MATTHEWS – Developers looking to build a Charlotte Metro Credit Union location on North Trade Street in Matthews have asked for more time to work on their proposal after town planning board members unanimously voted to recommend denying the project.
The Matthews Board of Commissioners decided Monday night, April 14, to push a vote on the project back a month and allow developers more time to address the concerns of the planning board. Though the board has recommended denying the proposed project, commissioners do not have to follow through on that recommendation.
Members of the planning board feel the proposed project, which originally called for a one-story building at 435 N. Trade St., is not consistent with “the visions and goals” of the town’s land-use and downtown master plans, according to a town memo. Board members stated they would rather see a project “with a more articulated façade and one with ground-level shops and restaurants” built at the location as such a project would better blend with the evolving North End District.
Some changes have been proposed since the project was initially discussed at a public forum in March, including the intention of constructing a second floor with up to 6,000 square feet of space and adding brick paving and amenities to the building to make it consistent with what the downtown master plan calls for. The project also could allow for people to park at the credit union during off-hours and during town festivals or events, according to a staff memo.
Town leaders had little discussion on the project Monday night, though conversations in March centered around if the building would fit into what Matthews officials envisioned going on the lot. Commissioner Kress Query expressed his interest in seeing a multi-story building, though an architect for the developer said at the time a second story wasn’t an option due to safety concerns and the quality of the land at the site.
That doesn’t seem to be the case now, and though two stories is more along the lines of what town leaders wanted to see, Query said Monday night that the developer is “still a long way away” from coming in line with what he’d like to see. Added Mayor Jim Taylor, “But they are moving in the right direction.”
Taylor said he is willing to wait another month before the town makes a decision to see if the developer can “come around” to what the town wants. The town is now expected to vote on the application at its May 12 meeting. A representative for the developer did not return a call for comment from Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly.
Matthews leaders also voted Monday night to allow the Habitat for Humanity Sunrise Crossing II seven-home project on roughly 1.5 acres on Matthews School Road after much discussion over requiring pavers instead of concrete driveways. The five driveways not already constructed at the project must now be built with pavers, which will allow for more permeable area and create less storm water runoff. The town did discuss density concerns for the project, which was previously cut from eight homes to seven, though commisisoners eventually agreed to allow Habitat to move forward with seven homes.
Commissioners also voted to approve a bid from the Stewart planning organization to prepare a master plan for the N.C. 51/Phillips Road park Matthews hopes to build. The contract will cost the town $28,700.