Garner Cleveland Record

Garner planners OK narrow town home regulations

Future town houses will likely look different in the coming years.

The Planning Commission voted unanimously to endorse a proposal to the town council that will reduce the minimum lot width or unit width of town homes from 25 to 18 feet.

Garner Planning Director Brad Bass said developers he talked to sounded a common theme when they talked about town home construction. Many of them said they wanted the town to consider lowering the minimun width requirements.

He said the planning staff compared the Garner’s 25-foot unit width to other jurisdictions and agreed it was a “a little excessive.”

A narrower town house lot width is becoming the trend.

Bass said there is currently one town house development in the works that would benefit from the change and another developer interested in building another town house neighborhood, who would also benefit.

“There does seems to be some type of movement in the community,” Bass said.

By reducing the lot or unit width of town homes, more units could possibly be built in a complex. Planning commission vice chairman Jeff Swain was curious to know the motive behind future developers wanting the unit width narrowed and why it might be reasonable to do so.

“I think you can get a little more flexibility in the floor plans, there might be a little more increase in the amount of units but still it’s going to be guided by the overall zoning classification, which would be multi-family-one or -two,” Bass said.

He said it also gives the planning staff more flexibility to look at different types of town homes to build. The proposed change would not affect existing townhouses. Only future town houses projects would benefit from the rule change.

The proposal will be taken to town council for action on Feb. 2.