Our Town Our Vision
In 2005, the citizens of Matthews assisted in preparing a series of statements about what we all wanted to see Matthews become. These statements are written as though someone is talking about Matthews in the year 2025, looking back at the prior 20 years.
Our Town Our Vision (December 12, 2005)
Land Use Plan
The Matthews Land Use Plan was most recently updated and approved on December 10, 2012. This document sets land development policies for the entire town. The Plan includes general goals, objectives and recommendations for each land use category and for each corridor or transition area. It also suggests tools for achieving and enforcing land use patterns to reach the identified goals and objectives.
The Plan addresses a variety of topics the Town will face in coming years. Particularly, the Plan acknowledges changing trends occurring in demographics, housing and transportation. The Plan addresses long term sustainability, transit supportive developments, mixed use developments and multi-modal transit. As Small Area, Road Corridor, or Neighborhood Plans are completed for specific segments within our jurisdiction, they are added as Appendices to the Matthews Land Use Plan.
Monroe Road Small Area Plan
The Town of Matthews has created a Small Area Plan for the Monroe Road corridor (Matthews Township Parkway west to the town limits), which is an Appendix in the Land Use Plan
Family Entertainment District
The County-owned regional park facility now under construction along Independence Boulevard and I-485 -the Sportsplex - and adjacent privately owned land, mostly vacant, has been discussed for years as the future location of a mixed use, urban-scale new neighborhood with a focus on family entertainment opportunities. A Small Area Plan was drafted to explain the vision and opportunities for this new neighborhood, and once adopted, became an Appendix in the Matthews Land Use Plan.
East John Street Small Area Plan
The Town of Matthews has created a Small Area Plan for East John Street (from I-485 to the county line), which is an Appendix in the Land Use Plan
Land Use Plan (with Monroe Road Small Area Plan, Entertainment District, and East John Street Appendixes)
Downtown Master Plan
The Downtown Master Plan has also undergone considerable revisions. This plan sets forth the Town's vision for the future of the downtown area and identifies a range of development and redevelopment opportunities that, once implemented, will enhance the quality of life of all citizens. Comprised of three distinct elements, the Downtown Master Plan policy and vision section was approved by Matthews Board of Commissioners on January 14, 2013. The Downtown Streetscapes Improvements and the Design Guidelines sections are in draft stage now.
The policy and vision Plan serves as an update of the 1997 Downtown Master Plan. Downtowns across the country are experiencing a renaissance as consumer preferences shift away from post WWII suburban sprawl. New town centers and lifestyle centers have supplanted the typical strip mall or enclosed mall and represent a changing dynamic in how and where people live and go about their day to day lives.
The purpose of this Master Plan is to succinctly identify several main objectives, such as recommendations regarding building design, layout, and general aesthetics, identification of opportunities for both specific small and large scale redevelopments, recommendations for future roadways and parking facilities and the creation of a framework that guides development in an orderly fashion.
Downtown Master Plan (January 14, 2013)
To further enhance the unique qualities of the downtown area, two appendices spell out design details to be employed. They include the Downtown Streetscape Improvement Plan and the Downtown Design Guidelines.
Downtown Streetscape Improvement Plan
The Downtown Streetscape Improvement Plan provides a street hierarchy system and ideal street cross sections for each street type category. It also illustrates possible spot improvements that will create memorable places within the downtown area.
Streetscape Improvement Plan (June 2016)
Downtown Design Guidelines
The Downtown Design Guidelines are currently being updated. Many of the standards in the original 1998 document are still appropriate and applicable to today’s downtown area, with minor updating.
Downtown Design Guidelines
Sportsplex and Family Entertainment District
The land area bounded roughly by Matthews-Mint Hill Road, US-74/Independence Boulevard, I-485, and Charles Street/Tank Town Road/Crestdale neighborhood has been considered as a unique development opportunity for Matthews and the Mecklenburg region. About half of this area is owned by Mecklenburg County and is being developed as a regional park with a dozen sports fields sized for football, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, and similar team sports, as well as trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, and a stadium. The other half of the land area is set to become a new mixed use, urban-scale neighborhood with various forms of housing, shops and services, restaurants, offices, and a strong focus on entertainment venues for all ages, which could include gymnasiums, skating rinks, climbing walls, movie and live theaters, child play areas, musical venues, themed restaurants and lounges, batting cages, go karts, and many similar activities.
