Developers of Wendell Falls have scaled back a proposal to increase the amount of land that would have been dedicated to commercial uses in eastern Wake County’s largest development project.
The proposal, first presented last month, was much reduced in a second presentation to the town’s planning board Tuesday night. The original proposal, presented to the planning board at their August meeting, should a swath of land along the north side of Wendell Falls Parkway that would have been reserved for commercial uses. That property had been reserved for residential purposes.
On Tuesday, though, officials with Newland Communities presented a new map that restored much of the property to its original use as residential land, while preserving the right to develop the corners of two major intersections with commercial development.
“I think this looks a lot less overwhelming,” said planning board member Kathe Schaecher. “For these small town people who want their town to remain a small town, this would be much more reasonable.”
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Planning board chairman Harold Broadwell, who expressed concerns with the changes last month, also said he was more comfortable with the new plan. Nicolas Robinson, an attorney representing Newland Communities, sympathized with planning board members in explaining the developer’s newest request.
“I don’t think we ever really dreamed that all that land would have been developed commercially, but they wanted to reach down far enough to capture both intersections with the possibilities for commercial development,” Robinson said. “Though, technically in that proposal it could have been. So we understand your concerns.
The new proposal allows for commercial development on 12 acres on the northern corners of Wendell Falls Parkway at the intersections at Douglas Falls Drive and Daniel Ridge Road. None of the four corner lots would be larger than three acres, which Robinson said would prohibit the construction of large buildings such as grocery stores. Developers would also retain the right to develop the property as residential property if they choose.
It is part of a raft of changes Newland is seeking. Most of them are technical in nature.
The planning board will formally consider the request at their September meeting before making a recommendation to the town board of commissioners.