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Development Ordinance Rewrite

Kannapolis Development Ordinance Rewrite


The City of Kannapolis is now in the final stages of completing the revamping of the Unified Development Ordiance (UDO) - which will now be referred to as the Kannapolis Development Ordinance. The public is welcome to comment on the final draft of the ordinance. Comments and questions may be submitted by July 23. Send comments to Include the article number, section number and your specific comment in your email.  

View the Kannapolis Development Ordinance draft here

About the Rewrite

The City of Kannapolis is rewriting its Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The current ordinance is outdated and needs to be comprehensively updated to better implement the City’s recently adopted comprehensive land use plan, Move Kannapolis Forward 2030. In addition, the project focuses on making the resulting ordinance, the Kannapolis Development Ordinance (KDO),  internally consistent, modernized, aligned with contemporary zoning and subdivision best practices, and more user-friendly.

Project Tasks and Timeline   

The KDO rewrite project consists of four tasks spanning just over two years.

  • Task 1 included a review of existing city plans and regulations, as well as public meetings, focus groups, and interviews to help identify the community’s goals for the project and specific issues to be addressed.
  • During Task 2, a UDO Assessment was prepared, which describes the key goals for the project, evaluates the current UDO in light of those goals, recommends how shortcomings in the current UDO can be addressed to achieve project goals, and lays out an outline and organization for the new KDO consistent with those recommendations.
  • Task 3 involved the drafting of the new KDO, based on the direction in the UDO Assessment. Because the new KDO is a large document, the material to be drafted was broken into two sections (called modules). Drafting and review of each of the two sections (Module 1 and Module 2) occured separately, with the two sections now merged into a consolidated draft.
  • During Task 4, the consolidated draft of the new KDO is being further refined based on input from city staff, stakeholders, and other members of the community, to produce a public hearing draft of the new KDO.


The project tasks and timeline are summarized in the graphic below (click the timeline to expand graphic):

Kannapolis Development Ordinance Rewrite Project Timeline

Stay Informed   

Click here to give us your input on the Kannapolis Development Ordinance and/or to receive project updates (announcing availability of new work products, project meetings, etc.) by email. Please include your name and email address in the message. 

Work Products


Background Documents

Frequently Asked Questions About the Update (FAQs)     

  1. What is a unified development ordinance (UDO)? A unified development ordinance is the adopted law of a City that regulates land use and form, growth, and development. It includes zoning regulations, which divide the city into different zone districts and generally govern the location, size, and type of development in each district, as well as subdivision regulations. A UDO also establishes the process for reviewing development proposals and includes standards for different aspects of development, like parking, landscaping, the layout of streets and blocks, lighting, signage, building design, and environmental protection.    
  2. Why revise the current UDO? Large parts of the current UDO, which was implemented in November of 2000, are outdated and difficult to use.  The City’s newly adopted comprehensive plan, Move Kannapolis Forward, sets out an updated vision and policy direction for growth and development in Kannapolis. The ordinance no longer reflects this policy direction. Additionally, the current UDO is not user-friendly and does not make use of many zoning best practices. The purpose of the Kannapolis Development Ordinance Rewrite project is to address all these issues.
  3. What is Move Kannapolis Forward? Move Kannapolis Forward is the City’s broadest public policy document, setting forth the long-range vision for transportation, housing, development, the environment, the economy, and other related topics. The plan was adopted in March 2018 after a robust public input process that engaged hundreds of Kannapolis residents from across the City. Updating the City’s UDO is a major step toward implementing the plan’s policy direction.
  4. How long will the rewrite process take? The rewrite process is expected to take a little over two years to complete.
  5. Where can I learn more? This page is the central location for information about the project and to review work products as they are made available. It will be maintained and updated throughout the project. Individuals can sign up on the project email list to stay updated on meetings and major announcements. Information and project work products are also available at the Planning Department offices, located at 401 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, NC.