2810 [high] 5: Things You Didn't Know About This Years Matthews Alive

  • LEGO Interactive Exhibit - Play-Well TEKnologies, an organization that offers classes for students in Kindergarten through 8th grade, presented an interactive LEGO exhibit in the Matthews Community Center. On that Saturday, festival visitors were able to partake in the building of the exhibition which was then on display for the rest of the festival.

  • Parade Length - the Matthews Alive Parade is one of the longest Labor Day Parades in the Southeast. The Parade included over 100 participants and lasted about an hour and a half.

  • Parade Start Time - the Matthews Alive Parade will be started at 9:30 this year, an hour earlier than past years. Festival organizers hoped that this change allowed parade participants and attendees to be cooler in the heat and limit train interruptions. Since the weather this year was already beautiful, the earlier start time only made the experience that much better.

  • Mission - Matthews Alive is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is "provide an opportunity for local non-profit groups to raise funds for their organization to benefit the community." Matthew's Alive has donated over 1.6 million dollars to local nonprofits and lists 34 organizations who benefitted this year. 

  • Volunteers - The festival is almost entirely volunteer operated. Over 2000 volunteers assisted during the festival, as well as the months leading up to it. Organizations who receive funds from Matthews Alive provided many of the volunteers for the festival who helped with everything from ticketing, to trash pickup, to managing the games.

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2810[high]5: Ways to Simplify Your Life

Did you know that the first week of August is National Simplify your Life week? Here are a few ways you can simplify things in your home, at work, and in your mind. 

Declutter - Did you know that there are more reasons to declutter your home than the obvious (less clutter)? According to Psychology Today, it has several psychological benefits as well. It forces you to use decision making and problem solving skills as you prioritize the stuff you have and come up with solutions on how to store it. It can also reduce anxiety, because we lack of order sometimes causes stress. Humans may have evolved to respond this way, because a lack of order in was most likely disadvantageous for early humans. Finally, decluttering might give your mind an opportunity to wander and take a break from your usual thinking.

Prep for Tomorrow - How many times a day do we feel rushed because we are doing something at the last minute? This week, make yourself a list of things you can do to get yourself ready for the next day, even if it’s just one or two activities. Pack your lunch the night before. Before you leave the office, jot down a quick list of what you want to get done tomorrow, Pick out your clothes, pack your work and gym bag, and prep your breakfast. You’ll be surprised how much more smoothly your morning goes the next day.

Embrace "No" - Sometimes, its okay to say no. Many of us are people pleasers (myself included) and we often find ourselves taking on projects or activities that are not beneficial to ours or others lives. If you’re constantly overextending yourself and it’s affecting your mental well-being, use this week as an excuse to practice saying “no” and see if it doesn’t help your outlook.

Prioritize your time - Embracing “no” leads me to the next tip, prioritize time. Now that you’ve gotten some time back by politely declining activities, be mindful of how you spend that time. How much time do you spend mindlessly checking your phone, your email, your twitter feed? Check out from your screens during set hours each day, or only allow yourself to check your phone at the top of every hour. 

Give Yourself a Break - Treat yourself to a destressing activity that you enjoy. Go for a hike. Read a book. Get a massage. Do nothing.

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2810[high]5: Free Dates in Matthews

On a budget for the summer? Here are 5 FREE dates you can and your plus one can do right here in Matthews. Bonus points if you take a selfie and tag @matthewsbeacon with the #MatthewsDateNight!


PDA in front of PDA - Did you know that the giant heart sculpture outside of Stumptown Park is called “Public Display of Affection”? (If you read this Beacon article from 2018 you do!) What better excuse to demonstrate your affection than to do so in front of iconic Matthews public art piece. (This writer strongly encourages you to keep your PDA rated G).

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Checkers at Country Place Park- You and your better half can enjoy the sunshine and decide once and for all who is the board champion. Country Place Park, near Matthews United Methodist church has 3 tables with checkerboard tops for public use, as well as a pollinator garden and bee themed art. Feel like it’s not a free date because you have to go buy your own checkers pieces? Save yourselves some bottle caps from your not-free-dates and make yourself some bottle cap checkers.

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Walking Tour - Did you know the Matthews has its own FREE self-guided walking tour you can follow? Print out the tour, put on your walking shoes, and take turns narrating the history and culture as you travel around town.

