Plans to put a new apartment complex in a busy area of North Raleigh are moving ahead, but minor questions about sidewalks still linger.
Raleigh Planning Commissioners Tuesday approved plans for a new multifamily development near the Sutton Square shopping center. The Meridian at Sutton Square will be built on a 5-acre property located on Spring Forest Road just west Falls of Neuse Road.
Developer Mark Barker said part of the appeal of the new development is its proximity to area restaurants and shopping centers.
Commissioner Adam Terando questioned the absence of sidewalks from one part of the planned development to Spring Forest Road, pointing out that it is the area closest to shopping and restaurants.
“It seems like there’s a missing link to me,” Terando said. “What’s your expectation for residents to get to Spring Forest Road?”
Barker said residents will be able to use sidewalks in a different part of the development.
Terando was not convinced and voted against the project. He urged developers to consider providing more sidewalks for residents.
“To me the plan is not complete,” Terando said.
Hayes Barton Family Life Center Expansion Approved
Commissioners also approved plans for a 59,500-square-foot addition to the Hayes Barton Family Life Center, located at the Hayes Barton United Methodist Church on Fairview Road.
Landscape Architect Keith Downing said, “The neighbors were adamant about leaving those two property lines undisturbed. There’s mature trees and vegetation there – 20 to 30 feet.”
Commissioner Rodney Swink questioned whether the trees and vegetation will be protected when the current asphalt is removed and replaced with interlocking pavers.
“Will there be any particular attention paid to the root zone of these trees?” Swink asked. “If we’re going to protect these trees and this vegetation that might be in that area, will there be some thought given to how that will be protected?”
While landscapers will not know exactly what they are dealing with until work on the property begins, Downing assured Commissioners that special attention will be paid to the protected trees and vegetation.
Neighbor Joe Webb voiced his concerns about vegetation in the required buffer between the church’s property and his own. Vegetation planted during a previous addition several years ago died after two years. Webb said the church did not have the money to pay to replace the plants at the time, so he paid for them himself.
“When this is finished and these die, what do I do?” Webb asked.
The church will be required to replace any trees or plants that die since they are part of a required buffer area. If the plants are not replaced, the church will be in violation of city code.