Charlotte Working to Revise Zoning Definitions for Restaurants, Bars & Nightclubs

Below is a post from the REBIC blog by Joe Padilla:

Did you know that, under Charlotte’s current regulations, a restaurant that does nothing more than provide live piano music for its guests could run afoul of its zoning provisions? Or that a restaurant owner who hires a balloon artist to entertain children during dinner could have his establishment classified as a nightclub?

With its vague definitions of restaurants and nightclubs, the City’s existing zoning code creates a great deal of confusion for owners and operators of dining establishments, as well as for the commercial brokers who need clarity to understand whether or not a particular use will be allowed on a client’s property. But an effort is underway to change that.

In Charlotte today, a restaurant is defined as, “An establishment designed, in whole or in part, to accommodate the consumption of food and/or beverages.”  The only other recognized use for a dining establishment is a nightclub, which is defined as, “Any commercial establishment serving alcoholic beverages and providing entertainment for patrons including bars, lounges and cabarets.” Nowhere in the current zoning ordinance is the word “entertainment” defined.

As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between restaurants, nightclubs and bars, and between 2010 and 2011, the city issued more than 29 notices of violation to establishments that failed to comply with their zoning conditions (most were for separation requirements). So in 2011, the City began the process of developing new definitions for restaurants, bars and nightclubs, to eliminate confusion and provide greater flexibility for property owners. The process was put on hold in 2012 while the Noise Ordinance was updated, and got underway again late last year.

The stakeholder group is currently considering whether to create a zoning definition for “entertainment,” which would more clearly define the difference between restaurants, nightclubs and bars. REBIC is concerned that this definition would be difficult to pin down, particularly in today’s fast-changing marketplace. Instead, we’re encouraging the City to focus its efforts on managing the external impacts of an establishment on any neighboring properties and addressing issues of nuisance, noise and separation. We believe a broad, flexible definition that allows restaurants to serve alcohol and provide various types of legal entertainment is the best approach, and we welcome any input from our broker and commercial developer members on this important subject.

Have you or one of your clients had issues with the City’s restaurant zoning laws? Please e-mail the details to

For more information on the City’s Restaurant/Bar/Nightclub stakeholder group, click HERE.  The next Stakeholder Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 5 at 6 p.m. at the Government Center. Anyone interested in the issue is encouraged to attend.

To link to the original blog, please click here.


NAIOP’s Chapter Leadership & Legislative Retreat: In Summary


NAIOP Executive Director Theresa Salmen, Legislative Chair Chris Thomas, 2012 President Charles Jonas and REBIC Executive Director Joe Padilla meet with Congressman Mel Watt at his office on Capitol Hill

NAIOP’s Chapter Leadership & Legislative Retreat:  In Summary

Four NAIOP Charlotte leaders joined others from across the NAIOP network in Washington, D.C., for the annual Chapter Leadership & Legislative Retreat, February 11-14, 2013. Over 300 individuals attended the Retreat.

Among the highlights of the sessions was a keynote presentation by Ed Barks, who discussed the necessary strategies and tactics needed for attaining goals through public speaking.

Attendees had their choice of concurrent sessions that explored their roles as leaders and provided strategies and techniques. Sessions focused on various topics, including Developing Leaders programs, branding strategies, membership values and government affairs priority issues.

From the legislative perspective, all attendees heard from U.S. Congressman Erik Paulsen (RMinn.) and U.S. Congressman John Barrow (D-Ga.). Congressman Paulsen is a member of the Ways & Means Committee and supports pro-growth initiatives and believes that open markets are the key to a strong economy. Congressman Barrow serves on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee. He is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and currently serves as the group’s Co-Chair for Administration.

Additionally, senior writer of The Weekly Standard and New York Times bestselling author Stephen Hayes shared his perspectives on the political and legislative environment, and provided insight on important international issues and their impact on the United States.

On the final day of the Retreat, more than 141 attendees traveled to Capitol Hill for scheduled visits with their state’s elected officials to voice NAIOP’s legislative concerns on critical issues.

NAIOP Charlotte participated in visits with:
Congressman Mel Watt
Senator Kay Hagen
Congressman Richard Hudson
Congressman Mick Mulvaney
Congressman Robert Pittenger       

Register Today for Lunch With A Leader

David Howard

Lunch With A Leader

David L. Howard, At-Large Representative on Charlotte City Council

 March 1, 2013 | 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

NAIOP Charlotte Offices | 1300 Baxter St., Ste. 360

Our March 1st, our guest speaker, David L. Howard, At-Large Representative on Charlotte City Council, will join us for a luncheon and informative discussion, including updates from City Council. While registration is complimentary, you must register for this event by clicking here.

About Our Speaker

David L. Howard is an At-Large Representative on Charlotte City Council. Howard was elected in 2009, chairs the Transportation and Planning Committee and is a member of the Environment and Budget Committees. David was recently appointed to National League of 2011 Community and Economic Development Policy and Advocacy Steering Committee. more…


This is a complimentary event, available only for NAIOP Charlotte members. A box lunch will be served. Pre-registration is required due to limited space; the registration cutoff for this event is Wednesday, February 27, 2013.

New Location!

This event will be held at the NAIOP Charlotte offices at 1300 Baxter Street, 2nd Floor Conference Room, Charlotte, NC 28204.


If you have any questions about the March Lunch with a Leader, or other upcoming events, please contact the NAIOP Charlotte office at 704-940-7383 or e-mail us at

Charlotte News: US Airways and American Airlines merger

US Airways and American recently announced that they would be merging under the American Airlines name.

Many articles have already been written about this:

  • The Charlotte Observer discusses how this merger will affect Charlotte.  (article here)
  • Here is the Announcement from US Airways.
  • A discussion of the merger and it’s repercussions on the airline industry from CBS MoneyWatch can be found here.
  • The website for the newly merged company can be found here.

Come Unwind with us at La Paz on February 27


Join us at La Paz , to catch up with old friends, make new connections and enjoy light refreshments!

The event is complimentary for NAIOP Charlotte members who register by Monday, February 25th.  Non-members can pre-register for the event for $15. After February 25th, member and non-member registration fees increase to $25, so register ahead of time!

  • Date:  Wednesday, February 27, 2013 5:30PM-7:00PM
  • Location:  La Paz (1100 Metropolitan Avenue, Suite 130, Charlotte, NC 28204) Follow this link for directions to La Paz.
  • Parking:  Parking is available in the Metropolitan garages, accessible from Metropolitan Avenue and South Kings Drive. There is no charge for parking in the Metropolitan garages.

To Register, click here.

Questions:  If you have any questions about this event, please contact the NAIOP Charlotte office at 704-940-7383; or email us at

REBIC: Debate Begins Over Park Woodlawn Area Plan

Plans for the Park Road Corridor are coming down the pipeline, and this will not only affect property zoning for this region, but will act as a precedence for development and rezoning throughout the City.

According to REBIC, this draft discusses redevelopment based on height and density restrictions, new streetscapes, increase in tree canopy, and future public street and greenway connections.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on February 19, at 5pm in Room 280 of the Government Center.  Anyone who owns property in the Park-Woodlawn area are encouraged to read the proposal and attend the meeting.

  • For the full article from REBIC, please click here.
  • For a map of the area affected, please click here.
  • For the Draft Plan, please click here.

Save the Date: April 11-12 – NAIOP NC State Conference

NAIOP-Save-the-Date wHeader