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Lecture at the Library - The library has more to offer than just free books (though that’s still pretty awesome). They also offer opportunities to hear talks on subjects like earth friendly way to greenifying your lawn, how to relax through mindfulness and meditation, or a chance to read, write, and discuss poetry

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Volunteer - One of the best ways to strengthen the bonds of an existing relationship is to commit to a shared activity-like volunteering. Matthews has over 55 nonprofits just registered with the Chamber of Commerce, many of which would eagerly appreciate four extra hands. Help HAWK maintain their garden at Squirrel Lake Park, sort donations at the Matthews Help Center food pantry or help build a home with Greater Matthews Habitat for Humanity

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2810 [high] 5: Homes Away from Home for Your Guests to Stay (That Aren’t Your House)

Summer is the perfect time for vacations. Time for your sister to load up the car with all her kids for a gathering of the cousins, time for your old college roommates to finally make that road trip to come and see you, or time for in-laws to watch the kids for a week or two while they’re out of school. While everyone loves a good reunion, we all need our space sometimes. Perhaps your home is too small for all your guests, or you can only survive a week with your mother-in-law if you have your own space. Either way, these 5 Matthews options will allow your guests to feel right at home while they’re here, even if it’s not in yours.

The Lemmond House Bed & Breakfast: Offer your guests a little sliver of historical Matthews during their stay in the 28105! The Lemmond House Bed & Breakfast is located right on Trade Street, in the heart of downtown Matthews. You may have driven or walked by it many times without ever even knowing it was there (I did!). The Lemmond Family first built the home in the early 1900s and their family remained there through the 1980s. Today it is owned, operated, and continuously renovated by Bill and Connie Clayton. The Bed & Breakfast offers two second-floor guest rooms, each with a private bath equipped with jacuzzi tub and walk-in showers. Breakfast options include french toast, bacon, eggs with cheese, fruit salad, coffee, and juice. Each of the two rooms can be rented for $149 a night and allows for children over the age of 12 (with adult supervision), but no pets. (Images via Owner’s website)

Matthews Manor Charlotte Bed and Breakfast: Beautiful Matthews Manor is located less than half a mile from Squirrel Lake Park and has four lovely rooms available to rent, with prices ranging from $150-$220 a night. The 7,000 square foot home was originally built in 1973 and used to be part of a 52-acre farm. Your out-of-town guests will be able to rent mountain bikes from the Manor for use on the greenway, have access to a kitchen exclusively for guests, a game room with purple-felted pool table, and swimming pool.(Images via Owner’s website)

The BOHOPad Airbnbnb: If your guests are looking for a unique place at a reasonable price, then the BOHOPad is the place for them. Complete with vaulted ceilings, intricate tile work, and brightly colored walls and decor, the BOHOPad is a hidden bohemian gem in Matthews. The home can accommodate up to 6 guests, with one queen bed, two single beds, a sleeper sofa, and two baths for only $84 a night. Guests will have access to the entire home, and if they need something, the Airbnb hosts are only 15 minutes away. Since you are renting the whole hoouse, children are welcome, but your furry friends will have to stay at home. (Images via Owner’s AirBnB)

Gorgeous Guest Home Airbnb: If you only have one or two guests needing a place to stay, this Gorgeous Guest Home may just what is needed. This new Scandinavian-style apartment has one queen bed and is only $85 a night. Kids are more than welcome, and the hosts even offer to provide a pack and play or toys if needed. The apartment is located next to their home, where they reside with their black lab puppy, so they do have a no pet policy. (Images via Owner’s AirBnB)

Three Bedroom House Airbnb: If you have a large group of guests coming to visit (no wonder you don’t want them staying at your place), or they have a pet, this last Airbnb is the choice for them. With three queen-sized bed and 2.5 baths,  this place is a steal for only $65 a night. Plus, the backyard is screened in, so your traveling animal companions will have a place to stretch their legs. (Images via Owner’s AirBnB)

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#ThrowbackThursday: July 12, 2007

With permission, The Beacon is archiving past issues of Matthews Record (also called Matthews News and Record and The Matthews News) articles online. Throwback Thursday articles will include relevant content still facing Matthews today. This story was originally published July 12, 2007 and was written by Janet Denk.

