Inverness gets a 'go' in Garner

Inverness gets a 'go' in Garner

Staff WriterAugust 17, 2005 

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CORRECTION

An article Wednesday in the City & State about the approval of a plan for Inverness subdivision in Garner erred in stating that Michael Stewart of Stewart-Proctor Engineering & Surveying was referring to himself when he said, "I admire the developer's perseverance." Stewart was referring to Joseph Grissom, the developer responsible for the project.

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GARNER -- The Garner Board of Aldermen voted 3-2 Tuesday night to approve a modified plan for a subdivision in north Garner.

The vote was a reversal of fortunes for Stewart-Proctor Engineering & Surveying of Raleigh, the developer behind the Inverness proposal to build a cluster of single-family homes off Creech Road.

The board voted 4-1 against the original Inverness project when more than 40 nearby residents attended last month's meeting to oppose the project.

But Stewart-Proctor submitted a revised plan in an attempt to alleviate aldermen's concerns. On Tuesday night, only 11 residents showed up to oppose the new plan.

The original Inverness proposal envisioned 53 lots on 19.8 acres. That proposal met the town's development requirements, but board members cited public safety and environmental concerns in denying the request.

Stewart-Proctor's revised proposal decreased the number of lots from 53 to 43. It also removed a proposed extension of Curtiss Drive into the subdivision and set aside about 5 acres of land between the development and Curtiss Drive.

Aldermen Phil Matthews and Gra Singleton cited those changes as the reasons for changing their votes.

The Curtiss Drive extension had been a particularly contentious issue for residents who feared it would create a cut-through and lead to more speeding in surrounding neighborhoods.

The approved proposal includes one entrance, along Creech Road, which will be widened on both sides to accommodate a left turn lane into the development.

The change didn't appease all of the project's neighbors.

"Creech Road has too much traffic as it is now," said David Watson, who lives across the street from the proposed site. "We're still opposed to it."

Alderman Ronnie Williams agreed, saying he voted against the project because of concern about existing traffic on Creech Road.

Michael Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Proctor, said Inverness homes will be in the $220,000 to $250,000 range and have a minimum of 2,100 square feet. He said he expects construction to start by the beginning of next year.

Tuesday's narrow victory marked the end to a laborious process for the developer. Both of Stewart-Proctor's proposals were recommended for approval by the town's planning board. An original vote on the project was postponed after residents complained they hadn't been properly notified about the first public hearing.

"I admire the developer's perseverance," Stewart said about himself.

Staff writer David Bracken can be reached at 829-4548 or dbracken@newsobserver.com.

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