Brookside will be bad for its neighbors
I am heartsick, saddened and outraged to think the Clayton Town Council would approve the development of Brookside subdivision.
I understand that Clayton NDJC, the developer, has a legal right to enter its property through Satinwood’s stub-out and that the Clayton Town Council really has no authority to stop development if all zoning requirements are met. Rejecting the developer’s request would have opened the council to a lawsuit, which I guess the council felt it could not win. So the easiest thing was to go along, save the town the cost of a court action, let Wynston swing in the breeze and be overrun by more traffic than the neighborhood’s streets were designed to accommodate.
I live on the corner of Breeze Lane and Satinwood Drive. In my opinion, the developer’s insistence on pursuing this development at this time is not very neighborly. This part of the Wynston community will be turned “upside down.” We are talking likely 64 to 100 more cars just for the people living in Brookside. Everyone knows that families today have anywhere from three to four or more cars per family. Of course this doesn’t account for visiting guests’ cars, service vehicles, etc. Even if parking were limited to one side of the street, I don’t think that that would solve the problem of the additional influx of traffic into our neighborhood.
At the Town Council meeting, I understood the developer to say the N.C. Department of Transportation would be unwilling to put a stoplight on N.C. 42 at an entrance to Brookside because it would be a traffic safety issue. If that’s so, what about the the lack of safety that results within our neighborhood with the huge increase in traffic, not to mention the lack of safety in entering and leaving Wynston from Amelia Church Road? There is no stoplight at either entrance into our neighborhood.
Why didn’t the developer plan with the DOT? After all, the developer didn’t just buy this land. Seems to me it would have been an ideal time to put in accommodations when the road work for Sheetz and the apartment complex behind Sheetz was done.
Why does Brookside have to be built without proper accommodations? Why not wait until the DOT does the appropriate planned widening of N.C. 42, or why not wait until wetland approval is granted? Why would our Town Council make the residents of Wynston bear the brunt of myopic thinking by the developer.
Besides profit motive by the developer, I cannot think of one good reason for Brookside to proceed at this time. It seems the developer does not care about the impact Brookside development will have on other folks in our community. Also, is it possible the council simply wants a larger tax base for the town?
If the developer knows the landowner to the west, then maybe Brookside should negotiate for a permanent entrance-exit to Brookside with that individual.
I lived in San Diego in the early 1970s. There, Christiana Builders developed the Mesa area near the Padres’ stadium. I lived right inside that development. What set that project apart is that the developer built a community rather than a building site. The developer made sure roads were widened, schools built, shopping built, parks, community pools and then the homes too. Maybe the developer of Brookside could learn something about community welfare and care from Flowers Plantation and the Fred Smith communities. I’m tired of developers who seem to think the world revolves around their plans only. I’m also weary of towns that allow development when the infrastructure does not support development.
I lived in the Virginia Beach area from the mid-1980s to 2000. A large developer there developed all of the farmland nearby. Traffic was gridlocked even during off prime drive time, schools were not equipped to handle the influx of students, shopping was miles away. To me, that is the worst I have ever seen of unfettered development and poor city planning.
The additional traffic flow from Brookside will be an unwelcome nuisance for our community. If you’d like to see an example, try to make a left turn onto Amelia Church Road from Wynston subdivision during the morning or evening commute. It takes a long time and a lot of patience. Ten years ago, this was not an issue.
I would also like to note that the intersection of Breeze Lane and Satinwood Drive is a school bus stop, one of only two locations inside this neighborhood. During the school year, this corner hosts 10-15 elementary-aged schoolchildren every morning and every afternoon. Will our town be providing crossing guards if the new development makes the intersection more heavily populated with children and traffic? Will there be any regard to the safety hazards created by having the only entrance to Brookside also be the only pickup and drop-off location for three streets worth of our neighborhood’s children? Who is considering how the additional vehicles will impact the safety not only of children waiting for the bus but also children playing in our yards and streets? Wynston is a tight-knit family community filled with all ages of people; we care about all of our residents. One thing is clear, we are obviously more concerned than the Clayton Planning Board about how this impacts the safety of our neighborhood children.
At this point, all of the building blocks for Brookside are not in place. In my view, rather than force additional traffic down the the throats of Wynston residents, our town should wait until the adequate steps have been taken for this development to be successful for all involved.