Section 2.100 - Definitions

As used in this ordinance, the following terms will have the meanings indicated in this section:


A vehicular way used for providing service access along rear or side property lines of lots which are also served by one of the listed street types defined herein or in Article 5 of the Huntersville Zoning Ordinance. An alley may be accepted for public maintenance only if it serves a broad public function. Residential alleys will generally remain private.

Administrative Decision.

Decisions made in the implementation, administration, or enforcement of development regulations that involve the determination of facts and the application of objective standards set forth in this ordinance. These are sometimes referred to as ministerial decisions or administrative determinations.


An action requesting reversal or modification of an interpretation or decision made by Town Staff or Administrative Agent in the application of these regulations.

Board of Adjustment 

The Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Town of Huntersville.

Build-to line

A line extending through a lot which is generally parallel to the front property line and marks the location from which the principle vertical plane of the front building elevation, exclusive of porches, bay windows and similar appurtenances, must be erected; intended to create an even building façade line on a street.  The build-to line is established on the record plat (final plat).

Building Setback Line

A line extending through a lot which is parallel to the front property line and between which and such line no building shall be erected.

Conservation Easement.

A conservation agreement as defined by N.C.G.S § 121-35(1) in the form of an easement.

Consulting Engineer

A North Carolina Registered Engineer appointed from time to time by the Town Board of Huntersville.

Corner Lot

A lot which abuts the right-of-way of two streets at their intersection.

Designated Administrative Agent (also Designee)

A government agency or consulting professional which has been designated by the Huntersville Board of Commissioners through contract or agreement to administer the Subdivision Ordinance.


A grant by the property owner for use by the public, a corporation, or person(s) of a strip of land for specified purposes.

Expedited Subdivision Review

The review and approval of the division of a tract or parcel of land in single-ownership for which only a Final Plat Review is required. Any subdivision of land, whether major, minor, or other will qualify for Expedited Subdivision Review if in single ownership, and all of the following criteria are met:  

1. The tract or parcel to be divided is not already exempt as a division of land under Section 2.100 DEFINITION, “Subdivision”, paragraph 2 of the Subdivision Ordinance (which exempts the division of land into parcels greater than 5 acres where street right-of-way dedication or reservation is not involved).

2. No part of the tract of parcel to be divided has been divided under this subsection in the 10 years prior to division.

3. The entire area of the tract or parcel to be divided is greater than five acres.

4. After division, no more than three lots result from the division.

5. After division, all resultant lots comply with all of the following:

  • Any lot dimension size requirements of the applicable land-use regulations, if any.
  • The use of lots is in conformity with the applicable zoning requirements, if any.
  • A permanent means of ingress and egress is recorded for each lot.

Land Development Standards Manual

The most recent edition of the Town of Huntersville Engineering Standards and Procedures Manual, which sets forth standard details for the design and construction of various aspects of development.


A portion of a subdivision or other parcel of land intended as a unit for transfer of ownership or for development.

Lot Front

That side of a lot which fronts on a street. In the case of a corner lot, the subdivider shall designate the front of the lot for purposes of these regulations and the Huntersville Zoning Ordinance by labeling the front and side building lines as such on the final plat.

Open Space

 Any area which is not divided into private or civic building lots, streets, rights-of-way, parking, or easements for purposes other than open space conservation. Unless specifically allowed by this ordinance in the Farmhouse Cluster, Conservation Subdivisions, and Minor Subdivisions. Reference Article 7.11 Urban, Agricultural, Common, Natural and Recreational Open Space for specific qualitative criteria.

Planning Board

The Planning Board of the Town of Huntersville established pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 160D-301.


A map or plan of a parcel of land which is to be, or which has been, subdivided.

Streets (by classification)


High volume, high speed highways with access only at interchanges. Freeways are typically constructed to Interstate Highway standards.  May incorporate special management techniques and may contain specialized accommodations for multi-occupant or transit vehicles.  No parallel accommodation for non-motorized users. 