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A Fantastic Fourth

Matthews Town Green is filled with red, white, and blue, as residents celebrate the 4th

Above: Matthew Hasting, age 11, and his service dog, Dusty, await the start of the People’s Parade. The Family Fun Festival was held on the green in front of Matthews Town Hall.

Below: (Top) Kaleb Goodine was in the spirit of the day while waiting for the 4th of July Peoples’ Parade to begin. (Second photo) Kids and parents decorate bikes at the Family Fun Festival. The event was held on the green of Matthews Town Hall. (Third photo) One year old Adam Cassidy awaits the start of the Peoples’ Parade. He is the son of Mike and Cathy Cassidy. (Bottom left) Carrisa Craig of Matties Vending at the concert at Stumptown Park. The event was sponsored by Matthews Parks, Recreational, and Cultural Resource Department, and the Arts and Sciences Council. (Bottom right) Fireworks explode at one of the many neighborhood displays.

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#ThrowbackThursday: August 7, 2008

With permission, The Beacon is archiving past issues of Matthews Record (also called Matthews News and Record and The Matthews News) articles online. Throwback Thursday articles will include relevant content still facing Matthews today. These editorials were originally published August 7, 2008.

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We need our own park that our families can enjoy

First, let me thank you for providing the citizens of the Matthews region an opportunity for residents to have our say over the intended use of the 20+ acres parcel along McKee & Pleasant Plains Rd.

As a resident of Matthews for over 17 years, I have witnessed the declining parcels of farm land deteriorate into new residential subdivisions, apartment complexes, and commercial properties long enough! We must convince the elected officials of the town that we must retain the remaining “green spaces” such as this for neighborhoods to enjoy! I vote no to any proposed “Park & Ride” parking lots, new school, museum, or any other use besides a community park.

While the Town of Matthews begins construction of a new Sportsplex, and enjoys the popularity of the MARA baseball and football fields, and the Siskey YMCA fields, no one can doubt Matthews has a healthy youth sports entertainment industry, however, these are not community parks!

The residnets of the McKee Rd./Weddington Rd./Pleasant Plains Rd. area made a sacrifice to allow the Windsor Run community to be developed. As the most contested rezoning issue in recent memory, the elected officials should consider the hornets’ nest that surrounds this property. Allowing anything other than a park would be undermining the public’s trust!

Many of the residents who rescinded their petitions did so with the understanding that a park would be constructed on this parcel - not a school, not a massive parking area, not another baseball or soccer complex! The residents have to put their trust into our elected leaders to look out for their best interests. The town should follow through with their obligation.

While I personally would love to see an 18-hole par 3 golf course on the property for our golf enthusiasts. I know this isn’t feasible. So why not make it into a neighborhood park similar to Idlewild Road Park or Stallings Park or some of the other neighborhood parks like the City of Charlotte enjoys? Why should we have to drive 5-6 miles to enjoy a day at the park? For nearly 17,000 residents who reside in this area of the town, we need our own park our families can enjoy.

~R. Smith, Matthews

Anything but a park would be wrong and regrettable

I live on the corner of Pleasant Plains and McKee Rd. in the two-story yellow house facing Pleasant Plains Rd. , opposite the donated 20-acre parcel. I vote NO to anything but a park!

I have read many, many articles and comments regarding the LAND and TREES in and around the Matthews area.

I recently read the responses published in the 7/31/08 Matthews Record issue, stating the opinions of several people and what to do with it. I feel that the pond will probably not be kept as part of a park plan because of the concerns regarding drownings. As for the planting of tress…I am not convinced the concern for trees in Matthews is as great as they would have us think.

In order to widen McKee Rd. they will be cutting down ALL the trees, including a 100+ year old tree. To put a turning lane off Pleasant Plains Rd. onto McKee Rd., they will be cutting down another 100+ year old tree, when they could, instead do the turn lane in such to avoid cutting down this tree.

I do realize that since the detour started because of Weddington Rd. shut-down, there have been a great many cars needing to turn left onto McKee Rd. off Pleasant Plains. So-o-o, there is a panic situation to get the turning lane done, NOW! Isn’t anyone thinking logically? Prior to Weddington Rd., shutdown there were not that many cars “lined up” to make that turn. (I know, I have lived here for over 10 years.) And the number of cars will decrease drastically after Weddington Rd. re-opens.

Leave the trees at Squirrel Lake!

