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Matthews OKs change that will allow Habitat to build

MATTHEWS – The Town Board of Commissioners on Monday approved allowing an amendment to a rezoning application that will allow Habitat for Humanity Matthews to build seven affordable homes in the Crestdale section of town.

Monday’s ruling, which circumvents a technicality in the town zoning ordinance, lets the local Habitat chapter continue its 26-home Sunrise Crossing infill subdivision, part of a larger effort to revitalize Crestdale.

At Habitat Matthews’s request, the town last year rezoned 1.5 acres on Matthews School Road as RVS, allowing seven homes to be built instead of the previous zoning’s limit of five. RVS means residential varied style, which the town’s zoning ordinance defines as “higher density single-family style housing not usually found in Matthews.”

But a clause in the ordinance blocked permitting and construction: A condition of RVS allows zero setback from the road as long as there are no windows on the side of the house facing the street.

The Habitat house plans, like those for most single-family residences, have windows on the front, so the zero-setback condition had to be changed to 8 feet.

Sunrise Crossing is but one Habitat effort in Crestdale, an older neighborhood near downtown Matthews where the volunteer-labor organization has built 90-some homes.

The seven homes will be Habitat’s typical three-bedroom, one-bath models that sell in the $80,000-$100,000 range, come with zero-interest mortgages and are limited to residents with lower-than-average household incomes but can afford the monthly payments.

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