No more cluster subdivisions for Matthews?

Developing cluster subdivisions may become a thing of the past for Matthews, at least until the final wording on N.C. Senate Bill 731.

A public hearing was held on Monday, July 9, to discuss changes that would halt development of cluster subdivisions in Matthews under the town’s current provisions. Planning Director Kathi Ingrish gave a presentation, discussing some of the changes that would be made to the ordinance and the need for those changes. Cluster subdivisions allow houses to be built on smaller lots in exchange for leaving open space for all residents.

Because the town believes the current standards need to be revised, and the Senate bill may limit the restrictions the town can place on the cluster subdivisions, some planners believe amending the zoning ordinance to end provisions for new cluster subdivisions is the best solution for now.

According to the proposed changes to the zoning ordinance, “a cluster development under these provisions shall have been platted and recorded prior to Aug. 13, 2012.” The changes won’t affect existing cluster subdivisions as long as the subdivisions “remain substantially the same as recorded.”

Since an ordinance was adopted in 1988, Matthews has had provisions for cluster subdivisions within the single and multi-family zoning districts.

“The cluster provision that’s in our ordinance has worked well… but it can be a whole lot better,” Ingrish said.

The proposal will go to the Planning Board for review on July 24 and commissioners could vote on it Aug. 13.

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