There is plenty of open space at the corner of Pleasant Plains and McKee for a park, playground, a place to run & play, to picnic, to fly a kite, etc. If we wanted to live in a “concrete jungle” we would move to one. At least New York has Central Park.

~Patricial Willis, Matthews

The charm and appeal of land is too valuable to develop

Living in the Providence Hills neighborhood across from the Fincher farmland has afforded us many picturesque views (aside from the power lines) of the cows, the pond with it’s variety of waterfowl and even the old lean-to that has its own charm and appeal. It is so sad to see this property be gobbled up by development. We would like to see the Town of Matthews turn the 20 acres being donated into some sort of park, perhaps even with a stage and band shell to hold concerts and festivals that seem to be outgrowing Stumptown Park.

As for the pond, heaven forbid they fill it in! Not only would we miss the beauty of the summer sun as it glints off the water and the cool, quiet reflection of the occasional winter snow, but so many animals would miss its presence as well. Gone would be the Canadian geese, the ducks, the beautiful Egrets and even the odd looking Turkey Vultures. It would be great if they could incorporate the pond into whatever the new use of this property ends up being.

On a side note, every day that we get to see the cows grazing is such a treat to my family and we can’t help but be curious as to what will happen to them after the sale is completed. Could The Matthews Record do a little public interest article about the Fincher family or at least what they will do with their cows after they move?

~Mrs. Carla Norman

Preserve it now because once it’s gone…it’s gone

We MUST preserve the 20-acre parcel of land that has been donated to the town. Let’s keep our small town-feel and show our appreciation for one of the only spaces that we have left to relax and enjoy nature. We need the trees, the birds, the owls, the deer, the beavers, and all of the creatures that live there to be part of our village, too, because once it’s gone…it’s GONE!!!

~MNF, Matthews

#ThrowbackThursday: June 25, 2009

With permission, The Beacon is archiving past issues of Matthews Record (also called Matthews News and Record and The Matthews News) articles online. Throwback Thursday articles will include relevant content still facing Matthews today. This story was originally published June 25, 2009 and was written by Janet Denk.

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Greenway moves forward

County Commissioners will decide in July, construction could begin in September

The Matthews Board voted Monday night to fund the Four-Mile Creek Greenway project that has been stalled due to county budget cutbacks.

On July 7 the Mecklenburg County Board will vote on the amended contract which would allow Matthews to pay for the project and be reimbursed when the voter approved Parks Bonds are sold.

Construction could begin as soon as September.

“September is the goal for construction to begin,” said an excited Julie Clark, County Greenway Planner.

“We’re thrilled that the Town of Matthews has stepped forward with the funding arrangement.”

The success of Four Mile Creek Greenway comes from a variety of sources, making it a true community effort. Approved back in 2005, the linear park will add green space, connectivity, and walking opportunities to an area increasingly besieged by vehicular growth and rapid development. Several hurdles including personal property concerns by adjacent land owners; county budget cuts and conflicting approaches to the design stalled the project.

But it’s back on the beam, due to a financing option by RBC bank, which helped the town take advantage of lower construction costs, in the current economy.

Town officials have been marking all the neighborhood pathways with signs.

The parkway will run from East John Street to Brenham Lane and from the confluence of Four Mile Creek north to the old Public Works building near Matthews Elementary School.

The County is responsible for the section from East John Street to Brenham Lane, which will include a boardwalk, paved trail, neighborhood entrances, and three pedestrian bridges.

The Town is responsible for the linear park from the old Public Works building north to South Trade street, including connection to the school.

#ThrowbackThursday: May 25, 2006 Town Manager Proposes New Budget

With permission, The Beacon is archiving past issues of Matthews Record (also called The Matthews News & Record and The Matthews News) articles online. Throwback Thursday articles will include relevant content still facing Matthews today. This article was originally published May 25, 2006 and was written by Jessica Otto and Janet Denk.

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Last week we published the top article on this page, now let’s look at the town budget 13 years ago.

Town Manager Proposes New Budget for ‘06 - ‘07

Sparsely populated for a public gathering, Monday’s Town Board meeting included, among other things, the Town Manager’s Budget Recommendations for the fiscal year 2006-2007. Town Manager Hazen Blodgett, along with Assistant Manager Kay Plyler, Management Assistant Stuart Turille and Finance Director Christine Surratt, showed members of the Board that Matthews is in very good fiscal shape.