Moderate to high volume, moderate speed roadway.   Includes median and may incorporate interchanges as appropriate.  Access strongly controlled, typically provided at street intersections and may be directional in nature (i.e. not full movement.)  Shall incorporate provisions for transit, bicycle, and pedestrian users depending on context.

 Other Major Thoroughfares

Multi-lane, moderate to high volume roadway, speed limits vary according to context.  Often incorporate auxiliary lanes for turning vehicles.  Typically includes median, individual driveways discouraged.  Shall incorporate provisions for transit, bicycle, and pedestrian users. 

Minor Thoroughfare

Generally, two-lane roadways with low to moderate speeds depending on context.  Balance of mobility and access functions.  May include transit user provisions, shall incorporate non-motorized users. 


A roadway which assembles traffic from local streets and distributes it to the nearest thoroughfare street. The collector road provides direct primary access to low/medium density land uses.  It is designed to carry low to moderate traffic volumes at low to moderate speeds.


This is a two-lane roadway which provides access directly to adjoining low/medium density land uses.  It also conducts traffic to collector streets which serve the area.  The local road is designed to accommodate low volumes of traffic at low speeds.  


A short minor street having one end open to traffic and the other permanently terminated by a vehicular turnaround.   Cul-de-sacs may not exceed 350 feet in length and must be accessed from a street providing internal or external connectivity.  They are permitted where topography makes a street connection impracticable.

Marginal Access Street

A public or private street adjoining or parallel to an arterial street to relieve the arterial street of the necessity of providing access to abutting property.

Town Streets

Town Street classification refers to the hierarchy of low speed, interconnected streets with pedestrian orientation of buildings and a fine-grained section which includes street tree plantings and sidewalks on either side of pavement. The required street elements can be assembled in a variety of ways depending on the fronting uses and the function/rank of the street in the hierarchy. Streets meeting the standards of Article 5 and the Engineering Standards and Procedures Manual (ESAPM) are eligible for acceptance and maintenance by the Town as public streets. Residential alleys will generally remain private.

Street, Private

An interior circulation road designed and constructed to carry vehicular traffic from public streets within or adjoining a site to parking and service areas; it is not maintained nor intended to be maintained by the public. 

Street Right-of-Way

Street right-of-way shall mean any public right-of-way set aside for public travel which has been accepted for maintenance by the State of North Carolina or the Town of Huntersville or Mecklenburg County, if so authorized, or has been dedicated for public travel by the recording of a plat or a subdivision which has been approved or is subsequently approved by the Town of Huntersville or has otherwise been established as a public street prior to the adoption of this ordinance.


A subdivision will include all divisions of a tract or parcel of land into two or more lots, building sites, or other divisions when any one or more of those divisions is created for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of sale or building development of any type (including both residential and non-residential multiple building sites and multi-site projects even if there is no division of the underlying land into separate parcels for recordation with the Register of Deeds) and also includes all divisions of land involving the dedication of a new street or a new street right-of-way or a change in existing streets; provided, however, that the following will not be included within this definition nor be subject to the requirements of this ordinance:

1.    The combination or recombination of portions of previously subdivided and recorded lots prior to the effective date of this ordinance, or portions of previously subdivided and recorded lots platted in compliance with this ordinance after its effective date, where the total number of lots is not increased and the resultant lots are equal to or exceed the standards of this ordinance and the appropriate zoning classification.

2.    The division of land into parcels greater than 5 acres where street right-of-way dedication is not involved.

3.    The public acquisition by purchase of strips of land for the widening or opening of streets or for public transportation system corridors or the location of public utility rights-of-way.

4.    The division of a tract in single ownership whose entire area is no greater than two acres into not more than three lots, where street right-of-way dedication is not involved and where the resultant lots are equal to or exceed the standards of the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Ordinance. 

5.    The division of land into plots or lots for use as a cemetery.

6.    The creation of a separate lot or property interest by a less than fee simple instrument, such as a lease, when the property interest created is divided from the original parcel for less than 10 years including option to renew.