Sportsplex 2007 Area Plan
Family Entertainment District, both Sportsplex and New Neighborhood 2009 Report
The Town Board of Commissioners adopted a Small Area Plan for the Sportsplex and adjacent future neighborhood area which is a part of the Matthews Land Use Plan (see below). The Unified Development Ordinance, or UDO, has a new zoning district, ENT, which has been created specifically for this unique location. A set of policy statements has also been prepared to assist in clarifying how the vision will be implemented.
Anyone desiring to propose new construction in the Family Entertainment District can now refer to: 1) the ENT zoning district provisions within the UDO; 2) the Family Entertainment District Small Area Plan in the Matthews Land Use Plan; and 3) the composite Policy Statement for a complete picture of the vision and standards to be applied to the new neighborhood.
Approved Small Area Plan (December 8, 2014)
Approved Policy Statement (February 23, 2015)
Heritage Property Inventory
Today, there are only about two dozen properties in Matthews that are either part of a national register district or have local landmark designation. These properties include commercial structures, residential homes, churches and cemeteries. The purpose of this inventory is to compile a comprehensive list of properties in Matthews generally dating from the years before World War II and just after.
Even though many of these properties will likely not be designated as landmarks, the inventory provides valuable baseline data for future decision making. The data may be used for consideration during rezonings, should a new historic district be proposed or as guidance for the creation of a preservation plan. Collectively within this document, much of the architectural heritage of Matthews is on display.
Heritage Property Inventory (September 2013)
Composite Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan
The Composite Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan was adopted by the Matthews Board of Commissioners on May 11, 2015. This Plan lists desired improvements for safe bicycling and walking throughout the Town limits, including:
-Neighborhood signed routes on low-traffic subdivision streets
-Marked bike lanes or wide shoulders on the outside edge of collector streets
-Multi-use pathways for bicyclists and pedestrians
-Greenways beside creeks for bicyclists and pedestrians
-Sidewalks of "dirtways" may also provide connectivity for pedestrians and bicyclists
These facilities will primarily be located within the public rights-of-way or on public land or public easements for use by the general public, and will be constructed by public funds or by developers as they improve adjacent land parcels. These proposed improvements will expand the system of sidewalks and related facilities the Town has already built.
Approved Plan (May 11, 2015)
Comprehensive Transportation Plan
The Towns of Matthews and Stallings jointly pursued development of a transportation planning document that showed how many of the roads and pedestrian improvements crossed the border between the two adjacent communities. Matthews chose to continue to make detailed changes to the plan once it was initially drafted, and it was subsequently adopted.
Comprehensive Transportation Plan (November 10, 2013)
Crestdale Rising: What Unites Us is Greater Than What Divides Us
In July 2011, the American Planning Association (APA) organized a Community Planning Assistance Team (CPAT) project in the Crestdale neighborhood of Matthews.
Through a series of site visits, public meetings, and scheduled interviews, the team-comprised of expert planners and urban designers with expertise matched to the specific challenges that Crestdale faces-conducted an intensive study of the community. Team members gained valuable insights from Crestdale residents, stakeholders, and people with a genuine interest in the community's past, present, and future.
This report presents the team's vision and recommendations for the neighborhood and the Town of Matthews to consider as they decide how to move forward as a community.
Crestdale Rising Final Report (October 2011)
Crestdale Neighborhood Project
Matthews at a Crossroads
Mary Newsom, Associate Director for Urban and Regional Affairs, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, hosted a forum on the changing demographics of our Town population. Discussed were some eye-opening statistics on how our demographics are evolving and what changes they may produce in the Town of Matthews in future decades.
Matthews at a Crossroads (October 2012)