“This is a status quo budget,” Blodgett reported. “The Town has a healthy fund balance and there’s money in the bank.”

With a budget just over $16 million, balancing all the elements can be a bit harrowing. But, as Board members emphasized at the meeting, the proposals are well thought out and constructed and they have great faith in Blodgett’s expertise. The budget will be officially adopted on June 12.

Two new elements this year include a Town Vision Plan which was adopted last year and a Performance Measurement program which helps with financial accountability and effectiveness within each department. Thus far, the elements have enhanced the process.

The budget accounts for all the services the Town provides to its citizens. Property taxes are levied on land, buildings, and income-producing personal property. The amount of tax is based on the assessed value of the property and the tax rate. Residents of Matthews continue to enjoy a current rate of 30.75 cents per $100 valuation.

Town Council meetings are held the second and fourth Mondays at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 232 Matthews Station Street.

Projected Expenditures:

39% Public Safety
27% General Government
16% Transportation and Public Works
12% Environment, Health, Sanitation
6% Cultural & Recreation

#ThrowbackThursday: May 25, 2006

With permission, The Beacon is archiving past issues of Matthews Record (also called The Matthews News & Record and The Matthews News) articles online. Throwback Thursday articles will include relevant content still facing Matthews today. This article was originally published May 25, 2006 and was written by Jessica Otto and Janet Denk.

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Remembering Fallen Heroes

Memorial Day: Movement began nearly one hundred years ago as a tribute to those who died in battle

The yellow “Live Strong” bracelet and pink breast cancer awareness ribbon both owe a debt of gratitude for their marketing genius to a movement that began nearly one hundred years ago as a Memorial Day tribute to fallen heroes.

In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

Then, the idea came to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during the war. She sold poppies to her friends and coworkers, with the money going to benefit the servicemen in need. The movement spread, and soon real and artificial poppies were being worn all over the world.

“Decoration Day” was officially proclaimed on May 5th, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Twenty years later, the name was changed to Memorial day.

President Richard Nixon declared it a federal holiday in 1971, and Memorial Day is now observed on the last Monday in May. Over time it has become an occasion to honor the men and women who died in all wars.

To see the monument built to honor those who served in WWII, the only 20th century event commemorated on the Washington, DC National Mall’s central axis, visit

Losing Canopy, Gaining Density: Trees in Matthews

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There’s no doubt about it, the number of mature trees is a source of pride for Matthews. Mature trees increase property value, clean the air, and even increase feelings of well-being. With it’s dense canopy, Matthews has been part of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA for 19 years.

As available land decreases, high-density housing is the urban planning fix. With that comes tree loss.

How does Matthews protect its tree canopy?

The Appearance and Tree Advisory Committee provides the opportunity for residents to work together and make recommendations to the town concerning trees. The group meets the third Monday of every month at 7:00 p.m. at the Matthews Community Center, and regularly presents their discussions and findings to the Board of Commissioners at Council meetings.

The Town has documents and mechanisms in place for environmentally-friendly growth as well. Tree Protection and Landscaping Regulations is a 23-page section of the Unified Development Ordinance sets standards and regulations to protect the tree canopy during development.

Depending on the zoning code, developers are required to save 5% or more of the tree canopy. According to the Unified Development Ordinance, R-12 and R-20 have the highest tree save at 20%, and HUC, C-MF, TS  have the lowest at 5%. In comparison, Charlotte has a 15% tree save for all commercial development. In residential areas, if the lot has 10% tree coverage then at least 10% must be saved. If the coverage is less than 10% but greater than 5%, then 5% must be saved.

In November 2017, after approval by the Matthews Board of Commissioners, the Town added a Payment-In-Lieu of Fee for tree save. If the property cannot be developed and maintain minimum tree save requirements, the developer must provide proof of hardship to the Town. Once approved, the In-Lieu of Fee is calculated using the tax value and acreage and set aside in a Tree Canopy Fund. The Fund is primarily used for the installation and maintenance of trees on public property. In the event any of the commercial tree save area cannot be protected, trees must be re-planted at 150 percent of the area removed.

Charlotte also has an In-Lieu-Of fee, though their program is slightly different and only available to commercial development. The Pay-In-Lieu monies are pooled and the City purchases wooded areas that will be permanently protected. As of 2016, 65 acres have been purchased, including 15 acres near the McAlpine Creek Greenway. According to one report (2016) the City averages $160,000 a month payment in lieu of.

