MATTHEWS — A homebuilder whose townhouse proposal was chosen by Matthews commissioners last month has come back with revisions that boost its chances of approval.
But the commissioners still challenged the project on safety and price.
Tri Pointe Homes hopes to rezone 13.8 acres at 1748 Marglyn Drive to develop 73 townhouses on the pizza slice-shaped lot.
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 a larger buffer zone between the community and a church.
Tri Pointe Homes also showed elevations with tall farmhouse-style buildings and eight-foot-deep porches, which Commissioner John Urban says matches the character of the town.
“I want to commend Tri Pointe Homes for making an incredible improvement on what was originally proposed,” said Mayor John Higdon. “It’s 1,000 times better than what was originally proposed.”
Mayor Pro Tem Ken McCool asked if the developer could remove three more units from a corner of the site near the road. He was concerned about sightlines for drivers.
A representative from Tri Pointe Homes said she wasn’t sure it was financially viable for the project. McCool countered that this was a serious concern for an already dangerous road.
Commissioner Renee Garner reminded her colleagues that they had 2,000 units, including 457 townhouses, in the rezoning queue. Garner added that only the projects they discussed on June 13 could add up to 70 students to Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools.
“We can complain about the school board and how dysfunctional it is, but our role as commissioners is to keep in mind the balance between growth and the pressure we put on our schools,” Garner said.
Ganer also worried about townhome prices in the $400,000 range.
“It hurts me every time I hear a developer say they keep their projects affordable at $400,000,” she said. “I say it over and over and over again. If we lost our home, our family could no longer afford to live in Matthews. As we approve of these projects, there is something in my heart that truly aches that what we approve of could rob my third-generation family of the city we call home.
The planning board will consider the project on June 28. Commissioners could vote as early as July 11.