Unified Development Ordinance Update Highlights

The City of Southport Unified Development Ordinance Update was adopted and rendered effective on September 23, 2020. Staff recommends that citizens review the update at the attached link https://cityofsouthport.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2020-09_23_Southport-UDO_ADOPTED.pdf and contact the City Planner Thomas Lloyd at 910-457-7961 or tlloyd@cityofsouthport.com with any questions. Staff hopes the new UDO is more user friendly and easier to understand for citizens. Among other changes, the following significant items were completed as part of the update:

  • Legislative updates for conformity with NC General Statutes.
  • Reduction of text from 27 articles to 8 articles.
  • Update to the tree preservation provisions to encourage the protection existing canopy, including lot clearing provisions and enforcement. These can be found in section 3.18.
  • Inclusion of mitigation (re-planting) requirements for removal of regulated trees in any setback or removal of any specimen tree located anywhere on site. If live oaks are removed, must replace with 50% of same. Mitigation requirements are in 3.18 M.
  • Updates and modification for overall organization and clarity. Reduction in overall text and clarification of many ambiguous, conflicting, and unclear provisions.
  • Consolidation of approval procedures, roles, responsibilities, and administrative items into one article.
  • The establishment of roles and responsibilities for the UDO Administrator.
  • Clarification of development approval processes and responsibilities for major/minor site plans, major/minor subdivisions, exempt/final plats, and planned unit developments.
  • Inclusion of a Conditional Zoning procedure to aid in consensus-built and public supported development outcomes.
  • Consolidation of closely related permitted uses (including adult and manufacturing uses) and expanded definitions to reduce the number of uses contained in the permitted use table, including the removal of obsolete uses. Separation of uses by accessory, residential, and nonresidential use types.
  • Consolidation and clarification of setback encroachments and height exceptions.
  • Consolidation of development standards such as fences, parking, tree preservation and buffers into one article.
  • Inclusion of building design standards for the CBD and BD zoning districts.
  • Overall reduction and simplification of off-street parking ratios to encourage redevelopment and re-use of existing buildings in the CBD and BD zoning district.
  • Clarification that no off-street parking shall be required in the CBD zoning district for new construction or redevelopment.
  • Inclusion of pedestrian facilities section outlining sidewalk requirements for certain types of development (all new major subdivisions, multi-family developments, and new construction nonresidential development of a principal use within the BD, CBD, HC, OI, and MF districts).
  • Modification of sign requirements, where appropriate, in accordance with content neutral requirements of recent Supreme Court ruling.
  • Modification of nonconforming situations as “uses” and “structures” to more appropriately address these conditions.
  • Inclusion of construction and inspection procedures for the installation of required infrastructure within new subdivisions.
  • Removal of the allowance of bonding or financial guarantees for the installation of required infrastructure.
  • Update to the Wireless article in accordance with NC General Statutes.