Neighbors are unhappy about a developer’s plan to build a mixed-use development in North Raleigh near the site of a proposed Publix grocery store that residents successfully fought two years ago.
D&N Development wants to build an estimated $50 million project on a 17.3-acre tract at the corner of Falls of Neuse and Raven Ridge roads. Early plans include 160 condominiums, a roughly 50,000-square-foot grocery store and about 56,000 square feet of additional retail space.
More than 300 people attended a meeting of the North Citizens Advisory Council on Tuesday at the Abbotts Creek Community Center on Durant Road. Residents voted 224-89 in opposition of the project.
Advisory councils are made up of residents who provide feedback to the city on proposed developments. This project would require the Raleigh City Council to rezone the site to allow for commercial use.
Some neighbors said the project would bring too much traffic and noise to the area, about two miles north of Interstate 540. Some who get their drinking water from wells said they worried about water quality.
The development would generate about 11,000 new vehicle trips per day in the busy Falls of Neuse Road corridor, according to a traffic survey by Stantec Consulting Services commissioned by the developer.
D&N Development, which is based in Raleigh, says it will spend $2 million on traffic improvements.
Susan Burton, who lives in the Wood Spring neighborhood near the proposed development, said she’s not convinced any upgrades would be enough to alleviate traffic woes.
“I don’t care what they say,” she said. “There’s no way they’re going to improve the traffic by adding 11,000 cars each day.”
Nick Brown of D&N Development said he has held at least 20 meetings with neighbors and agreed to a range of conditions, including a ban on fast-food restaurants and rooftop dining, and limits on lighting. He said he also agreed to build a privacy wall near the Raven Pointe subdivision.
The company will dedicate 20 percent of the residential units as affordable housing, Brown said, ensuring that teachers, police officers, firefighters and nurses can live there.
“That was something we did day one, because of the needs in the community,” he said.
The site is about a half-mile south of the intersection of Falls of Neuse and Dunn roads, where a developer wanted to build a shopping center anchored by a Publix in 2014.
Neighbors vehemently opposed the plan, saying it would bring too much traffic. Community activist David Cox was a vocal leader in the fight and later won a seat on the Raleigh City Council.
A developer now plans to build a senior-living center with up to 190 units at the site – a plan neighbors seem happier about.
On Tuesday, Cox said he was staying objective about the Raven Ridge Road proposal but that he would take the advisory council’s vote into account.
“I really weigh citizen input very heavily,” he said.
Brown said he was disappointed about Tuesday’s citizen vote, but he’s hopeful the project will move forward.
Corey Duval, who lives in the nearby Highland Creek subdivision, said he liked the development plan because it would bring more restaurant and retail options to the area.
“When you’re bringing in things that help the community, and bring it together, I’m in favor of the project,” Duval said.
A Raleigh Planning Commission subcommittee is expected to consider the proposal Sept. 6, and the entire commission could consider it Sept. 13.
Chris Cioffi: 919-829-4802, @ReporterCioffi