By Chea Waters Evans

After years of work, the final two public comment hearings regarding proposed amendments to the Charlotte Town Plan and Land Use Regulations (LUR) take place in the coming days. On Friday, Jan. 22 at 6:00 p.m. and Monday, Jan. 25 at 6:00 p.m, Charlotte residents will have their last opportunities before the Town Meeting Day vote to weigh in on potential LUR changes.

The three items up for vote on March 2 focus on three areas: language changes, Act 143, and changes to the East Charlotte Village (ECV) Commercial District. The ECV changes are the most discussed and most controversial of the three. The upcoming public comment meetings focus particularly on a required amendment to the Town Plan that the Planning Commission warning says, “would modify Map 11 (Existing Land Use) by modestly expanding the size of the Village Commercial District in East Charlotte in order to facilitate appropriate business and residential development in the village center.”

The word “modestly” is used in the notice for the public hearing, but some East Charlotte residents have spoken out during recent public meetings that a change in the boundary could have significant environmental and financial impacts. Proponents of the changes attest that the change is long overdue in bringing the East Village up to development equality with the West Village, and that current land use restrictions prevent thoughtful development of the area.

Maps and the full text of the proposed amendments are on the town website.