By Yustin Riopko
MINT HILL – Developers just received the go-ahead to build a new 166-house neighborhood near the intersection of Lawyers and Matthews-Mint Hill roads.
The board of commissioners voted Sept. 10 to approve the rezoning request that makes way for McEwen Manor, a 55.5-acre neighborhood with frontage on Lawyers Road and a connection to Cresthill Drive.
Nicholas Parker, president of Amicus Partners PLLC, presented the project to the planning board Aug. 17. According to Parker, McEwen Manor will be a living destination desirable for its proximity to downtown Mint Hill’s restaurants and shops.
“Having the ability to walk directly to amenities within the downtown area such as Char Bar [No. 7] and Hawthorne’s, parks, etc. is really an attractive amenity for newer communities,” Parker said. “The big amenities – the pools, the fancy waterslides – are now being replaced with opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature, to walk to have that connectivity… So when we saw this site, we thought this was just a perfect opportunity to showcase what we’ve done in other communities.”
Since January, developers’ vision for McEwen Manor has undergone significant changes. Early plans included both townhomes and detached houses. Removing townhomes from the design reduced units from 216 to 166 and density from four to three units per acre.
Final plans include three connections – two on Lawyers and one on Cresthill. Developers and town leaders heard traffic and safety concerns from neighbors about those connections.
“I acknowledge the individual hardship and disruption this may initially cause the current residents living on Cresthill,” Commissioner Patrick Holton said. “But at the same time, I recognize the benefits connectivity provides for the community. It creates more efficient routes for trash, recycle and school bus service. Connectivity improves emergency access and response times. It reduces clogging of the arterial streets. A well-connected street network will reduce all our travel times.”
To mitigate neighbors’ concerns, developers have agreed to keep all construction traffic off Cresthill and fit that street with new sidewalks and lighting. Also, the town will reduce Cresthill’s speed limit to 25.
Parker estimated the houses might range between $290,000 and $500,000.