Current Development and Trees in Matthews

Per town records and approved rezoning projects (found here), eleven residential projects have been approved between February 2017 and April 2019. The largest of those include:

  • Proffitt Dixon (Old 51/Matthews Mint Hill Road): Zoned ENT, 35.50 acres, +/- 7.06-acre tree save;

  • Bainbridge (Old 51/Matthews Mint Hill Road): Zoned R-12MF (CD), 30.752  acres, 4.79 acres tree save;

  • Four Corners Subdivision (Sam Newell and Keziah Road):  Zoned R-VS and SRN and R-15 (CD), 26.73 acres and 3.2-acre tree save;

  • Taft Development (Monroe Road): Zoned R-12 MF (CD) 21.450 AC and a committed 3.22 acres of tree save, though that did not actually happen.

Those four projects total 114.432 acres with a 18.27-acre tree save. Including the other projects, over 177 acres were rezoned.  According to plans, the approximate tree save for these projects is just under 27 acres.

How Do We Prevent or Correct Mistakes?

After Taft Development cleared the tree save area on Monroe Road for the future Residences Galleria, tree preservation has been a hot topic in town. How does Matthews enforce rezoning and tree save agreements?

According to the Town of Matthews’ Unified Development Ordinance (pages 2-12 and 2-13) violations of the tree protection or landscaping provisions approved by the Town is subject to any one or combination of penalties. Penalties are in addition to, and not in lieu of, compliance to all requirements and payment of any financial penalties. One such penalty calculates damages at two dollars ($2.00) per square foot for area damaged or destroyed, not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

Destruction or removal of a tree greater than twelve inches (12”) DBH without prior Town approval may be subject to a civil penalty. The amount is determined using the value of the tree as listed in the most current edition of The Guide for Plant Appraisal, published by the International Society of Arboriculture in conjunction with information provided by the ISA’s Southern Chapter.

Another penalty for not following the UDO by posting a Landscape Guarantee bond, having it approved, then failing to plant the required trees and shrubs as agreed upon with the town can incur a “fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00) per tree or shrub not installed, per day of ongoing violation. The fine is due within ten (10) days of the citation, and is not to exceed twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) per day of violation.” (UDO 155.214. E..4., page 2 - 14)

How do Matthews’ penalties compare to Charlotte? Charlotte's Tree Ordinance includes an additional criminal penalty for Tree Ordinance violations: “Any person who knowingly or willfully violates any section of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor and may, upon conviction thereof, be subject to punishment as provided in section 2-21. This remedy is in addition to any civil penalties that may be assessed.” An additional planting requirement may also be assessed as a nonmonetary penalty.

It’s difficult to determine the percentage of tree cover pre-development from the site plans available on the Town website.

What is apparent? At the current rate of development in Matthews, maintaining the dense, mature tree coverage looks to be a difficult task.

2810[top]5: Five Pieces of Beacon

The Beacon celebrates 6 months strong this week, and we took the opportunity to revisit our intentions. Presenting: Five Pieces of Beacon—a glimpse into what we cover and why we cover it. Which characteristic resonates most with you?

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Matthews is Giving. With hundreds of nonprofits in Matthews, the support for philanthropy is significant.

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Matthews is Community: Through togetherness, whether familial or neighborly, recognizing and recovering the lost art of sharing the untold stories of the people around us.

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Matthews is History: We embrace and explore the town’s rich history, celebrate our agricultural roots, reflect on our segregated past, and examine the uncharted growth carrying Matthews forward.

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Matthews is Engaged: Local government is accessible to the people, for the people.

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Matthews is Enriching: From environmental initiatives and personal hobbies to cultural activities, people enjoy learning and doing.

#ThrowbackThursday: June 15, 2006

With permission, The Beacon is archiving past issues of Matthews Record (also called Matthews News and Record and The Matthews Record) articles online. Throwback Thursday articles will include relevant content still facing Matthews today. This story was originally published June 15, 2006 and was written by Janet Denk.

Town leaders on Monday night overwhelmingly supported a plan to work and build a regional Sportsplex facility, in partnership with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department, on land at Independence and I-485.

The nearly 160-acre area, owned by the County, is adjacent to property in Matthews referred to as the “Small Area Plan” which has been earmarked, since 1999, for a mixed-use development that would include business, residential and recreational facilities.

