Cary Town Council: Private Street Maintenance and 3 Public Hearings

Cary, NC — In last night’s meeting, the Cary Town Council held 3 annexation public hearings and unanimously passed a resolution to accept Glenpark Place, a private townhome street for maintenance as a Cary street.

Pandemic Update from Town Manager

Sean Stegall, Cary’s Town Manager, shared that Wake and Chatham counties remain yellow in the state’s COVID county alert report.

“This means that while there is still significant community spread of the virus, the cases and hospitalizations have become manageable, “said Stegall.

Of the Town of Cary’s 1,200+ staff members, Stegall says they have had 98 test positive since the pandemic began over a year ago. Stegall also touched on a few parks & recreation-related reopenings and upcoming summer day camps. Last night at Koka Booth Amphitheater was the first concert of 2021 as part of the Josh Cellars Jazz Series. Stegall said this show saw a total attendance of 400 people.

Public Speaks Out

One speaker, Julie Gavaghan of Cary was a live call-in speaker to the virtual meeting. She called on behalf of her firm, Blue Heel Development regarding a presentation in the last council meeting on the rezoning case of Lewey Drive (20-REZ-08).

In this case, 6.72 acres of land located at 6705 Lewey Drive in West Cary, is being requested for annexation and rezoning with the intent to bring a maximum of 40 townhomes to the site.

After hearing from the 30 write-in and call-in speakers who voiced their oppositions during the public hearing, Gavaghan called in to make a few clarifications. Namely, that this rezoning and subsequent development would create solutions to these three existing problems in the area:

  • Improve overall stormwater issues with the grading of the site & installation of a stormwater pond
  • Regrading the sidewalk along Lewey Drive and creating pedestrian connectivity with crosswalk and additional sidewalks
  • Installation of a landscaped median as a “traffic-calming device to encourage cars to slow down”

“Because of the expressed concerns of the neighbors, we have an additional condition of an 80 foot, Type-A buffer, abutting the three houses on Millie Brook court. This is more than double what the LDO requires,” said Gavaghan.

The firm also addressed the most-mentioned concern — traffic. The firm hired consultants to conduct a study that showed the development would not add any significant delays.

3 Annexation Public Hearings

All public hearings of the night were fairly brief and on all items, action is deferred to a future council meeting.

20-A-07 Lewey and Dillard Annexation

This annexation is associated with the rezoning mentioned in public speaks out for the 6.7-acre property located at 6705 Lewey Drive, about 630 feet east of the intersection with NC 55.

The property is on the border of Cary’s corporate limits and is outside of its ETJ. This means extraterritorial jurisdiction, an area outside the Town limits where the Town has jurisdiction over planning and zoning regulations.

“To develop the site under Cary’s regulations and to receive Cary services, it’s necessary to first bring the property into the corporate limits and to establish Cary zoning,” said Debra Grannan, Assistant Planning Director.

No speakers called in or submitted comments to this public hearing and no council members posed questions or comments. The annexation will return for a vote in a future meeting.

21-A-05 Griffis and Richard Annexation

The owners of a property at 9216 Green Level Church Road (east side of Green Level Church Road, approximately 375 feet north of the intersection with Green Hope School Road) have petitioned for annexation so that the property may be connected to Cary utilities.

The owners are proposing to relocate the historic Mills House to the property, where they plan to renovate the 1927 pyramidal cottage.

“I think it’s the perfect location for this house. It allows the house to stay in the Green Level community,” said Ms. Richards, one of the annexation applicants. Richards also added that the move of the historic home may prove to be of interest to the community as it the 45-foot wide, 35-foot high structure would be moved about 2 miles.

No additional callers or council members had comments to share, so the item will be voted on in an upcoming meeting

21-A-03 Annex Town Property

The last annexation public hearing of the night referred to a tiny piece of Town-owned property totaling 0.227 acres at the end of Batchelor Road. This strip of land is adjacent to the approved Shadow Creek subdivision currently under construction.

In 2020, the property was conveyed to Caryby the developer of  Shadow Creek to serve as a portion of the Knotty Oaks Drive right-of-way that provides access to the subdivisions.

“Annexation of the property is necessary so that the existing street and related infrastructure within the parcel’s boundaries will be in the corporate limits and maintained by Cary just as the remainder of Knotty Oaks Drive will be maintained once the Shadow Creek development is completed,” said Grannan. She added that rezoning is not necessary since the road is right-of-way already.

With no comments made by the public or council, the annexation will be voted on in a late meeting.

Discussion: Glenpark Place Acceptance of Maintenance

Kyle Hubert, Transportation Engineering Supervisor presented the only discussion item of the night relating to private street maintenance.

According to Hubery, Cary’s Streets Task Force is currently working with several neighborhoods to better understand challenges related to private street maintenance. Collaboration with these neighborhoods helps town staff to learn about concerns as well as develop updated guidelines for accepting maintenance of existing private streets.

Glenpark is one neighborhood that staff has been working with and that has agreed to make improvements to a private street so that it would be appropriate for Cary to begin maintaining that street.

So, the decision before the council was whether or not to authorize the acceptance of Glenpark Place, a private townhome street for maintenance as a Cary street. This is contingent on the HOA first making a few agreed-upon improvements to the street.

Councilmember Jack Smith was the first to comment and made a motion. “We’ve talked about trying to get these private streets in the past up to our standards with the ultimate goal of bringing them in,” said Smith. “I think this is a good step in our goal of moving forward.”

All council members supported the resolution to move forward with the authorization before entering into a 30-minute closed session. The next council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 22 at 6:30 PM. All recent and future council meetings are easy to access on the Town of Cary YouTube Channel.

Story by Ashley Kairis. Images screen captured from the live meeting.

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