Apex OKs rezoning for high-priced homes near Jordan Lake

aramos@newsobserver.comAugust 23, 2013 


— About 108 acres of rural land off Green Level West Road will become a high-priced housing development, despite protests from neighbors.

The Apex Town Council agreed to rezone the property Tuesday.

Some residents of nearby Castleberry Road said they worried about increased density, loss of wildlife and potential effects on Castlebury Lake and Jordan Lake. About 25 people who opposed the project showed up to Tuesday’s public hearing in green shirts with the words “Castleberry Rural Resident” across the front.

This part of extreme western Wake County has about one home per acre. The new zoning for the high-end development will allow multiple homes per acre.

“It’s not consistent with our neighborhood,” said Tom Kendig. “We have a rural community. Yet they want to bring intensive development.”

But residents’ concerns didn’t dissuade the council, which voted unanimously to rezone the property from rural residential to low-density conditional.

Developer Standard Pacific of the Carolinas agreed to conditions that address density and infrastructure. The minimum lot size will be 10,000 square feet. The developer will: help pay for a regional sewage pump station; install sewer lines and a smaller pump station in the Castleberry area; and pay for repairs and a study of the Castlebury Lake dam.

Standard Pacific will put in about $2 million to $3 million in infrastructure, said Tom Beebe, director of land acquisition for the company.

Of the 108 acres on the Wake County side of the development – seven are in Chatham County – only about 75 acres is developable, Beebe said. About 25 to 30 acres will be set aside for wetlands, buffers, roads and open space.

The subdivision will have about 135 homes with an average price of about $530,000, he said. Home sizes will range from 3,100 square feet to 5,000 square feet.

“It’s going to have lots of space, beautiful homes, and we’re going to protect that lake,” Beebe said.

Longtime Castleberry Road resident Patti Gamin is among those selling her property to Standard Pacific. She said the housing development is better than the sewage treatment plant that was once proposed for the area.

“I’m as big a tree hugger as they are,” Gamin said of her neighbors opposing the project. “But, you have to be realistic. With N.C. 540 and with (Research Triangle Park). that whole area is hot.”

The development will help meet a housing need in Apex, said Councilman Gene Schulze.

He said he has talked to people who have moved out of Apex because they couldn’t find larger homes to meet the needs of their growing families.

“You are not going to have no impact,” Schulze said. “But it’s going to have a reasonable impact.”

Even with the lot size restrictions, Kendig still doesn’t think the development is a good fit for his neighborhood, which includes a vineyard.

He wishes Apex would stick to its land-use plan, which calls for keeping the area rural.

“We count on the land-use plan,” Kendig said. “It’s what we looked at when we decided to buy our homes.”

Ramos: 919-460-2609

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