Money for the project would come from the Occupancy and Prepared Food Tax.

“This is a solid source of funding,” Town Manager Hazen Blodgett said, “because the folks who use it will be the ones who pay for it.”

A $25 million bond referendum approved by voters in November 2004, and to be used by 2007, includes $8 million for partnership projects such as this one set before Matthews. Matthews proposes to commit $2 million to the project.

The project is still in conceptual phase, though submitting an application was imperative this week. Areas all over Mecklenburg County will be submitting proposals, so the The Town Manager, along with the Parks Department, the Planning Department and the Town Commissioners, were scrambling to get the process underway. A special public meeting was held before last week’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan Workshop.

Currently both Cary and Greensboro have high quality soccer complexes but the Charlotte region is lacking. The plan, bu the County, is to design a state-of-the-art regional facility to compete for tourism dollars with associated field team sports.

“This is huge,” said Matthews Parks, Recreation and Cultural Department Director Geralynn Trellue. “We’re not thinking, ‘Just Matthews. Or just soccer.’ We’re thinking of the bigger picture. That means maximum use for this, almost 300-acre area.”

The fact that the facility will be run by the County and used more than 80% by local citizens makes the project attractive for many. The NCAA, ACC and other tournaments will make this a solid attraction. The Keith Corporation of Charlotte has committed to developing a family-entertainment complex within the proposed area, which would include hotels, restaurants and much more.

“We want to support this idea and get things underway so it can become an economic drive for the community,” said Blodgett whose Budget for fiscal year 2006-7 was adopted at last Monday’s meeting.

Brendon Pierce, of the Keith Corporation, shared information about comparable facilities and has worked several years on projects such as this. He comments Matthews’ involvement. This is the ideal land for this type of project,” he explained.

Town Commissioner Bill Dixon, who worked on the Parks and Recreation Board when this idea first came through in 2000, voted along with his colleagues in favor of the project. However, he urged caution. “Let’s avoid the slippery slope,” he said with regard to the debt service on such an ambitious project. “Are we okay in that department?” he glanced at Blodgett. The Town Manager returned a very comfortable nod in the affirmative.

2810[top]5: Barns Around Matthews

One of the charms of Matthews, apparent by the continued success of Renfrow Hardware, is the remnants of the farm community it once was. While farmland becomes housing tracts, there are still symbols of the past dotted throughout the community.

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McEwan Moore Farmhouse: Built in 1887, probably moved to its current location. Designated historic site, currently owned by LibertyHealthcare Properties of North Carolina LLC.

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The Howie Barn:
Built in 1977 by Jack Riley using lumber from the Howie Gold mine

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The Overcash Barn: Presumably built circa 1921, at the same time as the home next to it. The barn sits on a parcel rezoned in 2018 (application 2017-663) and now owned by Willton-BB Matthews Owner LLC. The property was approved to become a 350 unit multifamily development.


The Helms Farm: This farmland was bought in the 40s from the Stillwell family, originally owned by the Harkeys. The barns were probably built around the same time.

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Hickory Hill Barn: There’s little on public record about this structure, but probably was built around 1960.

2810[top]5: Instagrams to Follow

We don’t get around to Instagramming as much as we should (please follow us!), but as far as branding goes, no one can deny the importance of the square format photo. Here are five of our favorite accounts to follow.

adrienne hess photo insta.jpg

@adriennehessphoto’s clean styling makes for gorgeous #eyecandy from this Matthews-based product photographer.

reason insta.jpg (a Hyperlocal participant) shares the process of her #handmade jewelry.

pet paradise insta.jpg

@petparadisematthews: because sometimes a #pitty #noseboop is all you need.

renfrow farms insta.jpg

@renfrowfarms provides #sunshine and #urbanfarming all year long.

matthews farmers market.jpg

@matthews_market keeps you updated on what’s growing #locally.

Late Winter Blooms: A Photoessay

The winter really hasn’t been a harsh one, just cold bursts here and there, but by the time February rolls around I’m 100% ready for spring. Some of the flowers are, too.

The daffodils are already nodding their cheery faces as if to beckon warmer days. The dandelions and dead nettle are keeping the bees fed while hellebores and camellias are brightening shady corners. Meanwhile the pansies (and their more demure cousin, wild violet) are still in full display all over town.