Residents upset about proposed development: 'I believe it's a slow march to the death for Matthews'

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Matthews is booming with new development, but one project, in particular, has neighbors fired up.

A space near the entrance to the Four Mile Creek Greenway on Trade Street has been untouched for years, and now, a developer wants to cram it with new homes.

"I believe the integrity of Matthews as a village is at stake,” said Mark Tufano, who lives near the greenway.

Tofano is concerned his street could soon look like any other cramped development in Charlotte.

"If the board decides to progress with this rezoning plan, I believe it's a slow march to the death for Matthews,” Tufano said.

Many families move to Matthews because of its charm.

Its older, historic homes are sprinkled around the town center, so residents say this dense development that would add a new street and 13 homes is too much.

"Seems like a fairly bad idea,” Matthews resident Danne Miller said.

Town leaders will vote on the rezoning approval on Monday.

Channel 9 dug through campaign records and discovered the mayor and three of the town's six commissioners have already accepted money that could affect the vote.

"We'll take a look at everything and see how it shakes out,” Matthews Mayor Paul Bailey said.

Channel 9 reporter Mark Barber asked the mayor how that process will be fair if he and three of the other commissioners accepted money in the last election from the developer.

'Well, I think we get money from developers because they want to have a seat at the table,” Bailey said.

Bailey said he poured in $15,000 of his own money into his campaign, so he isn't going to be swayed by $500.

"I want to do this job for the town of Matthews. That's why I'm here,” Bailey said.

Some neighbors are skeptical of the mayor’s intentions.

"Seems a little suspicious at the least,” Miller said. “It doesn't sound good at all."

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