Some people who live on Chapel Ridge Road in western Apex say they are worried a proposed development of townhomes would bring too much traffic to their rural neighborhood.
Developer NVR Ryan Homes wants to build 193 townhomes. As part of the project, a new road would connect to Chapel Ridge Road in the southwest corner and to the Beaver Creek Crossings shopping center to the north.
Neighbors told the Apex Town Council on Tuesday that they never expected a road to be built there. Seven years ago, then-mayor Keith Weatherly promised a road would never connect a new development in the area to Chapel Ridge Road.
“We’d like you to take into consideration your past commitments, as well as looking at alternate connections,” said Mike Bishop, who lives on Chapel Ridge Road.
Bishop said he wasn’t opposed to the development, just the road connection.
The developer would agree to prohibit construction traffic on Chapel Ridge Road and to open the connecting road after the 51st townhome is occupied, said David York, an attorney representing NVR Ryan Homes.
The company would also pay for any needed improvements on Chapel Ridge Road, York said.
The council delayed a vote on the project and is expected to reconsider the issue as its Sept. 2 meeting.
At issue is the town’s own development rules. The developer could potentially sue the town if the council denies the project, said Hank Fordham, town attorney.
That’s because the project meets the town’s development requirements – but only with the connector road.
Multiple Apex staff members told the council there is no feasible option for a second road other than through to Chapel Ridge. Allowing only one road as part of the project would not be acceptable due to traffic and safety concerns, they said.
“We’re not trying to be difficult,” York said. “The code ... is not going to change between now and the next meeting, and we’re just trying to comply with the code.”
But neighbors said they worried their way of life would be altered by increased traffic, noise and light pollution.
“We like our niche,” neighbor Rita Boykin said. “I guess you could say we’re kind of country. It’s tucked away.”
Russell Dalton, Apex’s transportation engineer, said this likely isn’t the last time the council will have to deal with angry neighbors.
The town is in the midst of a major housing boom, with a record number of new developments on the way.
“These are rural-type roadways,” Dalton said. “But as we grow, we’re going to have to start connecting them to other roadways.”
Medians at Salem Village
Residents who live in Salem Village also complained to the council on Tuesday about a traffic issue.
The town approved the installation of medians throughout the still-developing neighborhood as a traffic-calming measure. But some people who live there say the medians are doing more harm than good.
William Crowley said a median is in front of his driveway, and trucks are unable to park at his house without significant maneuvering.
Neighbor Elizabeth Hanna said the placement of the medians “is just not something that makes sense.”
She challenged town officials to come to her house, pull into the driveway and then back out safely and efficiently.
“If you can back out in daytime, I will be impressed,” she said. “Let alone at night, or during bad weather, or when pedestrians are crossing.”