04/20/06 — Builders get OK to plan clusters

View Archive

Builders get OK to plan clusters

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on April 20, 2006 1:48 PM

Developers in Wayne County can plan more "cluster subdivisions" after the county Board of Commissioners approved the design plan this week.

County planning officials had recommended commissioners approve the new subdivision regulation, which permits developers to build homes in a subdivision closer together so that the open space required around each home can be combined into a single green area for residents' communal use.

The changes to the county subdivision ordinance will allow builders to ignore the setback requirement for one or more of the sides of an individual lot. The flexibility gives developers the room to create a larger open space for residents' recreation and enjoyment, county Planning Director Connie Price said.

For example, Price said, two homes can be built side by side, eliminating the setback requirement between the two structures but creating a larger side yard on opposite sides of the homes.

The amendment requires that the land freed up by the changes be available for use by all the residents of the subdivision.

The land could be used as a playground, park, environmentally protected area or any other use decided upon by the residents. Price said residents could use the land as a basketball court, nature trail or swimming pool, but they are prohibited from developing any structure that would not benefit all of the residents.

The planning department developed the rules for this type of subdivision after Kim Hill of Rosewood Junction Co. submitted a proposal to build a cluster subdivision off of Rosewood Road, Price said.

"This is what put the wheels in motion for this," he said.

A public hearing on the proposed change to the subdivision ordinance was held in March. Last month, the commissioners conducted a first reading of the proposed change, but did not vote on the issue because County Commissioner Andy Anderson was not in attendance. On Tuesday, all commissioners were present and, after a second reading, they unanimously approved the amendment.

Contractor Berky Perkins of Benchmark Builders said building a cluster subdivision would be no different than building any other subdivision.

"I can't see any way it would make it more difficult. You contend with the setbacks and align the building on the property line," Perkins said.