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2002 News from Mecklenburg County

July 30, 2002


New Rules Promote Restoration and Affordable Housing

Charlotte, NC – Ask any Charlottean about history in this community and he may respond: "What history?  Most has been torn down!"  Due to previous N.C. building regulations and the cost associated with complying, many developers have chosen to demolish older buildings in favor of new construction.  Now there's another option.  

In September, Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement will offer training for the new North Carolina Rehab Code.   The new state rules make it easier and less expensive to rehab existing buildings, thus saving those with character, history and a story to tell.  

The training sessions will take place September 17 – 18, 2002, at the Charlotte Convention Center, 501 South College Street.  They are open to anyone with an interest in preserving and rehabbing existing buildings – developers, contractors, architects, re-modelers, do-it-yourselfers, etc.  The training costs $200 for AIA/BIA members and $250 for non-members.  Call 919-833-6656 to register.  

The Rehab Code provides a framework where code requirements on renovations of existing structures gradually increase as the scope of work increases.  The new code addresses six categories: 

·            Repair: patching and minor replacement

·            Renovation: refinish and replacement, but no space reconfiguring

·            Alteration: reconfiguring space less than 50% of the area

·            Reconstruction: reconfiguring space affecting exits or exit access

·            Change of occupancy: change in use requiring change in application of the code

·            Addition: increase in building area 

In general, the Rehab Code is friendlier to small rehab projects, encouraging rather than discouraging the upgrading of buildings.  It also supports affordable housing efforts and is more flexible for historic building projects.  

The code can be viewed at .  It is also available to the public at Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement, Hal Marshall Services Center, 700 North Tryon Street, Charlotte.

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