Rutherfordton Drafts New Development Ordinance

Posted on January 20, 2021


Rutherfordton Development Ordinance (RDO)

In 2020 the Town Council in partnership with the Planning Board set out to totally revamp the Town’s current UDO to align more with the Town’s Master Plan and the new North Carolina General Statutes. Moreover, this new Rutherfordton Development Ordinance “RDO” is a proactive statement of the Town’s vision for the next 20 years. The new RDO takes a proactive approach to the protection of single-family homes, environmental precautions, increased density, and housing options downtown, and a focused approach to commercial development corridors. Other key points of the new plan include:

Overview of Relationship to the Town Plan 2040
• Provides the standards for achieving the desired outcome in Town Plan 2040

Approach, Common Sense
• Correct application of zoning based on a combination of existing land use and future demand.
• Stronger controls on stormwater
• More robust creation of districts and use tables
• More uniformity in setbacks in residential districts
• Creation of Open Space for new neighborhoods
• Technical Standards & Specifications Manual
• Increased focus on the type, scope, and scaling of buildings

Structured in “silos” for ease of use by both staff and the public enabling ease of update and replacement as needs arise.
• All procedural aspects are in their own article (amendments, variances, permits, etc.)
• All general topics appear in their own article (signs, parking, landscaping, open space, etc.)
• Topics most frequently of interest to homeowners (all appear in Art. 2)

Districts are about the character of the area they represent and include:
• Residential 
o Single-family Residential (SFR-1, SFR-2, & SFR-3) representing the density of neighborhoods
o Residential Main Street Transitional (RMST) to improve opportunities for older areas
o Mixed Use (MU-1 & MU-2) to create more opportunities for walkability
o Main Street (MS) to promote residential supporting the heart and soul of the town
o Traditional Neighborhood Development Overlay (TNDO) to trade density for quality
o Manufactured Home Overlay (MHO) to provide options for housing types
• Commercial
o US Hwy 221 Commercial (C-221)
o US Hwy 74 Commercial (C-74)
o Vehicle Services and Repair (VSR) to offer stability to vehicular based businesses
o Main Street (MS) to promote business supporting the heart and soul of the town
• Institutional
o Civic (CIV) to set consistent standards for churches, schools, parks, and similar uses
• Employment
o Industrial (IND) to protect opportunities for expansion in manufacturing & distribution
o Heavy Industry Overlay (HIO) to protect the community from harmful substances
• Rural
o Agricultural (AG) to provide rural areas not yet ready for municipal services and taxes
o Mini-Farm Overlay (MFO) to provide cluster options for rural areas without sewer
• Other
o Scenic Corridor Overlay (SCO) to provide extra setbacks & standards for scenic corridors


Learn more about the new Rutherfordton Development Ordinance and associated zoning map here:

Expanded Published Notice per N.C.G.S 160D-602(b)
For the new Town of Rutherfordton Development Ordinance and Official Zoning Map
Wednesday, February 3, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
The hearing will be held at the Town Hall, 129 North Main Street, Rutherfordton, NC 28139
The Town of Rutherfordton is expecting growth as North Carolina continues to exceed the national averages. In preparation for the effects of growth in the Town, the Mayor & Town Council have directed the preparation of both a new Town Plan and a new Rutherfordton Development Ordinance to replace the existing Unified Development Ordinance (zoning, subdivision, flood, etc.) with a new Rutherfordton Development Ordinance that modernizes standards & specifications for land use, development, and new subdivisions. The Town Plan 2040 and Rutherfordton Development Ordinance were completed and recommended by the Planning Board on November 12, 2020 to guide development in an orderly and desirable direction. The Town Plan 2040 was adopted by the Town Council on December 2, 2020. Now it is time to formally establish new standards & specifications for such development through the adoption of the Rutherfordton Development Ordinance.

The Mayor and Town Council invite you to attend a public legislative hearing to learn about the new development standards & specifications and to share your comments. All interested citizens are invited to attend the hearing & submit comments. In order to adhere to North Carolina Governor Cooper’s order to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people and to stay at least 6 feet apart, after making your public comment you may be requested to leave the Rutherfordton Town Hall to permit others to wait outside to come in. The new Rutherfordton Development Ordinance (RDO) draft is available for inspection at both the Town Hall and Norris Public Library during normal business hours and may be viewed on the website at anytime.

Hearing-impaired persons requiring assistance should contact the Town Clerk (828) 287-3520 ext. 5 at least 24 hours prior to the hearing to request special accommodations.


Draft Zoning Map

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