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Matthews’ future development to be focus of public meetings

MATTHEWS — The future of development of Matthews will be at stake during two upcoming public meetings.

The southeastern Mecklenburg County municipality will be seeking input from developers, residents and business owners on how the town should grow at meetings set for 7 p.m. Oct. 18 and 22 at Town Hall, 232 Matthews Station St.

“Who wants to live here influences what kind of land-use policies we should have,” said Kathi Ingrish, Matthews planning director. “And, vice versa, what kind of land-use policies we have will influence who wants to come here to live.”

The Oct. 18 meeting will be a public forum to talk about development, demographic and population trends and the needs and desires of residents and potential new residents, Ingrish said.

Mary Newsom, associate director of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Urban Institute, will be the featured speaker at the forum. Newsom also edits and writes for plancharlotte.org and her blog, The Naked City.

The Oct. 22 meeting will be the official public hearing on a major proposed revision of the town’s existing land-use plan.

The revision, a draft of which is posted on the town’s website, is a detailed, 119-page document that hinges on six principles.

The principles would urge developers to provide a “variety of housing styles,” a “mix of land uses,” a “range of transportation options,” “urban style development” and the preservation of open spaces to “establish Matthews as a distinct, attractive, high-quality community.”

After the public hearing, the land-use plan will go before the Town Council for approval at a meeting to be scheduled.

In addition to the land-use plan update, Matthews is also developing and seeking input on a new downtown master plan, a 35-page draft document that is posted on the town’s website.

On Oct. 8, the Town Council will schedule a public hearing on the master plan.

In addition to the public hearings on those documents, feedback can be given on the town’s website, Ingrish said.

Tony Brown can be reached at tony.brown@mecktimes.com, (704) 247-2912 or on Twitter at @tonymecktimes.

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