Friday, June 14, 2024

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Graham, NC 27253
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Graham city council to hear rezoning request for subdivision phase with reduced density

Graham’s city council will resume consideration of a rezoning request at its monthly meeting Tuesday night.

The developer, Clayton Properties Group of Charlotte, had originally asked for 92 single-family homes to be built in the fourth phase of construction of the Rogers Springs subdivision off Rogers Road.

The original subdivision plans, first outlined in 2018, had called for 178 homes on 106 acres.

Various phases of the subdivision have already been built, and the developer came forward earlier this year with the proposal for 92 single-family homes on 53.9 acres, with the request to rezone the acreage from R-18 to R-9 with a conditional permit allowing the specific layout of the fourth phase of the subdivision.

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However, Graham’s mayor, Jennifer Talley, has consistently opposed what she considers to be subdivisions that are “too dense,” compared to other homes or subdivisions nearby.

When the fourth phase of the plan first came before the city council in August, Talley asked that the developers revise it to reduce the density, and she expressed surprise last month when the item reappeared on the city council’s agenda but without what she considered any trimming of that density.

“What changes did you make?” she questioned.

Developers’ representatives Jason Ewing and Chandler Turpin with Shugart Homes said that lots had been made somewhat larger, with 28 percent of them being 12,000 square feet or more.

But Talley zeroed in on the proposed narrow lot widths, at 63 feet. What she suggested had been gained were long, still-narrow lots, and with the same number of houses as had originally been proposed, 92, which provided no density relief.

Talley also suggested that the supposedly below-maximum number of houses was largely due to the significant unbuildable area comprised of wetlands.

Talley suggested, and other council members chimed in with, a preference for wider lots, suggesting that 70 feet might be plausible; however, the developer indicated the company would inevitably lose some number of lots in doing so.

The new plan, submitted to the city for Tuesday’s council consideration reduces the number of lots from 92 to 85, with all now having at least 70-foot lot frontage widths.

In December, Talley also questioned the 27-foot road widths, saying she preferred 31 feet.

But councilman Joey Parsons pointed out that most other roads in the subdivision are already at 27 feet and having a separate width for this section of the subdivision wouldn’t be practical.

The city council will continue its consideration of the rezoning and annexation request at its meeting at 6:00 on Tuesday night.

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