When it comes to Charlotte’s building boom, there are plenty of statistics and lots of anecdotal evidence: The number of people moving here (44 a day), the number of apartments under development (about 25,000) or the cranes dotting the skyline.
But one simple number shows just how big the building boom has been, and how it’s still growing: The number of rezoning petitions filed by developers.
Each rezoning petition is one attempt by developers to change a property’s use so they can build on it – for example, switching a parcel from industrial use to apartments, or from business to single-family residential.
Rezoning petitions are a rough proxy for development, since plenty of property can be developed “by-right,” that is without rezoning. But they offer a window into just how quickly developers are trying to build in Charlotte.
The number of rezoning petitions filed in 2017 has eclipsed any year in the past decade. In fact, it’s higher than the pre-recession heyday of 2005 to 2008, and appears to be the highest number on record for one year.
Developers have filed 190 rezoning petitions through November 2017. That’s up from 151 last year, and higher than 158 in 2008.
The previous record appears to be 170 petitions filed in 2006, at the top of another real estate cycle. This year’s total is 12 percent higher (so far).