OneMooresville – Future Character Land Use Map.png

MOORESVILLE – The OneMooresville plan, which lays out development and transportation strategies for the next two decades, divides Mooresville’s planning area into more than a dozen categories.

Here is a look at how those areas are defined, and proposed changes in development guidelines:


Town Residential

A general reference to Mooresville’s oldest neighborhoods, where there are “opportunities for context-sensitive redevelopment,” according to the draft. Most of the homes are on small lots organized in a grid street pattern.

“The traditional, pedestrian-friendly streetscape should be preserved,” the plan suggests.

Key proposed changes:

• Increase building heights from 2 stories to 3 stories.

• A preference for parking to the side or rear of homes, rather than private driveways with garages. Some on-street parking also would be encouraged.

• Increase the maximum allowable units per acre from 5 to 8.


Mill Village

An historic area made up of smaller homes that were originally designed in the early 1900s to house mill workers and their families.

A traditional street grid should be maintained for the area, and the scale and style of the homes should remain consistent, even for new construction and renovations of existing structures, according to the recommendations.

Key proposed change:

• Increase the residential units per acre from 5 to 7.


Neighborhood Residential

Newer residential neighborhoods built according to town master plans since the 1960s, which are near pockets of commercial development.

“(The) neighborhoods should be interconnected and are encouraged to be developed as mixed-use villages with the greatest mix and intensity of uses set apart from lower intensity areas,” the plan suggests. “The intent is for the area to provide traditional blocks, urban villages, clustering and well-connected subdivisions.”

Streets should be safe and easy to use for pedestrians and cyclists, according to the draft, and “neighborhood-scale commercial uses” such as small offices or stores may be allowed at corners or in neighborhood centers.

Key proposed changes:

• Reduce the required street setback for homes from the current 50 feet to 20 feet.

• Incorporate grid road patterns rather than curved streets and cul-de-sacs.

• Prefer parking to the side or rear of homes, rather than private driveways with enclosed garages.


Peninsula Residential

Areas near the lake that should mostly continue as residential neighborhoods, largely because of development limitations related to watershed protection, and challenges in connecting streets because of the irregular shape of peninsulas.

Neighborhood-scale commercial uses such as small offices or stores may be appropriate at corners of major streets, the draft suggests.

Key proposed changes:

• Reduce the street setback for homes from 70 to 40 feet.

• Prefer parking to the side or rear of homes, rather than private driveways with enclosed garages.

• Increase residential density from 1 to 2 units per acre.


Rural Residential

Areas in the eastern portion of the Mooresville planning area, which would continue with a “rural development pattern” while also continuing to support some agricultural production.

“Compact or clustered development may be used to protect environmentally sensitive lands, natural areas and to create large areas of open space that preserve rural views,” the draft suggests.

Small-scale commercial uses such as small offices or stores may be allowed at rural crossroads and neighborhood centers.

Key proposed changes:

• Reduce the minimum road setback for homes from 60 to 30 feet.

• Prefer parking to the side or rear of homes, rather than long driveways and attached garages.


Future Planning/Cluster Residential

“Cluster” residential development is preferred in the future planning area “to create a rational development pattern that maximizes existing infrastructure, supports the market for redevelopment of existing areas and reduces sprawl as Mooresville continues to grow.”

The areas will not be served by water and sewer service within the next 20 years. Until that time, smaller clusters of residential development, with preserved open space, are preferred.

Key proposed changes

• Reduce the minimum road setback for homes from 60 to 30 feet.

• Prefer small neighborhoods rather than isolated homes along roadways.

• Prefer parking to the side or rear of homes, rather than driveways and attached garages.

• Preserve shared open space.

• Increase density from current 1 to 2 units per acre to between 2 and 5 units per acre, in clusters.


Downtown Center

This area encompasses the heart of Main Street and adjacent blocks in downtown, and the draft plan considers it a prime candidate for redevelopment.

“Vertically integrated mixed-use buildings reinforce the urban character, and connected sidewalks and streets reinforce the area’s walkability,” the plan notes. “Preferred street-level uses are restaurants, retail shops and walk-in services, and pedestrian-oriented design should encourage a lively street life.”

Buildings should form a “continuous frontage” along the sidewalk on Main Street.

“When buildings are taller than ... surrounding (structures), the upper stories should be set back farther from the street to avoid creating a ‘canyon’ that can make a street feel crowded,” the plan also suggests. “The area vacated by setting the upper floors back may be usable as balcony or rooftop space.”

Key proposed changes

• Increase building height from current 1 to 4 stories to between 2 and 5 stories.

• Increase density from 12 to 40 units per acre.


Downtown Edge

A continuation of the Downtown Center block structure beyond the town’s center. It is a combination of commercial and residential development “that lacks design cohesion,” according to the draft plan.

“As it redevelops, the Downtown Edge area should continue the building types of the Downtown Center and other street-oriented multifamily residences that are designed to front streets and move parking to the rear or side of buildings,” the plan recommends. “The area should be considered a prime location for expanding residential access to the Downtown Core using urban design best practices to reinforce the walkable and compact nature of developments in this area.”

As with the Downtown Center, taller buildings should be set back, the plan notes.

