Northwest CAC Votes Down Proposed Shopping Center

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Northwest CAC residents voted by a nearly four to one margin last week against a proposed shopping center at the intersection of Old Leesville and Strickland Roads.

The CAC meeting, which was attended by more than 100 residents, city staffers and developers, was held June 9.

Zoning case Z-14-15 would allow for the development of a grocery-store-anchored shopping center at the intersection of Old Leesville and Strickland Roads. Although neighbors speculated that this grocery store will be operated by Publix, developers declined to comment, as no lease has been signed yet.

The blue dot indicates where the proposed shopping center would go. The red dots indicate existing grocery stores.

Bing Maps

The blue dot indicates where the proposed shopping center would go. The red dots indicate existing grocery stores.

This was the second time developers have met with local neighbors over the project; the first was an informational session in January, although only around a dozen people attended.

Michael Birch with the Morningstar Law Group said the grocery store would be between 45,000 and 49,000 square feet, and would be accompanied by smaller retail.

He argued that the “future land use is appropriate for office and mixed use.”

Developer Stewart Marlow added that the project would “protect the neighborhoods’ privacy and add to a better quality of life.”

Neighbors expressed concerns over a number of issues presented by the project, including the traffic, noise and light pollution it could generate. It was also noted that there are already several existing grocery stores nearby.

When asked if the project was in line with the future land use map, city planner Doug Hill stated that the “proposed use is primarily retail, not mixed-use” while the FLUM encourages residential and office uses for the space.

The CAC voted 63-16 against the case. 20 of those opposing votes were sent in via email.

Some speculate that a Publix would anchor this proposed shopping center

Wikimedia Commons

Some speculate that a Publix would anchor this proposed shopping center

The case will still need to appear before the planning commission and city council before any decision is made.

Cambridge Village Retirement Community

Z-14-15 wasn’t the only case discussed by the Northwest CAC June 9, as a presentation was also given on Z-19-15, which would create a 200-unit independent living retirement village on TW Alexander Drive.

Sparse details are available in the rezoning application for Z-19-15, although attendees to last week’s CAC meeting learned that the property will be developed by Cambridge Village Senior Living, which currently operates retirement communities in Apex, Wilmington and Roxboro.

The area highlighted in red could be rezoned to allow for a mix of office and residential use

Google Maps

The area highlighted in red could be developed into an independent senior living community

An informational session was held by the developers for the project earlier this year, but there were no attendees.

The developers noted that the project was consistent with the future land use map. No vote was taken, as this was only a presentation.

Other Business

Blair Hinkle, the city’s Stormwater Program Manager, gave a synopsis on the program’s structure and budget, and discussed some of the projects it was undertaking in the Northwest CAC area.

The budget for this year, Hinkle said, was $6 million, and noted that there were currently 43 ongoing projects citywide.

Hinkle also encouraged residents to report illicit discharges and illegal dumping.

summercampsAlicia Lacombe from the city’s Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources department told residents there were still spaces available for the city’s summer camps, and announced that they would be revitalizing the Lake Glen Program with adult yoga and belly dancing.

 

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