The Town of Cary’s 25-year vision plan for its eastern gateway, an area that could one day be home to North Carolina’s first Wegmans Food Market, began to move through the adoption process Sept. 20.
The Cary Town Council held a public hearing on the Eastern Cary Gateway Special Planning Area. The plan covers about 800 acres bordered by Chapel Hill Road to the north, Interstate 40 to the east, Cary Towne Center to the south and Maynard Road to the west. It was drafted as part of Imagine Cary, an effort to prepare a new community plan to guide growth through 2040.
For this area, council members have stressed high intensity and high density with a mix of retail, office and residential to create a walkable destination with opportunities to live, work and play.
The town’s planning and zoning board will consider the plan next at its Oct. 17 meeting before the Eastern Cary Gateway SPA returns to the council for consideration on Nov. 10.
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The council decided to expedite the adoption process of the planning area – and separately from the rest of the community plan – in April amid developer interest in the area. Town staff have since tweaked it based on input from the council and prominent stakeholders, like Cary Towne Center and Triangle Aquatic Center.
“We’ve put a lot of work into focusing on this area because it is an important part of the community, and there are development proposals waiting in the wings,” said Jeff Ulma, the town’s planning director.
The plan is centered around a 90-acre state-owned property off Cary Towne Boulevard, where the council imagines a destination center with “high density, intensive employment uses mixed with supportive commercial and residential uses,” integrated together with little surface parking that complements Cary Towne Center across the street.
Only two people spoke at the public hearing, including Cary resident Andrea Hill, who asked that the town preserve as many trees and as much park space as possible during the development or redevelopment of these sites.
“I know you have plans for greenway, and I hope you will also keep in mind for the mixed use and the businesses that go in there, people want some place to go walk during lunch,” she said.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608, @KTrogdon