The Apex Town Council approved a new neighborhood Tuesday night, but the decision divided the board.
A subdivision called the Reserve at Beaver Creek will bring 150 townhouses and 32 single-family homes about a mile southwest of the Beaver Creek shopping centers and directly to the east of the Abbington neighborhood.
Town leaders had several complaints with the subdivision master plan, mainly about its high density and that there won’t be a stop light at Kelly Road and Beaver Creek Commons Drive, the main road through the neighborhood.
Council members voted 3-2 to approve the plans. Gene Schulze, Denise Wilkie and Scott Lassiter voted yes. Bill Jensen and Nicole Dozier opposed it.
“It could’ve been a lot better development, that’s for sure,” Jensen said.
The vote came after Town Attorney Laurie Hohe told officials they could be sued if they denied the project because it meets the town’s standards.
Officials recently considered denying a different townhouse development, which potentially could have resulted in legal action, but ultimately tabled the vote instead of rejecting it. They didn’t wait to table this one, however, and instead approved it despite their misgivings.
Wilkie said there already should be a stoplight at Kelly Road and Beaver Creek Commons, even without the influx of traffic the 182 new homes will bring.
Mayor Bill Sutton agreed. He lives in Abbington and said he frequently sees neighborhood children walking across the road there, toward the shopping centers.
“That’s going to be a big problem,” Sutton said.
Wilkie wanted to hold a vote to only approve the plans if the developer also built a stoplight.
The developer agreed.
But Hohe said Kelly Road is a state-owned road, and it likely wouldn’t be legal for Apex to impose that requirement because the N.C. Department of Transportation already has said it wouldn’t put a stoplight there.
Alan Maness, a representative for the developer, Raleigh-based Rock Properties, said DOT has promised to reconsider a light after 80 percent of the units are occupied, but not before.
The project’s density also dominated discussion. The development is considered less than Apex’s limit of six lots per acre for the area, because the town counted the entire 32-acre property.
Yet nearly a third of the land, 10 acres, will remain unused. That means the developer is putting 182 lots on 22 acres, more than eight homes per acre.
Each townhome is 20 feet wide to accommodate the specifications.
Sutton said the neighborhood now will be too dense, and that the town should reconsider how it calculates the density of housing projects.
Doran: 919-460-2604; Twitter: @will_doran