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Charlotte Extends Zoning Authority to Include All of Steele Creek

(October 23, 2001) Like most municipalities in North Carolina, Charlotte has had zoning authority over a fringe area extending about a mile beyond the corporate limits called extraterritorial planning and zoning jurisdiction, or ETJ. On October 22, the City Council extended the ETJ to cover all area within its sphere of influence. The sphere of influence is the area of Mecklenburg County reserved for annexation by Charlotte by agreement with the county's other six towns.

The result is that the Charlotte City Council rather than the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners will review all applications for zoning changes. Additionally, Charlotte will apply its land use standards, including subdivision ordinances, watershed standards, fire codes, and tree and sidewalk requirements for commercial developments.

The ETJ extension took effect with City Council action on October 22, except that city authority extension was delayed for certain parcels for which the Mecklenburg County Commissioners had already been reviewing rezoning applications to give commissioners time to complete their review. This included the Palisades development near Lake Wylie.

The Charlotte ETJ will include all unincorporated area within Steele Creek once the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners completes review of rezoning applications already in progress.