Southwest Wake News

Apex approves hundreds of new homes

Town officials approved master plans and rezonings last week that will pave the way for hundreds of new homes and allow developers to start work on one of the largest mixed-use developments to ever be built in town.

The Town Council approved rezoning for Jordan Manors (240 homes) and master plans for Middleton (111 homes and 62 town houses) and Sweetwater (353 homes and 63 town houses).

The land for Middleton and Sweetwater already had been rezoned, which is often the most controversial part of the pre-development process. While some of those previous zoning hearings drew considerable protests, no one spoke out against the master plans at the town’s meeting June 16.

The town also rezoned a smaller parcel of residential land off Laura Duncan Road that can now be turned into an office park or autoshop.

Here’s a look at what the Council approved.

Sweetwater

Where: 165 acres just south of N.C. 64 at the intersection of Jenks Road, and to the west of Abbington.

The decision: Approved the subdivision’s master plan in a 3-2 vote, with Bill Jensen and Nicole Dozier opposed. Construction will be split into eight phases, with the earliest work to build roads connecting to N.C. 64 and the western part of the Abbington neighborhood.

What: Sweetwater will eventually contain 353 homes and 63 townhouses. The homes mostly will be tightly packed, with front porches extending nearly out to the sidewalk. Garages will be on the side instead of the front “to create a pedestrian feel and encourage walking,” said Apex planner Reed Huegerich. The homes near the connection with Abbington will be on bigger lots, to better ease into the more affluent neighborhood to the east.

Details: The mixed-use development will contain a retail center at its core with shopping and restaurants, which is where the townhouses will be built. The developers will pay for millions of dollars worth of work to extend Richardson Road. There will be a greenway connection to the American Tobacco Trail, which extends to Durham.

Jordan Manors

Where: 121 acres west of New Hill Olive Chapel Road and south of Barker Road.

The decision: Unanimously approved rezoning from rural residential to planned use development. The zoning allows as many as three homes per acre, but the developer agreed to limit the neighborhood to an average of two homes per acre.

What: The land will become a subdivision called Jordan Manors, containing 240 homes to be built within the next three or four years if everything goes according to schedule. It’s directly to the north of Jordan Pointe, which already has been approved. It will have 440 homes on similar sized lots.

Details: Colen Davidson, the developer behind Jordan Manors, said his style is to include plenty of recreational space in his neighborhoods. Jordan Manors will have fields, walking trails, multi-use paths and other outdoor areas, he said. It will connect to a greenway that the Town of Apex plans to extend to the campus of Apex Friendship High School.

Middleton

Where: 73 acres on Old Jenks Road and Holt Road directly to the north of Salem Elementary and Middle schools.

The decision: Unanimously approved a master plan for the subdivision.

What: Middleton eventually will contain 111 homes and 62 townhouses. The developers will extend public utilities to neighboring properties. “This is kind of a big deal, because Twin Creek is currently having issues with their water and septic systems,” Town Planner Shelby Mayo said of a nearby neighborhood that will benefit.

Details: There will be two greenways, one in the west that will serve the whole neighborhood and one in the east that will connect with the Salem schools and could eventually extend north to connect with Cary’s greenway system.

Laura Duncan businesses

Where: 4.5 acres at the corner of Laura Duncan Road and Pine Plaza Drive, just north of N.C. 64.

The decision: Unanimously approved rezoning from rural residential to tech/flex conditional zoning. “It will be a non-residential development in Apex, which we don’t see much of,” local engineer Jeff Roach told the Town Council.

What: Roach, who owns Peak Engineering and Design, said the plan is to turn it into an auto body shop. The zoning allows the property to hold businesses such as veterinary offices, convenience stores and spas.

Details: One neighbor objected to the rezoning, saying he lives nearby and that the light from nearby car dealerships shines on his home. He was worried about a new business adding to the light, but Roach said the auto shop would have a thicker tree buffer than the dealership, about 50 feet of vegetation along the property’s edges.

Greenmoor master plan

Where: 10 acres on Green Level Church Road, between Jenks Road and Roberts Road.

The decision: Unanimously approved a small change to the master plan for phase 1B of Greenmoor, which contains 23 homes and a small park.

What: Greenmoor, a large planned neighborhood that will eventually include 389 homes, previously received master plan approval in February. Some small tweaks have been made since then, and the council approved them without discussion.

Doran: 919-460-2604; Twitter: @will_doran

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