Matthews Considering Small Area Plan Zoning Overlay Districts

Posted on June 22, 2018

The Matthews Town Board this week held a public hearing on a proposal to create a new Zoning Overlay District that would make the land use and development policies in three Small Area Plans enforceable on all new development, regardless of whether or not a rezoning is involved.

REBIC spoke against the proposal, as did a small group of property owners who shared our concerns about the restrictions the Overlay would place on their property. The Overlay would impact all parcels in three Small Area Plans adopted by the Town between 2014 and 2017:

While a Land Use Plan serves a policy guide, a zoning overlay district has the force of law on all property in its defined geography, and supersedes any zoning rights in the underlying district. The proposed Overlay District would incorporate policies ranging from building design to lot setbacks, and apply to both new development and redevelopment in all three Small Area Plan geographies.

REBIC told members of the Town Board that the scope of the proposal necessitated careful review by both property owners and members of the development community, and warned that the portions of the ordinance could violate North Carolina law.

The Board of Commissioners agreed to extend public comment on the overlay district until July 9th, and agreed to schedule a work session next month to more closely discuss the proposal. REBIC will continue to work with the Town of Matthews to ensure the interests of the real estate industry are represented.

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