Cary News

Cary to tackle housing, Google Fiber and golf course noise at meeting

Icy weather prompted Cary to postpone its Feb. 26 Town Council meeting, so town leaders will have a lot to consider when they convene on Thursday, March 12.

In three separate rezoning requests from western Cary to Piney Plains Road near the Crossroads Plaza shopping mall, developers are proposing a total of 296 homes.

Council members also are scheduled to consider budgeting $282,900 to prepare for Google Fiber and approving amendments to town noise rules as they relate to golf courses.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

Zoning requests

The first rezoning request on the agenda comes from Indian Wells Road in west Cary, where developers want to build up to 138 senior living spaces on 46 acres. Under the developer’s proposal, at least 80 percent of occupied units will have a resident who is 55 or older.

The second rezoning request would allow for up to 110 townhomes on 23 acres at the intersection of Piney Plains Road and Dillard Drive. Developers want to remove the site’s current zoning, which allows for office or commercial use.

But some council members said in a previous meeting that they’re reluctant to sign away one of the few large parcels of land in Cary that’s zoned for commercial and office use.

The developer is expected to ask the council to table the zoning for a month, according to Scott Ramage, a principal planner for the town.

The third rezoning request would allow for up to 48 homes at the intersection of Turner Creek Road and N.C. 55.

The rezoning requests are listed as discussions item on the agenda, meaning residents who wish to speak on them must do so at the start of the meeting during the “Public Speaks Out” portion of the agenda.

Google Fiber installation

A staff proposal to prepare for Google Fiber installation is also a discussion item.

Google Fiber announced in January that Cary is one of seven municipalities in the Triangle, including Raleigh, Durham, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Garner and Morrisville, where the company plans to lay its fiber-optic cable and bring high-speed Internet.

Cary town staff recommends budgeting $282,900 to prepare its transportation, public works and water resources departments for an “extremely fast pace” of Google Fiber permitting and construction, according to a staff report.

The town estimates there will be 600 miles of fiber throughout the town, starting with 63 miles this Spring, according to the report. Cary staff members say the town will need to be ready to process dozens of permit requests, locate specific utility lines within three days, conduct dozens of inspections and answer residents’ questions about the ongoing construction.

The town is not staffed to handle the significant workload, the staff report says, and has identified the need for consultant services to assist. All but $11,000 of the requested funds will go toward an undetermined number of independent contractors, according to Mike Bajorek, deputy Cary town manager.

Noise ordinance

Cary town staff is seeking help from the council in amending its noise ordinance.

A group of golf course managers asked the council in October to clarify Cary’s rules for operating loud machinery at early hours of the day. The council asked town staff to research other towns’ rules and return with suggestions.

Cary rules currently allow golf courses to mow putting greens as early as 6 a.m., as long as the noise from the equipment doesn’t exceed 60 decibels.

But the rules don’t specify whether equipment noise is limited to less than 60 decibels at any point – or limited to 60 decibels as an average over a minute, which is how noise is measured at Koka Booth Amphitheatre. Town staff typically only issues a citation if the disturbing noise continues for more than a minute, according to a staff report.

Course managers from MacGregor Downs, Prestonwood and Lochmere country clubs in Cary wrote a joint letter to Mayor Harold Weinbrecht saying the rules are too vague. They said they worry that a strict interpretation of the rules could ultimately shorten their business days, but the town has also received several noise complaints from residents who live on golf courses.

Cary staff recommends strengthening town rules so that any reading of 63 decibels or higher constitutes a violation of the noise ordinance. The town should also continue issuing violations if the noise averages 60 decibels over a minute, staff says.

Specht: 919-460-2608;

Twitter: @AndySpecht