The transformation of the Mooresville Cotton Mill is an example of how large, historic structures can be “tools for creative revitalization and adaptive reuse efforts, while preserving the historic character and design of buildings.”

The plan identifies The North Main Street corridor as a prime candidate for this kind of redevelopment.

Key proposed changes

• Increase building height from 2 stories to 4 stories.

• Require no street setback in some cases. The current minimum is 20 feet.

• Increase residential density from the current 2 to 4 four units per acre to between 4 and 16 units per acre.


Mixed Use Destination

The area, near Interstate 77, includes large-scale mixed-use and retail centers, hospitality, services, recreation, employment and institutional facilities accessible primarily by automobile.

“As this area redevelops, it can serve as the location for the higher intensity multifamily housing in vertically integrated mixed-use facilities that also incorporate public spaces,” the plan suggests. “Principle commercial uses should include restaurants, cafes, destination shopping and personal services.”

“Big-box” stores should anchor walkable developments with homes, offices and entertainment options. Development may occur on large parcels, but roads should connect to neighboring properties, allowing for through traffic.

Key proposed changes

• Increase building height from current 1 to 3 stories to between 2 and 5 stories.

• Use grid road patterns rather than curved streets.

• Allow 8 to 30 residential units per acre. There is no residential development allowed currently.


Mixed Use Corridor

Land along major roadways that are natural extensions of the Mixed Use Destination area, or areas between major intersections and important community nodes.

Much of the corridor is made up of small shopping centers, auto centers, offices, retail stores, and in some cases hospitality or separate multifamily developments.

“The intent is for this character area to allow a mix of retail, office, commercial and multifamily development, either vertically or horizontally mixed,” according to the draft. “In cases where commercial or residential (development is) outside of a cohesive mixed use development, architectural or land use transitions or natural buffers should be incorporated to ensure the development would be compatible with adjacent developments.”

Key proposed changes:

• Increase building height from current 1 to 3 stories to between 2 and 4 stories.

• Reduce street setback from current 20 to 100 feet to between 15 and 40 feet.

• Use grid road patterns rather than curved streets.

• Decrease maximum block length from 2,400 feet to 600 feet.

• Increase residential density from 2 to 4 units per acre to between 4 and 16 units per acre.


Employment Center

Areas are intended to support offices, light production facilities, business incubators and “maker spaces,” hotels and conference centers, along with supporting retail, restaurants and services.

“Commercial producers of retail goods, and especially food and drinks, are encouraged to have public-facing shops, test-kitchens or tour spaces,” according to the recommendations. “Some multifamily residential (development) is appropriate to provide local workforce housing that is integrated into the site plan or campus and connected to area amenities.”

Public spaces and walkways should be integrated into larger developments, and warehouses and building-trade showrooms are appropriate if they are not too close to homes.

“The intent is for the area to have increased connectivity, and better pedestrian and bicycle facilities,” the plan suggests. “Commercial headquarters and corporate campuses should be master planned and should include public spaces, pedestrian or bicycle paths, and commercial centers.”

Key proposed changes

• Increase building height from 2 to 8 stories.

• Reduce front setback from 20 to 100 feet to between 5 and 40 feet.

• Reduce maximum block length from 2,400 feet to 1,600 feet.

• Allow 4 to 16 residential units per acre, where none are allowed now.


Flex Industrial

Existing and future industrial business parks and individual facilities that include heavy manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, research and development, and other uses. “These business parks were originally designed to separate heavy industrial uses from commercial and residential uses,” the plan says. “As industrial businesses evolve from heavy manufacturing to research and technology, good planning suggests that these are appropriate areas to provide restaurants and service retail needs of workers.”

Key proposed changes:

• Increase building height from 3 to 4 stories.

• Reduce setback from current 20 to 100 feet to between 10 and 40 feet.

• Reduce maximum block length from 2,400 feet to 1,600 feet.


Village Center

Community destinations that include an integrated mix of commercial (shopping, restaurants, services), office, hospitality and residential uses, arranged in a walkable pattern and of a scale to serve the broader community.

Village Centers are along major roads, at major intersections and near interstate exits.

“A Village Center serves as a destination for the community, and individual specialized retail or restaurant tenants may attract customers from the region,” according to the proposal. “Village Centers should be scaled to address the surrounding development context, and at a minimum should include architectural transitions and possibly natural buffers to mitigate impacts on adjacent developments.”

Road connections to adjacent neighborhoods and developments also are recommended.

Key proposed changes

• Increase building height from 1 story to 2 stories.

• Reduce front setback from current 20 to 100 feet to between 10 and 40 feet.

• Allow 8 to 30 residential units per acre, where none are allowed now.


Neighborhood Center

Areas with grocery or convenience stores, daily services, small professional offices or restaurants at locations along main roads and near residential neighborhoods. They also may include townhomes or small-scale apartments.

“Mixing uses is appropriate,” the draft suggests. “Commercial uses should be scaled to serve surrounding neighborhoods.”

Pedestrian and bicycle connections to surrounding neighborhoods also should be part of any development in the areas.

Key proposed changes:

• Increase building height from 2 stories to 4 stories.

• Reduce setback from current 20 to 100 feet to between 10 and 40 feet.

• Allow 4 to 16 residential units where none are allowed now.

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