A developer wants to build up to 105 homes on 55 acres at the intersection of West Lake and Ten-Ten roads and make the development part of Cary.
The largely vacant land is currently under the jurisdiction of Wake County and is zoned for up to 1.45 homes per acre.
On April 22, developer Bruce Herbert of Raleigh-based ReliaBuilt asked the Cary Town Council to annex the 55 acres and zone it to allow for 2 homes per acre. Per procedure, the council referred the request to Cary’s Planning and Zoning Board, which will make a recommendation in the next month or two before it comes back to the council for a vote.
The intersection of Ten-Ten and West Lake roads is perhaps best known as an access point for those going to one of four schools – Middle Creek Elementary, West Lake Elementary, West Lake Middle and Middle Creek High – which are clustered together about a mile south on West Lake Road.
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The proposal drew a crowd of nearly 50 people to the public hearing on April 22, 10 of whom spoke about the project. Few speakers opposed development on the site. Most said they hope developers will tweak the project before moving forward.
Ten-Ten Road still has a rural feel, with tobacco and soy fields abutting spacious subdivisions in some places. Patty Scardino said three new homes would abut her property on Summer Oaks Drive if the development goes forward.
“If they want to have smller lots on the corner of Ten-Ten and West Lake or in the interior of the subdivision, that’s fine,” Scardino said. “But we would like to see larger lots that are adjacent to ours.”
The proposed neighborhood would connect to roads in surrounding communities in accordance with Cary’s road connectivity policies. But some residents, such as Lisa Adamson on Summer Oaks Drive, said the roads already are in bad shape and might not be able to accommodate more cars on them.
“The road is practically all broken up,” Adamson said of South Pointe Drive.
She also spoke about the proposed density.
“I just don’t want to see my neighborhood changed,” Adamson said. “It’d be nice to have neighbors, but I don’t want them in my face.”
More than 20 people stood up in the Cary Town Council chambers to show solidarity when resident Joe Mangino spoke. Mangino lives on Meadowview Court, which is northwest of the development site.
“We just want it to blend with our beautiful, rural neighborhoods,” he said.
The Cary Town Council has made a concerted effort to keep residential density down over the past year, citing the need to preserve road and school capacities.
But none of the four schools off West Lake road are over capacity to the point of needing enrollment caps. And generally, council members support proposals for subdivisions with 3 homes per acre or less – something Herbert said he was keenly aware of when crafting his proposal.
“I’m familiar with the conversations that the council has had with respect to lot sizes and low-density zoning cases,” he said. “This zoning is consistent with the spirit of those conversations.”
Herbert is offering to make several compromises as part of his proposal.
He’s offering to build the subdivision so that the average lot size is at least 12,500 square feet. He’s proposing to build an additional lane on north Lawdraker Road, which runs perpendicular to Ten-Ten Road to the west of the development site. And he’s proposing to build a right-turn lane on east-bound Ten-Ten where it meets West Lake.
Michael Caron, who co-owns part of the 55 acre property, said it’s a responsible proposal that the council should approve.
“Rising property taxes on large pieces of unused land have become prohibitive to keep,” Caron said. “We feel (the builder) is bringing you a solid plan for use of this property and is keeping with the high value of the area.”