MATTHEWS – A homebuilder whose townhome proposal was picked apart by Matthews commissioners last month has returned with revisions that increase its chances of approval.
But commissioners still challenged the project over safety and price.
Tri Pointe Homes hopes to rezone 13.8 acres at 1748 Marglyn Drive to develop 73 townhomes on the pizza slice-shaped parcel.
The homebuilder not only removed six units from the site plan, but also added a central park as a focal point of the community as well as more buffer between the community and a church.
Tri Pointe Homes also showed elevations with large farmhouse-style buildings and eight-foot deep porches, which Commissioner John Urban said fit the character of the town.
“I would like to commend Tri Pointe Homes for making an incredible improvement to what was originally proposed,” Mayor John Higdon said. “This is 1,000 times better than what was proposed initially.”
Mayor Pro Tem Ken McCool asked if the developer could remove another three units from a corner of the site close to the road. He was concerned about sight lines for drivers.
A representative for Tri Pointe Homes said she wasn’t sure if that was financially viable for the project. McCool countered that this was a serious concern to a road that is already dangerous.
Commissioner Renee Garner reminded colleagues that they have 2,000 units, including 457 townhomes, in the rezoning queue. Garner added that just the projects they discussed June 13 could add as many as 70 students to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
“We can complain about the school board and dysfunction but our role as commissioners is to keep in mind balancing growth and the pressure we put on our schools,” Garner said.
Ganer also had concerns about the price of the townhomes being in the $400,000s.
“It hurts me everytime I hear a developer say they are keeping their projects affordable at $400,000,” she said. “I say this over and over and over again. If we lost our home, our family could no longer afford to live in Matthews. As we’re approving these projects, there’s something in my heart that is really painful thinking that what we’re approving could price out my third-generation family from the town that we’ve put roots down in.”
The planning board will vet the project June 28. Commissioners could vote on it as early as July 11.