Cary News

Cary subdivision rezoning approved amid council, resident concerns

The development of 105 homes on 55 acres at the intersection of West Lake and Ten-Ten roads can move forward, despite concerns from Cary Town Council members, nearby property owners and the town’s planning and zoning board.

The council approved the rezoning and annexation of the property, which was requested by developer Bruce Herbert of Raleigh-based ReliaBuilt, on Thursday, Aug. 13, with a 5-1 vote. Town Councilwoman Jennifer Robinson was opposed to both actions.

The council’s action made the property part of Cary and will allow for up to 2 homes per acre. Prior to Thursday’s meeting, the land was under Wake County’s jurisdiction and was zoned for up to 1.45 homes per acre.

“I have some reservation about the size of the lots,” Robinson said. “Many of the adjacent properties are quite large, and I don’t know if the applicant has gone far enough in ensuring that the adjacent properties are making a harmonious transition between what exists today and what will be built.”

But Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said there would be a mismatch between densities when comparing county and municipal planning jurisdictions.

Neighboring property owners echoed Robinson’s comments at an April 22 public hearing and listed lot size, compatibility with adjacent neighborhoods, buffering and traffic impact as their main concerns.

Tara Pegram of Summer Oaks Drive, who spoke at the April meeting, returned Thursday to express her discontent with the lot sizes and buffering, emphasizing the development’s lot sizes would be as small as 12,500 square feet while those of adjacent properties are 0.69 to 1.5 acres.

“The developer has been made aware of concerns at a neighborhood meeting, as well as the Town Council meeting, by neighboring adjacent properties,” she said. “It really doesn’t seem like they have done anything to address concerns that adjacent property owners or planning and zoning board members have brought to their attention.”

Although the proposal went before Cary’s Zoning and Planning Board before Thursday’s meeting, that board was unable to make a recommendation because of a tie vote.

“Some cases are more interesting than others, and this is one of the ones that are interesting,” said Alan Swanstrom, the town’s planning and zoning board chairman.

The key issues that generated the split vote for the zoning board were the same as those expressed by neighboring property owners and council members. But Swanstrom said some of the board members found the lot sizes to be reasonable, given that Cary utilities would be brought into the development.

Since the town’s public hearing and the planning and zoning board meeting, Cary Senior Planner Debra Grannan said the developer had added and amended some conditions.

The developer is willing to fund a traffic signal at the intersection of Ten-Ten and Lawdraker roads if warranted, and he will include an additional five feet to the rear-yard setback for lots abutting properties to the north and south of the development.

“This will help address some of the concerns the neighbors had about small backyards adjacent to their backyard,” Grannan said.

Even though the developer included the traffic light condition, Robinson said she doesn’t want nearby residents to get their hopes up. The final determination about whether the light is needed will be made by the N.C. Department of Transportation.

“I think it’s good that the applicant is offering that to appease any concerns that the residents may have,” she said. “But we have some areas of Cary where you have 400 houses trying to get out onto something like Highway 55, and they can’t make warrant for a signal.”

Kathryn Trogdon; 919-460-2608; @KTrogdon