Residents concerned about proposed ordinance
Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013

Residents concerned about proposed ordinance

Matthews new Unified Development Ordinance is almost ready for adoption, but some folks want a section of it revised before it’s approved.

The UDO combines zoning, subdivision, stormwater, minimum housing, and flood prevention rules and regulations into a single land development code. That, some officials say, should make it easier for builders and developers to work in the town.

Matthews planning staff has been working on the UDO for several years, and commissioners have reviewed it a number of times. But at Monday’s public hearing, several people expressed concerns about the “Entertainment District” section of the proposed code.

The only area in town included in that district is the 120 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the new Sportplex near the intersection of U.S. 74 and Interstate 485. The town’s land use plan designates that area to be developed as a Family Entertainment District with such features as restaurants, a hotel, shops and a movie theatre.

Bob Henderson, a representative of the Brigman family, which owns part of that land, said the new code would make the area difficult to develop.

“The code contains very exacting detail, door sizes, window sizes, hidden parking, our marketing folks are telling is that kind of development will not happen at this time. We don’t think the technical requirements can be met. Let’s expand the innovative development part of the code so if we bring a project to you that does not meet all these requirements, it can still be approved,” Henderson said.

Tom Lawrence, a representative of Leon and Sandra Levine who own the other part of the land, expressed similar concerns.

Mayor Jim Taylor said the town staff and planning board would continue to work with the landowners and their representatives and listen to their concerns. The planning board will discuss the UDO at the Nov. 26 meeting and it is scheduled to come back before commissioners for a vote on Dec. 9.

In other business commissioners:

•  Approved a site plan for expansion and exterior changes to Ridge Church, 10835 Independence Pointe Parkway.

•  Approved a site plan for Point Blank Range, a new shooting range to be built at 10726 Monroe Road.

•  Approved a Discharge of Firearm Permit for Michael Gessell to allow him to shoot a bow and arrow from a tree stand on his property at 2016 Kimway Drive.

Melinda Johnston is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Melinda? Email her at

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