7.    The division of a tract or parcel into separate tracts or parcels, or the creation of interest in lots or parcels, by means of (a) a deed of trust, mortgage, or similar security interest solely for the purpose of securing any bona fide obligation (including transfers of such parcels or tracts pursuant to foreclosure or deeds in lieu of foreclosure) and (b) releases from the liens and operation of such deeds of trust, mortgages, or similar security interests. 

8.    Easements for the purposes of utilities, driveways, parking, footpaths, trails, or other similar purposes.

9.    Proceedings to partition interests in lots or parcels pursuant to Chapter 46 of the North Carolina General Statutes (or any successor statute) resulting in the division of a lot or parcel into two or more lots or parcels except where the partition proceeding is brought to circumvent the provisions of this Ordinance.

10.    Transfers of tracts or parcels by inheritance or bona fide gift.

11.    Condemnation or deed in lieu of condemnation, by either a public or private condemner; provided, however, that the condemner must comply with the requirements of this ordinance as to the property acquired, either prior to the commencement of any development of the property acquired, or prior to the issuance of any building permit on the property acquired, or within six months following the date of acquisition, whichever occurs first.

Subdivision, Conservation

A tract of land 40 acres or more that is subdivided into single family building lots at a gross density not exceeding 1 dwelling unit per 20 acres, where no new streets are created through the development process and use of the land is restricted by an irrevocable conservation easement held by a conservation organization authorized by N.C.G.S. § 121-35(1) et seq.

Subdivision, Limited

A subdivision that is not otherwise exempt from the provisions of this ordinance and where the tract or parcel of land retained by the owner submitting the land for subdivision approval is in excess of ten (10) acres. For such subdivisions the owner shall be required to plat only the parcel(s) to be transferred or leased and only said parcel(s) shall be subject to the requirements of this ordinance.

Subdivision, Major

A subdivision not otherwise exempt from these regulations that involves any of the following:

1. The creation of any new public street, but does not include the public acquisition by purchase of strips of land for the widening or opening of streets or for public transportation system corridors or the location of public utility rights-of-way. 

2. A future public school, park, greenway, or open space site shown in any adopted plan or policy document.

3. The installation of drainage improvements through one or more lots to serve one or more other lots.

4. The installation of a private wastewater treatment plant or a private water supply system for more than one lot or building site.

Subdivision, Minor

A subdivision that is not otherwise exempt from the provisions of this ordinance and that is not a “Major Subdivision” as that term is defined in this Ordinance.

For purposes of these regulations, Farmhouse Cluster developments are considered a minor subdivision, except as provided below. Farmhouse Cluster developments do not require a Sketch Plan, except as specifically set out hereinbelow. A Farmhouse Cluster Plan shall demonstrate compliance with requirements of the Zoning Ordinance and include the following: an “Existing Features (Site Analysis) Plan” as detailed in Section 6.300 (1)(1-14), (2), and (3) of this Ordinance; a Four-Step Process as detailed in Section 6.300 (3) of this Ordinance; and a Preliminary Plan as detailed in Section 6.400 of this Ordinance.


Any street (existing or proposed) on the adopted Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP) Highway Map. The words thoroughfare and arterial are used synonymously and indicate streets which are designated as freeways, boulevards, other major thoroughfares or minor thoroughfares.

Thoroughfare Plan

The most recent map adopted by the Metropolitan Planning Organization which indicates the system of roads expected to serve major access and travel needs with regard to auto, truck, and transit transportation. The words thoroughfare plan and arterial street plan are used synonymously.

Through Lot

A lot other than a corner lot with frontage on more than one street.

Town Board

The Board of Commissioners of the Town of Huntersville.

Town Manager

The Town Manager of the Town of Huntersville.


An action requesting consideration for relief from the strict enforcement of the standards of the ordinance where special circumstances or unusual considerations may exist on the parcel of land.

Table of Contents

Subdivision Table of Contents