Cary, NC — Last night on Thursday, May 7, the Cary Town Council returned to the virtual meeting world. This meeting involved more voting and official business compared to last week’s virtual Town Hall featuring COVID-19 discussions.
The main items for discussion were two unanimously approved rezoning cases.
259-Unit Development Coming to NW Maynard Intersection
Just over 16 acres of land at the intersection of Chapel Hill Road and NW Maynard Road was unanimously approved for rezoning as a mixed-use district. The tract of land was previously zoned in three different sections under Residential 40, Residential 20 and Resource/Recreation.
The Preliminary Development Plan from the developer, Bainbridge, proposes a multi-family development with a maximum of 259 units and the conveyance of one acre of parkland.
Cary’s Planning and Zoning Board previously found the proposed development as not living up to the Cary Community Plan and recommended denial by a vote of 5-3. According to Katie Drye of the Town’s Planning and Development Services, the plan has since been modified and has the support of Town staff.
Added modifications include:
- Balconies or patios on at least 200 units
- Public art
- Dog park
- Swimming pool with covered outdoor area
- Covered postal boxes with overhead lighting
- Electrical vehicle charging stations
- Covered bicycle parking
- Installation of a crosswalk with pedestrian signals at the intersection
Site Provides New Nancy Jones House Locale
Under the same rezoning, land on the western edge of the development site would be designated as a spot for the conveyance of the historic Nancy Jones House. Drye said the location is optimal for the house because it is in close proximity to its original location, it will be on at least one acre of land and it would continue to face Chapel Hill Road as it has since its original construction around 1803.
According to councilmember Ed Yerha, this site for the Nancy Jones house was the most favorable amongst 6 or more sites that were also being considered.
Following comments of support from most councilmembers, they moved to support the rezoning unanimously.
189 Dwellings Approved for Twyla Road South
A second rezoning case presented by Drye included 19.77 acres located south of Morrisville Parkway and east of Twyla Road. The council voted unanimously for the site to switch from Residential 40 to a Planned Development District – Minor.
This permits a maximum of 189 dwelling units to include a mix of townhouses and multi-family units, and a maximum of 12,500 square feet of commercial uses and 17,000 square feet of office uses.
Plans & Funding Move Forward for Housing Grant Program
For 16 years, Cary has received funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. Housing & Community Development Manager, Morgan Mansa participated virtually to summarize Cary’s FY 2020-2021 Annual Action Plan.
According to Mansa, this year’s 7 applicants for grant funding were Dorcas Ministries, Kirk of Kildaire, Rebuilding Together, Resources for Seniors, Tammy Lynn Center, Transitions Life Care and the White Oak Foundation.
Just over $1.4 million is allocated to be spent in the areas of housing, public service, public facilities, economic development and administrative reserves.
“The funding requests thankfully fit within this year’s CDBG grant award. This means that we were able to fully support every single proposal,” said Mansa.
Through these investments, the Town will be able to:
- Keep more than 25 families in their homes
- Provide in-home healthcare to nearly 800 residents
- Helping seniors age in place
- Serve more than 15,000 Cary residents through supportive services
During the public comment period, the town received overwhelming support in their efforts to provide funding for housing affordability, homeless prevention programming and job training for the technology and healthcare fields.
The meeting marked the final step in approving the necessary plans and funding that are necessary to submit to HUD. The council unanimously approved.
Consent Agenda – More Rezonings & Townhome Street Discussion
Each meeting the council votes to approve a Consent Agenda which is a list of various items that can be approved all at once under the same motion and majority vote.
Last night, the Consent Agenda consisted of 10 items including an amendment to Cary’s Land Development Ordinance to eliminate the creation of more private streets in townhome developments. The list also included three different rezonings that apply to more than 93 acres in total. These items were unanimously approved.
No More Private Townhome Streets
According to Councilmember Jack Smith in last week’s virtual Town Hall, a multi-disciplinary team has been working to review private street requirements related to townhome developments.
“Private streets in Cary have always been a concern of mine, said Smith. “I just didn’t like the double standard.”
The team recommended an amendment to the Cary Land Development Ordinance which would require all future townhome communities to have publicly owned and maintained streets. “This will allow greater options for parking design and spacing within the community,” said Smith.
The council, in its unanimous approval of the consent agenda, agreed to this amendment and bringing more standardization to new townhome neighborhoods.
3 Rezonings Approved
Two of the three proposed rezonings were changed from Residential 40 to Transitional Residential Conditional Use. These included the rezoning of 18.6 acres at 11427 Green Level Church Road and 60.59 acres at 9648, 9708, and 9716 Morrisville Parkway. Details on the specific conditions of use can be seen on the agenda summary.
The third case, which got a comment from Councilmember Jennifer Robinson, is the rezoning of 13.92 acres at 1708 Petty Farm Road. Previously defined as Office/Research and Development space, the development switched to a Mixed-Use District with a plan to add a maximum of 320 multi-family dwelling units.
Robinson, who participated remotely in the meeting, said, “I’m sure there are many citizens wondering why I would vote, or any of us would vote, for a project that is turning additional office or mixed-use space into residential space.”
“The area that is east of 55 and south of 540, that tract of land is probably not being developed in the ideal manner, but it is being developed consistently with what the council at the time thought was right and this parcel of land is adjacent to that,” said Robinson.
“I don’t know that a mixed-use is actually the most viable use for this site anymore and for that reason, I’ll be supporting the consent agenda to approve the Petty Farm rezoning to multi-family.
Town Manager Announces Budget
In Sean Stegall’s Town Manager Update, he laid out the schedule for the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget process. According to Stegall, this year more than ever, the budget will need to be adjusted as it goes forward.
Stegall suggested to the council that once the budget is adopted that it be kept open.
“There will be a lot of unknowns as we go forward into 2021 and we’ll need to make adjustments accordingly,” said Stegall.
Budget Schedule for Fiscal Year 2021:
- May 7, 2020 – Budget schedule announced
- May 21, 2020 – Budget introduction (Budgets delivered to council)
- June 4, 2020 – Council’s budget work session
- June 11, 2020 – Public hearing #1
- June 18, 2020 – Budget work session #2 (if needed)
- June 28, 2020 – Public hearing #2 and budget adoption
- August 13, 2020 – Quarterly meeting (Rolling forecasts & budget adjustments)
- November 5, 2020 – Quarterly meeting (Rolling forecasts & budget adjustments)
The next scheduled Cary Town Council meeting is their quarterly meeting on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 12 PM. The meeting will be virtual with public access through the Town’s website, YouTube Channel and the CaryTV channel.