Wary of bright lights and noisy tools, residents of Apex’s Haddon Hall neighborhood tried unsuccessfully at the last Town Council meeting to stop the development of a potential car dealership.
The Town Council unanimously approved zoning a 21-acre lot on the southwest corner of North Salem Street and U.S. 64.
Bill Daniel, a Cary engineer in charge of the development at this stage, wouldn’t say exactly how the property will be developed. A dealership is one of more than 50 commerical uses that could be permitted in the rezoning.
But council members referred to the property as a car dealership several times in their discussion, as did residents who voiced concerns about developing the property.
“Folks, we beat our heads up against the wall to bring more commercial development to Apex,” council member Scott Lassiter said. “If it’s not going to happen at the intersection of two major roads, I don’t know where it’s going to happen.”
Haddon Hall resident Troy McDaniel said the dealership would put a lot of traffic onto Salem Street, and that with Thales Academy about to open a high school campus directly across the street, Salem Street would become a quagmire.
“It’s already a parking lot in the morning when you’re going to work,” said Dan Keelor, who lives in Haddon Hall. “It’s pretty miserable for a couple hours in the morning.”
Bill Daniel, the engineer, acknowledged the neighbors’ concerns.
“They pretty well can be grouped into buffers, traffic, uses, traffic, traffic, traffic and traffic,” he said.
Haddon Hall resident John Daniel asked council members if they want a car dealership on Salem Street, one of the main entrances to Apex and the street that quickly morphs into the quaint downtown mainstreet.
“I’m concerned about the way this will look,” he said.
Members of the Apex Town Council were not swayed and approved the rezoning.
Council member Nicole Dozier first had the developer drop a few of the more potentially disruptive uses from the new zoning, in case the car dealership doesn’t materialize. Bill Daniel, the engineer, said they already had dropped some other uses, such as bars, at the neighbors’ request.
At least one Haddon Hall resident supported the dealership plan, saying while there will be slightly more traffic, it will be worth the opportunity for job creation.
Lassiter also pointed out how one neighborhood defeated a Toyota dealership several years ago, only to see the land bought by the wholesale store Costco. That site, at the corner of U.S. 64 and Laura Duncan Road, hasn’t yet been built but is coming soon.
“I think some of those neighbors are kicking themselves now,” Lassiter said.
Doran: 919-460-2604; Twitter: @will_doran
What’s up with Costco?
Just down the road from the intersection of North Salem Street and U.S. 64, Costco has all the necessary permits and approvals to build a grocery store and gas station at the corner of U.S. 64 and Laura Duncan Road.
Dianna Kihn, Apex’s planning director, said town hall gets dozens of calls every week from residents asking about when it’s going to open. She tells them all she doesn’t know, Kihn said, because Costco won’t give her an exact date.
Costco’s corporate office did not respond to a request for comment.
Kihn did say, however, that the store likely will open sometime this fall.
“They’ve told us they’ll be open for Christmas shopping,” Kihn said. “But I don’t know what that means to you. Maybe September, Ocotber, November.”