Habitat for Humanity of Matthews could build up to eight more houses if the Town of Matthews approves the nonprofit’s recent rezoning request.
Habitat Matthews owns two parcels of land on Matthews School Road and has already built 19 homes in the vicinity. The organization submitted a request to the town late last year asking to change the zoning of the remaining undeveloped land from R-12 to R-VS, which could bring a total of 27 houses to the area.
A public meeting to discuss the issue is planned for Jan. 22, a Tuesday, from 6 to 8 p.m. at town hall, followed by a formal public hearing at the Feb. 11 town commissioners meeting.
Habitat Matthews, which constructs energy-efficient homes and sells them at cost to qualifying homebuyers, is allowed to build five houses on the track of land, according to its current zoning. If a rezoning is approved, the organization could build eight houses on the property.
“What we’re trying to do is change zoning to hopefully allow us to serve more families,” Executive Director Terrell Blackmon said.
Blackmon said although the rezoning would decrease the lot size, the density wouldn’t be that different from that of the other 19 homes, which were constructed under an R-9 zoning – a higher density than that of the R-12 zoning. If the town doesn’t approve the request, Blackmon said the organization plans to pursue an R-9 zoning, which would allow six homes to be built on the land.
“Under (an R-12 zoning), we have large lots with additional square footage that’s almost unusable,” he said. “We felt that it was not good use to have R-12 lots when everything else was R-9.”
He said although an R-VS zoning would provide two additional houses, the lot sizes wouldn’t be vastly different from an R-9 zoning, so the nonprofit is pushing for the higher-density zoning.
“Without the two additional lots, we’d be left with a lot of land that would feel underutilized,” Blackmon said. “We’re going to pursue (the R-VS) zoning to maximize the number of units on the track. That would still allow the neighborhood to remain the same in appearance, allowing slightly smaller lot sizes (with) a little less frontage so we can squeeze in additional lots.”
Habitat Matthews also is continuing to explore an expansion into Mint Hill – with Habitat homes and a possible ReStore retail location.
“We do intend to start being more active in the Mint Hill community … (and) we’re trying to identify the best strategy for making that happen,” Blackmon said. “Right now, we’re focusing more on maximizing the ReStore opportunities we have in Matthews.”