Downtown Master Plan Update

UPDATE: Downtown Master Plan Update Report, Unified Development Ordinance Amendments and Rezoning Adopted November 14, 2023


The Downtown Master Plan is a small area plan that works in collaboration with the Comprehensive Plan to help guide future development, specifically in the downtown area. The guidelines of the Downtown Master Plan are intended to provide the tools for creating a vibrant downtown that promotes a diversity of uses and users while promoting opportunities to live, work and play. The original Downtown Master Plan was adopted in 2006. The recommendations from the Downtown Master Plan are a part of the Town's Comprehensive Plan. Since North Carolina state statutes require that a local government must "reasonably maintain" the comprehensive plan, the plan is well overdue to be updated. Also, the Comprehensive Plan update was recently adopted, so this is a good opportunity to update the Downtown Study.

Downtown Master Plan Update FAQ

Why is the Town pursuing this update to the Downtown Master Plan? 
The Town Council requested and funded this project. The current Downtown Master Plan was completed in 2006, and the Town Council felt it was time for the plan to be updated. This is simply a plan to guide future growth as it develops naturally. This plan will not force growth or pressure property owners to sell to developers, as the market largely dictates the demand. The Town simply desires an updated plan to be in place for when the development does occur. Creating a downtown area is one of the priorities of the Town Council and something many residents have expressed wanting for our Town. The Master Plan helps lay the foundation for the creation of a downtown for our community to enjoy. 

What area is considered Downtown Indian Trail?
The image below shows the area considered Downtown Indian Trail for the Master Plan study. Click the image below to enlarge it.
A map outlining the downtown area of Indian Trail. Opens in new window
Why is the Town focused on new development Downtown and not on restoring existing buildings?  
Unfortunately, Indian Trail does not have an existing downtown framework, and many of the buildings in the downtown are constructed with no significant architecture or the ability to establish a historic status in any way. The buildings were developed in a very suburban form, which will not enable a true downtown to develop without an established direction. The Town also does not own the properties and does not have the ability to force owners to completely renovate their properties unless it falls into the category of a substandard structure.   

What is the current zoning of Downtown Properties? 
Currently, downtown properties are a mix of zoning districts, including Single Family; General Business District; Central Business District; Neighborhood Business District; and Light Industrial. You can learn more about each of these zoning districts at https://indiantrail.municipalcodeonline.com/book?type=development#name=DIVISION_500_BASE_ZONING_DISTRICTS.

I have a commercial or light industrial property in the Downtown. What is my property being rezoned to, and how can I get more information? 
All current commercial or light industrial properties are proposed to be rezoned to a Downtown commercial district. There is little change to the existing commercial/light industrial other than some differences in the permitted uses, reduced setbacks, and increased density. All existing businesses will be grandfathered (legal non-conforming). For more information, please contact the Planning Department at 704-821-5401 or email tdj@indiantrail.org or bcd@indiantrail.org. You are also invited to attend all future public meetings, including the July 18 Planning Board meeting at 6 p.m. at the Town Hall located at 315 Matthews-Indian Trail Road. Additionally, you can input your address in this searchable map to see what your zoning is proposed to change to. 

What does it mean if I have a residential property with a home in the Downtown area?
All single-family properties with structures in the Downtown Transitional District are proposed to be converted into a Downtown Transitional District – Residential. These properties will not be impacted in their current state. The rezoning will not create any new or add to existing legal non-conformities for these residential properties. The plan does support rezoning to a Downtown Commercial District if the owner has a desire to do so in the future. You can input your address in this searchable map to see what your zoning is proposed to change to. 

Will my taxes increase if I own property in the Downtown area?
Based on discussions with the Union County Tax Office, light industrial and commercial properties will experience minimal impact. Approximately 129 single-family properties were going to be impacted by a tax increase; however, when the Town staff learned of this impact, we began brainstorming and modifying the plan to avoid this impact. We have created an additional district, Downtown Transitional District – Residential, which will alleviate the potential tax increase based on commercial/business uses. There are approximately 15 parcels (the Town owns several of these 15) in the Downtown Core District that will be rezoned, and we anticipate a tax increase for these properties. Several of these properties are for sale and trending toward commercial use. This is an upgrade to commercial, but the valuation of the land will increase. Please feel free to contact the Town staff for additional information or the Union County Tax Office for further information, as Indian Trail does not hold the authority for property valuation, but we are cognizant of this issue and have worked extremely hard to mitigate this issue. 

Where can I learn more about this Downtown Masterplan? 
Please contact a member of our staff at 704-821-5401 or tdj@indiantrail.org or bcd@indiantrail.org.

How quickly is this Downtown Masterplan going to be adopted? 
The staff’s goal is to give the Planning Board, Town Council, and the residents of the Town time to review the draft plan and rezoning information. The Planning Board will receive a presentation from Planning staff on July 18, 2023, at 6 p.m. and is scheduled to potentially take action to make a recommendation to the Town Council at their August 15 meeting. From there, the plan would go to the Town Council on September 12 for consideration. Planning staff will give a brief presentation to the Town Council at their August 8 meeting for informational purposes only. In the meantime, either Board (Planning Board or Town Council) could choose to postpone the adoption process. 

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