Commercial & Residential Development Process

Due to Harrisburg's proximity to the City of Charlotte and access to major transportation corridors I-485, I-85 and I-77, commercial and residential development interest in locating in Harrisburg is high. New development broadens the tax base to lessen tax burden on current residents and helps fund improved residential services. But this growth must be strategic and sustainable to align with Harrisburg's vision statement.

To increase transparency and citizen involvement, Town Council has initiated a development process designed to keep residents informed as new developments are proposed,  reviewed, changed and, finally, approved or denied. A map of residential, commercial and infrastructure projects with summary descriptions is available on this website. An index of proposed project applications and supporting documents is also available on this website. 

Step 1: Neighborhood Developer Meeting
When a developer approaches the town to discuss a new commercial or residential development project, they are required to participate in a Neighborhood Developer Meeting. A presentation from the developer informs the public about project details and allows the public to provide input and feedback on the initial plans. 

Meetings are open to the general public and held on the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. in Town Hall, 4100 Main St. At least five days prior to the meeting, the meeting agenda is published on the town website with anticipated start times for each development project being discussed at the meeting and a brief description of each project. The meeting and agenda are promoted on the town's Facebook page and Twitter feed. In addition, letters announcing the meeting are mailed to adjacent property owners within a 100-foot buffer of the proposed project. 

The Planning & Zoning Dept. receives project submittal application and supporting documents the day before the meeting and posts the documents on the town website. The application and supporting documents are also send to partner agencies as applicable for feedback. Partner agencies include: NCDOT, town fire marshal, town engineer, county Cabarrus County Planning Dept., Cabarrus County Schools, Cabarrus County Soil & Water Conservation, Cabarrus County Sheriff and EMS, NC Dept. of Environmental Quality and the Water & Sewer Authority of Cabarrus County. Based on location and impact, documents may be sent to other agencies, including NC Dept. of Transportation Rail Division and the City of Concord. Agencies are required to return feedback and comments within two weeks.

Meanwhile, the town Planning & Zoning Dept. is reviewing the application and supporting documents for items such as compliance with the Unified Development Ordinance, lot layout, flood plain restrictions, road width, open space requirements, curb and gutter requirements and sidewalks. During this time, Town Council may meet with the developer one-on-one or in small groups to discuss the project's alignment with the town's vision for growth.

Input from the town and partner agencies is summarized and emailed to the developer. Application and supporting documents are revised based on this feedback and information gathered during the Neighborhood Developer Meeting.

Step 2: Planning & Zoning Advisory Board Meeting

The Planning & Zoning Dept. Advisory Board meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.. in Town Hall. All meetings are open to the public. The Board makes recommendations to Town Council on rezoning cases, major subdivisions and text amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance. The Planning and Zoning Board does not make final decisions; they are an advisory board whose purpose is to make recommendations to the Town Council regarding land use decisions.

In preparation for this meeting, the developer and site designer submit the revised application and supporting documents to the Planning & Zoning Dept. The agenda is published several days prior to meeting and promoted on social media; the revised documents are uploaded to the town website.

At the Planning & Zoning Advisory Board meeting, the Board can take three actions related to the proposed project: recommend approval; recommend approval with changes (conditional changes, meaning the applicant agrees to address changes after Council approval); or recommend against approval. 

Step 3: Town Council Meeting

The proposed project goes before Town Council at the monthly meeting on the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m.. in Town Hall. The meeting agenda is published several days prior to the meeting and publicized on social media. In addition, a rezoning sign is posted on the property under consideration two weeks prior to the Town Council meeting. Town Council meetings are open to the public. 

At the meeting, town staff presents the project with a brief summary description and reports the recommendation from the Planning & Zoning Advisory Board. A public hearing is held, during which time the general public is invited to speak for or against the proposed project.  Town Council then votes on the proposed project. Council can approve the application, approve with conditional changes based on the recommendation of the Planning & Zoning Advisory Board, defer the application while requesting more information on the project or deny the application.

If Council votes for deferral, the project generally is brought back to Council the following month with the requested additional information. Supporting documents are posted on the town website.

Department Approval of Development Projects

Certain project proposals are approved within the Planning & Zoning Dept. and are not subject to this process. These projects typically meet all land use and Unified Development Ordinance restrictions. Please contact the Planning & Zoning Dept. at 704-455- 0738 for more information.