MATTHEWS – The Matthews Board of Commissioners voted 5-2 on March 13 to approve the Santé Matthews rezoning, which will create a mixed-use community with more than 500 homes on 83 acres at 14704 Idlewild Road.
Dissenting votes came from commissioners Gina Hoover and Mark Tofano, who expressed concerns about the public’s right to speak at public hearings. Some residents wanted additional opportunities to speak to the board about the project during meetings.
Hoover read a letter from an outside organization that questioned the public hearing process. Mayor John Higdon said the process has been in place in Matthews for more than 50 years. Other commissioners said they reviewed a lot of community feedback about the project.
Those in favor of the rezoning mentioned many benefits to the proposal from Pappas Properties, including traffic improvements, 24 attainable housing units and extra buffer to the adjacent community.
Some have mentioned the possibility of the property being developed by-right if the proposal was not approved. That scenario may have led to a less desirable project.
“We are appreciative of the Matthews Board of Commissioners, Matthews staff and all the Matthews and surrounding area community members for the numerous meetings and for working with us to create the best plan for this area,” said Tom Walsh, managing director of Pappas Properties. “We believe Santé Matthews will be an amenity and benefit the Matthews community.”
The project is slated to begin construction in the second quarter of 2024.
Officials with Pappas Properties said they were going to rename the project and apologized for any confusion with the popular Santé restaurant in town.
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