A proposed mixed-use development on the south side of Knightdale Boulevard that includes plans for a movie theater got the go-ahead from the Land Use Review Board on Monday, Aug. 8.
The board voted unanimously to recommend the Town Council approve a rezoning that would allow the development, called Parkstone, between Widewaters Parkway and Parkside Commons Drive across from Wake Stone, with a few recommendations, according to the LURB’s chairman, George Hess.
The first, in response to neighbors’ concerns about noise, is that the developer, The Widewaters Group, will leave undisturbed vegetation buffers of at least 30 feet all around the development. The plan originally had no buffer in some places.
Rita Rakestraw, who owns a home in the neighboring Widewaters subdivision, told LURB members she wanted buffers of at least 80 feet. “No one wants to look out their back kitchen window and see three-story apartments when right now they see trees and bushes,” Rakestraw said. “This will decrease our property value of our homes.”
The LURB also recommended that a proposed wooden fence around the project be built of something more substantial, such as brick, to further reduce noise from the development.
The LURB recommended against allowing brighter lights than regularly allowed for the theater. “We recommended that the council look really closely at whether they wanted to have bright, neon lights if the theater is actually built,” Hess said.
The developer had asked for a variance to allow fewer bicycle parking spaces than typically required, but the LURB recommended against allowing that.
The LURB also recommended that the developer, working with staff, find a way to have Village Park Drive, which is interrupted by the property but is not directly across from each end, meet at a right-angled intersection. The developer had proposed having those two ends of Village Park dead end into a new north-south road to be built at the development, which would require someone traveling east or west on Village Park turn left onto the new road before continuing on to the road on the other side of the development.
Plans for the project call for a mix of single-family houses, multifamily housing and commercial development, with the commercial space to the north along Knightdale Boulevard. Development on the nearly 57-acre property has been proposed for more than a decade, but a lawsuit over a proposed Walmart and then the recession delayed movement on the site until recently.
Plans call for up to 260,000 square feet of new retail and shopping space, plus a 350-unit apartment community. In 2006, the original plan included about 430,650 square feet of retail and commercial development with more emphasis on big-box-type stores.
“It is a lot better proposal than what was proposed a few years ago on this property,” Rakestraw told the LURB. “Apartments are OK, but there needs to be a better buffer, some space between the apartments and the apartment garages and the houses.”
The rezoning will go back before the Town Council, which held a public hearing on the matter to a full house on July 20, for final approval.
Matt Goad: 919-829-4826