South Charlotte

Proposed homes in Mint Hill behind Publix would need exemptions

Big changes are coming to Mint Hill’s downtown. A new Publix grocery store is under construction and set to open in a few months.

Across the street, ground has been broken on a Sherwin-Williams paint store and a Jersey Mike’s sub shop.

New medians have been installed near the intersection of Matthews Mint Hill and Lawyers roads, and a traffic light will soon be installed at the intersection of Matthews Mint Hill Road and Brighton Park Drive.

Now Ryan Homes is seeking permission to build 125 homes on about 40 acres behind Publix.

The development would back up to the Farmwood East subdivision. The homes would range in size from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet, with prices between $220,000 and $300,000.

The current Downtown Overlay zoning allows six units per acre, meaning that a developer could build about 240 homes on the property.

Ryan Homes has asked the Mint Hill town board for several exemptions from the town’s zoning ordinance. Garages would not be recessed and front porches would not be constructed as required in the code. They say the exceptions are necessary to build the type of product that homebuyers want to purchase.

At a recent public hearing, a number of Farmwood East residents asked commissioners to deny the request. They cited increased traffic and negative effects on property values as concerns.

Roy Fielding, a Farmwood East resident who is also a Mint Hill Planning Board member, told commissioners that the ordinances were put in place for a reason.

“When we start making exceptions to rules, we end up losing. We have one chance to do it right. The staff and planning board worked diligently on these ordinances for years, and I see no benefit in varying from them,” Fielding said.

Howard Pence, Farmwood East homeowner association chairperson, said he would like to see more expensive homes be built on the property to help protect the property values in his neighborhood.

Last week, the Mint Hill Planning Board voted to send an unfavorable recommendation on the request to the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners. Commissioners could vote on the exemption request as early as their Sept. 25 meeting.