If you could add something unique to Matthews, what would it be?
A water fountain or more public art, a public plaza or more equipment in the parks, an outdoor amphitheatre or perhaps something no one has even imagined?
In celebration of National Community Planning Month, the Matthews planning staff is giving you the opportunity in October to submit your ideas for display in Matthews Town Hall.
They hope this exercise, called “Your Ideal Matthews – What Does It Look Like?” will spark imaginations across the town, getting folks to think about the importance of town planning.
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The Matthews Planning Department is involved in virtually all aspects of land development, including zoning, roads, environmental issues and plan approval. They also are responsible for long-range plans, including the Comprehensive Land Use plan looking forward 10 years, the Vision Statements drawn up with guidance from residents, the Bicycle Plan and Downtown Master Plan.
They deal with day-to-day issues and questions such as “Where can I build a storage building in my backyard?” and weightier matters such as guiding design and development of large subdivisions.
The Planning Department also works with the Board of Adjustment, a citizen board that can make exceptions to the town ordinance when needed, and the Planning Board, another citizen board that makes recommendations to commissioners about zonings, site plans and other land use matters.
Planning Director Kathi Ingrish and her staff are responsible for seeing that communication is effective among builders, developers, commissioners, residents and others who have a stake in Matthews.
“We want Matthews to be a great place to live, work, play, shop, and just enjoy life. It's important that lines of communication are kept open and that there is coordination between all parties involved,” Ingrish said.
She hopes folks will think about their town and the new features they would like to see. Then she encourages them to draw, take a picture, build a model, or use whatever medium they would like, and bring it in for display.
And, she says, it's OK if the idea is out of the box.
“If you don't have an idea, a direction, a vision, you'll never know if you're reaching toward it. Sometimes you have to have something that seems unattainable to make things happen. Ten years ago the Sportsplex seemed far-fetched. Now, it's getting closer all the time,” Ingrish said.