. The staff recommendation is based on land use plans adopted by the elected officials and a study of current development in the vicinity of each request. The staff recommendation is public information and is available to any interested parties generally one week prior to the hearing for County cases and two weeks prior to the hearing for City cases.


1. Zoning Committee Recommendation - The zoning committee of the Planning Commission renders their recommendation on the 4th Monday of the hearing month. This is a public meeting open to any interested parties, but is not a hearing.

2. Decision- Decisions on rezoning petitions are rendered on the 3rd Monday of the month for City cases and the 2nd Tuesday on the month for county cases following the public hearing (if no deferral has occurred).


If a zoning request is denied, the zoning ordinance stipulates that the applicant must wait two years from the denial to reapply for rezoning. Any challenge to a decision is filed through Circuit Court.


Persons wishing to discuss a rezoning request with members of City Council, County Commission or Planning Commission are encouraged to submit written comments. Mailing lists of Council or Commission Members are available from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission. Those persons interested in supporting or opposing a rezoning request should attend the public hearing. At the public hearing each side is allowed a total of 10 minutes to present comments. Because of time limitations, it is advisable that large groups choose a spokesperson. The spokesperson may ask those who favor/oppose the request to stand. This allows those who share the same view to be recognized.

Persons in opposition to a city rezoning petition may wish to submit a protest petition in order to invoke a 3/4 vote requirement for approval, rather than a simple majority vote. Protest petitions are available from the City Clerk's Office in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center at 336-2247

Representatives of the applicant and the opposition are encouraged to attend the Zoning Committee meeting in case the Committee has any questions concerning the request. Representatives of the applicant and opposition may also attend the decision meeting.