Matthews to Hold Community Meeting on Small Area Plans

The Town of Matthews will hold a Community Meeting this Saturday, September 22 at Matthews Town Hall (232 Matthews Station Street Matthews, NC 20815) from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Citizens are invited to attend the meeting to learn more about the Small Area Plans and the proposed overlay.

During each session, Town staff will provide an overview of the Small Area Plan, application of the proposed overlay on the area plan, provide examples of how the overlay would impact individual properties, and answer questions.

The Matthews Town Board last month deferred a vote on a proposal to create a new Zoning Overlay District (SAP-O) that would make the land use and development policies in the three Small Area Plans enforceable on all new development, regardless of whether or not a rezoning is involved.

REBIC is opposed to the proposal, as are a group of property owners who share our concerns about the restrictions the Overlay would place on their property. The Overlay would impact all parcels in three Small Area Plans adopted by the Town between 2014 and 2017:

    The Monroe Small Area Plan (page 118 of the Town’s Land Use Plan), stretching northward along Monroe Rd between Hwy 51 and the Town limits;The Entertainment District Small Area Plan, covering a large geography around the Matthews Sportsplex; and,The E. John St./Outer Loop Small Area Plan (page 172 of the Town’s Land Use Plan), covering an area south of the I-485 / E. John St interchange.

While a Land Use Plan serves a policy guide, a zoning overlay district has the force of law on all property in its defined geography, and supersedes any zoning rights in the underlying district. The proposed Overlay District would incorporate policies ranging from building design to lot setbacks, and apply to both new development and redevelopment in all three Small Area Plan geographies.

It is REBIC’s position that the imposition of this new Zoning Overlay, as currently drafted, will impose significant land use and development restrictions on hundreds of property owners across the Town of Matthews, dramatically adding cost and regulation that may reduce the economic value of their land. From building material and streetscape standards, to trail and open space dedications, the new requirements that would be codified through the adoption of the SAP-O ordinance will change the underlying zoning provisions on which property owners have relied upon for years, fundamentally altering their land use rights.

We are encouraging the board to postpone adoption of the Overlay District and instead work with the development community to come up with an incentive-based approach that help it achieve its land use vision, while also protecting existing zoning and property rights.

The schedule for Saturday’s Community Meeting is:

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. – E. John Street/Outer Loop Small Area Plan

10:00 – 11:00 a.m. –  Entertainment District Small Area Plan

11:00 – 12:00 p.m. – Monroe Road Small Area Plan

Let’s Combine Your Purpose with REBIC’s Power.
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