Discussions involving a proposed development at the intersection of Green Level Church and Carpenter Fire Station roads in west Cary that sparked resident concerns and a petition will continue between the applicant and neighbors.
Property owners William and Billie Mills are seeking to rezone 6.35 acres at 7711 Carpenter Fire Station Road from residential to office and institutional. Five buildings would be constructed for offices, along with a maximum 186-child day care center. The three one-story buildings and two two-story buildings would range in size from 7,500 to 13,500 square feet.
On Thursday, Sept. 24, the Cary Town Council held a public hearing on the project’s comprehensive plan amendment, annexation and rezoning proposal. All three items were referred to the town’s planning and zoning board for consideration.
Five residents attended the meeting to represent more than 250 residents in the Amberly and Cary Park neighborhoods who signed a petition expressing their concerns with the development that could be built next to their neighborhoods at the southwest corner of the intersection.
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“(The petition) clearly states that we are not opposing this development,” said Mary Lee, who lives in Cary Park. “It does say that we have concerns, but we also have solutions.”
The 12 Amberly and Cary Park residents, including Lee, who created the petition, listed concerns about traffic, noise and environmental impacts, as well as negative effects on property values.
Since the petition was circulated among residents, Lee said she and several others had met with William and Billie Mills, as well as the project’s applicant and developer, Eli Zablud, to request additional conditions.
“We didn’t get everything we asked for, but we do think we’ve come to an agreement we can all live with,” Lee said.
Cary Park resident Donald Lee, Mary Lee’s husband, said some of the terms that were being discussed with the applicant include a 6-foot privacy fence, no lighting spillover onto adjacent properties and an undisturbed 40-foot buffer from the property boundary with an opaque screen.
“At this point, our support for the rezoning and the construction project is conditional on these parties arriving at an agreement,” Donald Lee said. “We’ve had very, very productive discussions, and we think we are virtually there.”
As of Thursday, the applicant had proposed a zoning condition to increase the required vegetation in the opaque buffers adjacent to surrounding residential properties to make the buffer more opaque.
“We continue to work on some additional conditions to address their comments and come to a compromise on this case,” said Michael Birch of Morningstar Law Group, the applicant’s lawyer.
If the applicant makes changes before the project is addressed at a planning and zoning board meeting, another public hearing will be held at that meeting. Senior Planner Mary Beerman said the earliest the rezoning case could go to the planning and zoning board is in January.
Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht encouraged the applicant and residents to continue their collaboration.
The Cary Town Council also:
▪ Held a public hearing for the rezoning of 2.57 acres at 555 Crossroads Blvd., for a proposed six-story hotel with a maximum of 108 rooms. Michael Crook of Parker, Poe, Adams and Bernstein, representing Apartments at Crossroads LLC, which owns the apartments adjacent to the property, shared concerns about the height of the hotel. The project’s preliminary development plan was referred to the planning and zoning board.
▪ Held a public hearing for the rezoning of 4.27 acres at 917 Waldo Rood Blvd., for a veterinary office or hospital, kennel and general or professional office space. A representative from the adjacent day care expressed concerns about health and safety issues with the development planned next to the day care. The rezoning proposal was referred to the planning and zoning board.
▪ Approved authorizing a lease for BREW, a downtown Raleigh coffee house and bar, to take over operations of the cafe and concession space at The Cary at 122 E. Chatham St. BREW, has plans to open a new location in the town-owned theater.
▪ Approved the rezoning of 15.27 acres at 6125 and 6209 Holly Springs Road to allow development of up to 53 townhouses and seven detached dwellings.
▪ Recognized retiring town manager Ben Shivar. He was honored with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state’s highest award for a civilian. His last day is Wednesday, Sept. 30.
Kathryn Trogdon; 919-460-2608; @KTrogdon