South Charlotte

Idlewild home named 'historic'

Matthews commissioners have designated the Barnum and Sara Sustare House, at 13700 Idlewild Road, an Historic Landmark.

That means current owners, Stuart Phelps and Charity Hope Brown Phelps, can apply for an automatic deferral of 50 percent of their property taxes as long as the home holds the historic landmark status. A letter from the Mecklenburg County Assessor's office says based on the current tax rate and property value, the Phelps are eligible to apply for almost $1,800 in deferred taxes from Mecklenburg County and the town of Matthews.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Landmark Commission's Stuart Gray says the Queen Anne style home, built around 1899, is a rare remaining example of a turn-of-the-century farm house in a rural environment. Before the middle of the 20th century, Gray says these sorts of homes on large tracks of land were prevalent in the Matthews area.

He says the house is also significant because it demonstrates the skill of a professional builder and the extensive use of store bought mill work.

Original owner Barnum Sustare was well known in the Matthews community. He was a trustee and stockholder in the Bank of Matthews and served for many years as a town aldermen and member of the school board.

He helped organize Mount Harmony Church and later built a recreational and entertainment center in Matthews known as Sustares. That complex consisted of a swimming pool, refreshment stand, faux beach, and a place to dance and listen to music.

In other business, commissioners held a lengthy discussion on changing recycling containers to roll-out bins, changing recycling pickup to bi-weekly, and extending the contract with waste hauler Republic Services, Inc. for three more years. Commissioner Kress Query expressed concern about decline in the quality of service citing several problems he and his neighbors experienced in recent weeks.

The Board voted to defer the decision until May 9 when Republic officials can be on hand to answer questions.

Commissioners also:

Acknowledged the presentation by the local chapter of Woodmen of the World of an American flag and money for a new flagpole for the Matthews Fire Department.

Recognized retiring town employee Cecilia Estey

Approved a change in conditions on Souder Business Park, at 1100-1200 Sam Newell Road to allow more flexibility in uses by tenants. The applicant must submit a landscape plan and do additional landscaping as part of the approval.