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2003 News from Mecklenburg County


September 9, 2003

MECKLENBURG COUNTY KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN TO ENCOURAGE REHAB OF OLDER BUILDINGS

Rules Promote Restoration and Affordable Housing

Charlotte, NC - Beginning this month, Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement will conduct an intensive campaign to promote the rehabilitation of existing buildings as an alternative to tearing them down.

The campaign revolves around the North Carolina Rehab Code, which gives developers and builders more latitude in rehabbing older buildings.  Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement has retained Spot Marketing to assist in spreading the word about the rules to developers, contractors, architects and re-modelers, as well as homeowners and do-it-yourselfers.

The N.C. General Assembly authorized the North Carolina Rehab Code in 2001, with Mecklenburg County taking the lead on developing the regulations for the entire state. The rules make it easier and less expensive to rehab existing buildings, thus saving those with character, history and a story to tell. The code can also save money when renovating low-income housing.  The Rehab Code is already responsible for significant increases in rehabilitation projects in New Jersey and Maryland, as well as Mecklenburg County.

The Rehab Code provides a common sense approach to rehabbing older buildings, using six categories of work.

· Repair: patching and minor replacement
· Renovation: refinishing 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 use: 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. "Our goal is to increase awareness and visibility of the benefits of the Rehab Code by encouraging everyone from architects to homeowners to utilize the regulations," says Jim Bartl, Director of Code Enforcement.

More information on the code can be obtained at www.ncrehabcode.com or by calling 704-432-0677.  Information is also available at Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement, Hal Marshall County Services Center, 700 North Tryon Street, Charlotte.



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