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Huntersville expands clustered-lot subdivision proposal to rural areas

HUNTERSVILLE – The clustered residential subdivisions sought by developers and planners alike are being considered for much larger sections of the biggest Mecklenburg County municipality outside Charlotte.

At its Feb. 3 meeting, the Huntersville Board of Commissioners voted to delay a decision on a developer’s request that the town codify a zoning classification in the transitional zones just outside the higher-density I-77 corridor for conservation subdivisions.

Town planner Whitney Hodges recommended the board hold off on voting for or against the ordinance revision so the commissioners can simultaneously consider a similar change proposed by the town’s planning department that would allow developers to create similar residential developments in lower-density rural areas also.

The zoning change was proposed in December by developer Bart Hopper of Charlotte-based Hopper Communities, and would allow him to create a subdivision on land in a transitional area that would have 12,000-square-foot lots with a density of two units per acre and would leave 40 percent of the land open.

In addition to studying such small-lot subdivisions in “transitional” areas, the town will now also consider allowing similar single-family home developments in the much larger rural areas that lie farther away from central Huntersville.

Several municipal zoning authorities in the Charlotte new-home market have recently approved or are considering approval of differing versions of conservation subdivisions, which proponents say would lower both environmental impact and costs by concentrating development in smaller portions of subdivisions and setting aside land to leave untouched.

Hodges and Planning Director Jack Simoneau said it made better sense to wait until March, when the department’s proposal for similar developments in rural areas will come before the commissioners. The only dissenting vote on the delay came from Commissioner Rob Kidwell, who argued that “by delaying it, we would be delaying a future development for Huntersville, pushing it back another month.”

To read a related story about a spat sparked by Commissioner Kidwell’s call for immediate approval, click here.

For more on the town’s conservation-style subdivision proposals, go to huntersville.org, click on Departments, and follow the links to Planning and Proposed Text Amendments.

huntersvillemapWEB

With a second proposed change to the town’s zoning ordinance now under consideration, Huntersville could have clustered-lot subdivisions not only in transitional-density areas (shown in brown shading) but also in the larger lower-density rural areas (in green). Courtesy of the town of Huntersville

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