We’re losing trees and our evolving history through development. We need to value what we have while thoughtfully planning for the future. 

In a town with limited space for development, we are losing trees at a shocking rate.

  • We need to remove the in-lieu-of fee for tree save
  • Increase the tree save percentage
  • Rather than focusing on brick facades that will outlive the lifespan of the building itself, we need to encourage a carbon-trade, such as solar energy, car charging stations, and bus passes for residents or employees.
  • Stricter fines for developers who break rezoning and tree save agreements. In Charlotte, over-cutting can be charged as a criminal misdemeanor.
  • We need to provide adequate resources to Planning and Zoning to be on site when site disturbance begins. If developers break the terms of rezoning, that would be an appropriate time to revisit the contract.

The everyday history of Matthews is being erased, apartment complex by multi-use development. The 2013 Heritage Property Index is a comprehensive list of buildings and homes in Matthews built prior to the end of World War II. We should encourage the preservation of these sites as often as possible, encouraging owners and developers to revive them rather than tear them down.

  • We could rotate the downtown facade grants to neighborhoods at risk of losing Heritage property.
  • Matthews can apply for federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME funds for qualifying homeowners to rehabilitate these properties, potentially as affordable rental housing.

The history we are destroying cannot be rebuilt, we must create new solutions to preserve and conserve what Matthews has left.