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. Comprehensive Plan:
At their January work session, the Board of Commissioners adopted the Davidson Comprehensive Plan. This community-based document comes after 14 months of public engagement and more than two years of preparation, planning, drafting, and editing. Many hands have been involved in shaping our town’s vision for the next 10 years and beyond, from the plan’s two steering committees – the Plan Advisory Group and the Publicity & Outreach Committee – to our advisory boards, as well as the thousands of participants that shared feedback during the process!
Next Steps: The community’s ideas and aspirations captured in this plan will guide decision-making in the months and years ahead, serving as the foundation for future plans and initiatives both in the near- and long-term. Mostly immediately, the plan will now serve as a resource that directly informs the commissioners’ two-year Strategic Plan – currently under development.
2. Development Project Updates:
- Davidson Cottages Conditional Master Plan: After receiving a Conditional Master Plan application in October 2019, the town hosted a Public Input Session on Wednesday, January 29 to discuss the 34-unit proposal for single-family detached homes on Davidson Gateway Drive. The Public Input Session Report is available online. The developer is scheduled to meet with commissioners as part of the March 10 work session to provide an update on the plan. See the project website for more information.
- Davidson Farms Master Plan: At their February meeting, the Planning Board reviewed and provided comments on the 15 dwelling unit plan located along Kistler Farm Road, the latest version of which was submitted in early February and reflects feedback heard during the Public Input Session in November 2019. The developer will work to integrate board members’ feedback into the plan and to finalize any outstanding technical documentation requirements prior to approval by the Town of Davidson and Mecklenburg County (potentially in March 2020). See the project website for more information.
- Davidson "NoSo" Building: An application was received in September 2019 for an individual building at 320 & 316 S Main Street. The applicants are proposing a 3-story commercial building of +/- 15,000 square feet. The project will also include sidewalk improvements along S Main St and Catawba Ave. A concept plan for the site is currently under review by the town and county, and building architecture is under review by the Design Review Board. See here for more information. Learn more here.
- Lake Forest CPA Master Plan: The applicant proposes a conditional master plan at 480 and 496 South Main Street to allow for a street-fronting three-story commercial building and a two-story church facility toward the rear. The proposed plan also preserves the existing single-family home located at 496 South Main Street for church offices. This application was reviewed by the Planning Board for an FYI at their February meeting. This project will require formal planning board recommendation, review by the Design Review Board, and final approval by the Board of Commissioners. Learn more here.
- Linden Cotton Mill: The town received an application for redevelopment of the Linden Mill, and associated site improvements, in December 2019. This application proposes the renovation of the interior for commercial, office, and retail uses, and some exterior improvements. This project includes brownfield remediation in accordance with North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality standards. The site plan is currently under review by Mecklenburg County and the town. Architectural improvements were presented to the Design Review Board for an FYI review at the January 15, 2020 meeting. Read more here.
3. Text Amendments:
- Historic District North Main Expansion: The Town of Davidson continues to explore the expansion of the local historic district, with the goal of preserving and protecting historically significant structures along North Main Street and portions of Watson Street. The Board of Commissioners oversaw a public hearing at their February meeting regarding this proposed expansion. Next Steps include a Planning Board recommendation at their March meeting, and a decision from the Board of Commissioners as early as April. Learn more here.
- Targeted Conditional: The Town of Davidson is investigating ways to guide development in the most culturally, environmentally and aesthetically sensitive parts of town to best match up with Davidson’s planning principles. One proposal to ensure this is a “targeted conditional” amendment that establishes context-sensitive thresholds in the Village Infill, Neighborhood Edge, and Rural Planning areas. As proposed, if a new development project exceeds the proposed threshold in one of these planning areas, it will require conditional approval. In the coming months, this project will be discussed by staff and the Board of Commissioners, with adoption anticipated by mid-2020.
Due to the recent health concerns, as of 3/17/2020 the Town of Davidson Planning Department will be conducting business remotely. Due to this change, staff will only be able to answer questions via email. Thank you for your patience.
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.
- American Planning Association North Carolina Chapter
- American Planning Association
- Centralina Council of Governments
- Charlotte Area Transit System
- Charlotte Mecklenburg Storm Water Services
- Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities
- Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO)
- Commercial Technical Assistance Center (CTAC)
- Davidson Housing Coalition
- Davidson Lands Conservancy
- Duke Energy
- Energy United
- Historic Landmarks Commission
- Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement
- Mecklenburg County Land Use & Environmental Services (LUESA)
- Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation
- 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