Some neighbors are upset about Fuquay-Varina’s plans to build a service center near their homes.
The service center, which would be on a 16-acre site on Holland Road, would house the town’s solid waste, public utilities and parks and recreation workers. It would have stations to wash, refuel and work on vehicles.
About a dozen people who live on Apple Meadow Drive and Mayfair Wood Drive attended a public hearing of the Fuquay-Varina Planning Board on Monday night to protest the plans.
After hearing residents’ concerns, the planning board decided to put off its decision until at least next month.
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Some neighbors said they would have to deal with noise, lights, traffic and smells coming from the service center. They worried they wouldn’t have a way to hold town leaders accountable, since they live outside town limits and can’t vote in Fuquay-Varina municipal elections.
“We would respectfully request that another site be considered, in the city limits,” said Rex Tracy, who has lived in the area nearly 20 years.
The Holland Road site near Purfoy Road was chosen because it will likely become the central part of town as Fuquay-Varina grows outward, said Jay Meyers, public works director.
He said the town needs to have all of its service vehicles in one place to increase efficiency, and that would be possible at the Holland Road site.
“We’re sensitive to the fact that there’s a neighborhood close by,” Meyers said, adding that the town already held one public hearing this month to hear complaints and concerns.
The town would include a buffer that is double the normal width required, said Myers and Town Planner Samantha Ficzko Smith. Special shields on lights would direct beams downward and away from nearby homes, they said.
The site would also be designed so trucks would almost always be moving forward, to cut down on the loud beeping when they drive in reverse.
Meyers also sought to assuage fears about odors, assuring residents that no actual garbage will be on site since trash and recycling trucks drop off their loads elsewhere before coming in to be washed down.
But Bobby Russell, who lives in the area, said he worked in Fayetteville’s service center and saw many trucks come in with garbage even though they weren’t supposed to.
He said he was worried the service center would further affect property values, since the neighbors already lost a battle to a concrete plant nearby.
“At 5 o’clock in the morning we hear trucks backing up, conveyor belts running,” Tracy said of the plant. “It’s just very noisy, and we would prefer not to add to that.”
Jessica Gregory, a 26-year-old who just bought a home in the area with her new husband, was also concerned about property values.
She said they hoped to live there until their family was bigger and in need of a bigger home – but that it might not be possible if they won’t be able to make a profit selling their current house.
“I’m just terrified that this will decrease what I and my husband have worked so very hard for,” she said.
Cindy Sheldon, chairwoman of the planning board and a former member of the Fuquay-Varina Board of Commissioners, said she fully supported rezoning the site to allow for the service center because she didn’t think it would leave the neighborhood any worse off than it already is.
“Someone said, ‘Would you buy a house across the street from a service center?’ ” Sheldon said. “I would. But I would not buy a house across the street from a concrete plant.”
However, her fellow board members said they wanted to look into at least requiring stricter buffer rules before voting on whether to recommend the rezoning.
The Fuquay-Varina Town Council will consider the planning board’s recommendation when voting to approve or deny the rezoning application.