The town council agreed last week they want to try to encourage a Wake County developer to have his proposed subdivision annexed in the town limits.
The proposed 90-lot subdivision, which will be built south of New Bethel Church Road across the street from the new South Garner High, is expected to have higher-end homes, Town Manager Hardin Watkins said at the March 17 town council meeting.
“If we can somehow get this project in the town limits, there’s an upside of $163,000 a year in property taxes,” Watkins said.
The property is outside the town’s extraterritorial jurisdiction and the project is already approved for zoning under county rules. Watkins told the council that the developer is looking to start building soon. In order to get the subdivision annexed, the developer would have to agree to it.
“We can suggest and request, but it’s up to him,” council member Buck Kennedy said.
Because the subdivision will be in the county, the developer will have to build a water well for residents’ water and septic tanks for the sewage. Subdivisions outside of a town limits don’t receive utilities services from towns. The subdivision would also lack curbs and gutters and fire hydrants.
Council members agreed that it was best to have discussions with the developer about the possibility of annexing the subdivision.
“I think we need to move toward trying to entice him to cooperate with us because the county has already given him the permit so he can do as he pleases,” council member Jackie Johns said. “I think we should step up to the plate and see if we can help him out to get him to come in the city. And that is going to be a great tax base for the taxpayers in Garner.”
“I think it’s wise for the town to say we’re interested in what goes on pretty close to us,” Mayor Pro-tem Ken Marshburn added.
Town staff and council members will try to use the reliability of water, water quality and fire protection as selling points. Garner merged with the City of Raleigh for its water and sewer in 2000. Raleigh would supply the water.
The downside of offering water services or water and sewer services is that it takes longer to get it approved, meaning it would delay the developer’s construction.
“What we are proposing instead of small size lines, wells, septic tanks, we’re asking him to consider, one: whether he would like to come into the city and be provided water services, for reliability, quality, fire service. Or two: coming to the city and being provided both water and sewer services,” Kennedy said. “It takes longer to get sewer pumping station sited, bid and constructed.”
He said it would take only a few months if the town were to only offer water and the investment would be close to $350,000 from the town. But it could take 1 1/2 to two years when dealing with sewer. That investment could be as much as $2 million.
“He’s looking at time and money,” Kennedy said.
The town had previously discussed, at its annual retreat, trying to develop that area near South Garner High and encourage more higher-end homes to help with the town’s tax base. The proposed subdivision seems to be what the town was looking for.
“It’s exactly the kind of development we would like to see,” Kennedy said. “Higher-end homes.”
Richard Stockett, of owner RH Stockett Homes and one of the four developers of the proposed property, said the homes will be on 3/4-acre lots and the average home price will be between $300,000 and $310,000.
The other developers along with Stockett are Robert Abee of Oxford Investment Group, Ward Russell of Legacy Homes and Jim Thompson of Future Homes.
Stockett said he and the other partners are currently in conversations with the council to figure what would work best for all parties.
“We would love to have City of Raleigh water,” he said. “There are some things we have to work out with the town.”
If they are not able to work something out, Stockett said he will have community water available and is currently finishing up talks with the Division of Natural Resources to get a well approved. Testing on the water has already been completed, he said.
Stockett, who has worked on more than 30 subdivisions in Wake County, said he and his partners chose this area because of the proximity to Interstate 40, U.S. 70, the new high school and the shopping at White Oak.
“It’s just a very accessible area with a lot of services,” Stockett said.
Stockett said he hopes to start grading or building roads by May. The project will take two to three years to complete.
“I think it’s a beautiful property,” he said. “I think it will make for a very pretty subdivision.”