North Raleigh News

North Raleigh residents oppose another grocery store plan

Neighbors are unhappy about a developer’s plan to build a grocery store in North Raleigh about a mile from the site of a proposed Publix store that has drawn protests over traffic concerns.

Some people who live near the site of a proposed Lowes Foods store at Raven Ridge and Falls of Neuse roads also say the project would bring too much traffic to their neighborhood.

The developer, Raleigh-based Wakefield Associates, has not yet submitted a rezoning request with the city. The project would go before the planning commission and would require the Raleigh City Council’s approval.

“It’s out of character and will wreak havoc on the traffic in the area,” David Cox with the North Raleigh Coalition of Home Owners Association said of the Lowes Foods plan.

Cox used to live near Lynn Road and Glenwood Avenue but decided to move to get away from the nearby retail development. Now he’s concerned his current neighborhood will become just as “stripped out” with shopping centers.

“I moved here to get away from that, and I’m going to do my best to preserve the character of this area,” he said.

Cox said residents want developers to respect current land-use designations instead of asking the city to rezone swaths of land.

The area is currently zoned to allow four units per acre of residential development.

“We do support development under the current zoning,” Cox said. “It allows for very generous development.”

Wakefield Associates specializes in retail development, like the Target-anchored Shoppes at Midway in Knightdale and “restaurant row” at Crabtree Valley Mall, said company owner Rick Rowe.

In addition to concerns about land use and traffic, Cox said the area doesn’t need another grocery store. There are at least 12 grocery stores within about 5 miles of the proposed site.

Rowe said market studies show there is enough demand in North Raleigh to support another store.

The North Raleigh Coalition of Home Owners Association, which was founded in 2007 and has members from nearly a dozen subdivisions, also opposes plans for a Publix store at Falls of Neuse and Dunn roads.

That project has been stalled in the city’s planning commission, which will make a recommendation to council early next year before a final council vote.