The Town Council on Wednesday, Aug. 17, gave its final OK to two rezoning requests, one that paves the way for a movie theater to come to town and another for a nearly 600-unit subdivision.
The development that could include a movie theater is called Parkstone, and plans call for a shopping center and town homes on the 57-acre property on the south side of Knightdale Boulevard between Widewaters Parkway and Parkside Commons Drive.
Development on the property has been proposed for more than a decade, but a lawsuit and then the recession delayed movement on the site until recent years. The original plans called for more big-box-type development, including a Walmart Supercenter, but the developer, Knightdale Development Ownership, LLC, said changes in the market since led it to change the scope of the project.
The council voted 3-0 to approve the rezoning. Council member Pete Mangum recused himself because he works for Wake Stone, which is directly across from the proposed development and may be affected by construction of its entry road. Council member Mark Swan was out of town and absent from the meeting.
Town staff recommended approving the rezoning, along with the Land Use Review Board, which unanimously voted to recommend approval, but with a 30-foot undisturbed vegetative buffer around the whole project. Assistant Development Services Director Jennifer Currin said the developer had said 30 feet all around the project would not be practical because of the grade of the land in some spots, but that it would replant vegetation to help reduce noise.
Instead there would be an opaque buffer of undisturbed vegetation of 20 feet, with replanting on 10 feet of the buffer that would make the development invisible from neighboring properties when the plants reach maturity in 15 years.
Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Chalk asked if larger plantings could be required that would reach maturity quicker. Currin said the trees planted will be 6-8 feet tall at the time they are planted.
Brian Long, representing the developer, said town staff will have to sign off on whether the opaque requirement is met. He said the 20-foot slope along the border will also help reduce noise.
“I feel a lot better about it now than I did when I came in here,” Chalk said.
Chalk was the lone dissenting vote against a rezoning request for the 596-unit Silverstone subdivision that had raised the ire of some of its neighbors to the north in the Cheswick neighborhood off Hodge Road. He expressed concerns about increased traffic from Silverstone that would likely travel through Cheswick to get to a traffic signal to be constructed.
Town staff and the LURB had recommended approval of Silverstone.
Matt Goad: 919-829-4826