Already growing like a weed, this town is getting ready to see its residential base grow even more.
Council members on Tuesday OK’d a rezoning request and a conditional use permit that will allow for the construction of a 400-unit residential development on 120 acres off Auburn-Knightdale Road in Garner’s far eastern stretches.
CalAtlantic, which is planning the development, met prior to Tuesday night’s meeting with neighbors of the project after Garner’s planning commission recommended they do so before the council consider their request.
Keith Roberts, representing the developer, said those meetings went well. “We met last Friday with the owners of Pender’s Nursery. Typically, neighbors would be concerned with excess stormwater runoff during a project like this, but he wanted us to add water flow to that, becuase they want their ponts to stay full,” Roberts said.
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No one from the plant nursery spoke at Tuesday’s hearing, but other neighbors voiced some concerns.
Natalie Richard asked council members to consider how this project might fit with the comprehensive development plan the town is currently updating. “I’m worried about stormwater and the long-range plan for the area. The current plan for this area recommends mostly residential development in the area,... but we are in the midst of updating the comprehensive plan,” Richard said.
She also said the increase in traffic in the area was a concern. “I just want to make sure that, as everything’s being built up that traffic is being taken into account,” Richard said.
According to Senior Planner David Bamford, the new neighborhood will target people over 55, a group he said typically creates less traffic that other residential property owners. The developers’ own analysis says the development will nearly double the amount of traffic along that stretch of AUburn-Knightdale Road, from about 4,500 per day to just over 8,300 trips per day.
One of the conditions approved by the council calls for the addition of a turn lane into the development.
Homes in the neighborhood are expected to sell in the mid- $300,000 range.
Council member Ken Marshburn praised the project.
“I thik it’s a good project to come to Garner. I appreciate the comments of people who are concerned about the changing dynamics of the area,” Marshburn said.