Town of Cary
North Carolina

Site Sub Plan

M16 Middle School 16-SP-045

Information

Department:PlanningSponsors:
Category:Public Hearing

Speaker: Doug Loveland, Planning Department

 

Recommendation: Staff recommends that council conduct a public hearing and consider action on sketch site plan.

 

Executive Summary: The applicant is requesting consideration of a site plan to construct a 230,000-square-foot school on a 41-acre property. The Land Development Ordinance requires Town Council approval for plans that propose a non-residential building with a floor area of 100,000 square feet or more.  The applicant’s request also includes requested modifications to the Town’s development standards regarding the removal of five champion trees.

Body

 

SUBJECT PARCELs

 

Property Owner

Wake County Parcel Identification Number (PIN) (10-digit)

Real Estate ID Number

Deeded Acreage

Wake County Board of Education

1551 Rock Quarry Road

Raleigh, NC 27610

0726861425

0079790

38.44

Wake County Board of Education

1551 Rock Quarry Road

Raleigh, NC 27610

0726850785

0079791

2.77

Total Area

41.21 acres

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

 

Applicant’s Representative

Kenneth Haywood

Boxley Bolton Garber & Haywood

227 W. Martin Street

Raleigh, NC 27601

(919) 832-3915

General Location

West of the intersection of Winding Pine Trail and Green Level Church Road

Land Use Plan Designation

Very Low-Density Residential (VLDR)

Zoning Districts

Residential 40 (R-40),

Jordan Lake Watershed Overlay

Within Town Limits

Yes

Staff Contact

Douglas Loveland, AICP, Senior Planner

Town of Cary Planning Department

P.O. Box 8005

Cary, NC  27512-8005

(919) 469-4045

douglas.loveland@townofcary.org

 

SUMMARY OF PROCESS AND ACTIONS TO DATE

 

Pre-application Meeting

The applicant attended a pre-application meeting for the site plan on May 25, 2016.

 

Plan Submittal and Review

The sketch site plan was submitted for its initial review on June 23, 2016, and has been reviewed by the Development Review Committee (DRC) through four review cycles.

 

Notification and Property Posting

Notice of the public hearing on the proposed site plan was mailed to property owners within 400 feet of the subject property, published on the Town’s website, and posted on the subject property.

 

LIST OF EXHIBITS

 

The following documents incorporated into this staff report are to be entered into the record for this hearing:

 

Exhibit A: Plan Review Application (5 pages)

Exhibit B: Agent Authorization (1 page)

Exhibit C: Sketch Site Plan (14 pages)

Exhibit D: Executive Summary of Traffic Analysis (35pages)

Exhibit E: Speaker Guidelines

Exhibit F; Suggested Motion Wordage [added after the meeting]

Exhibit G: December 9 Meeting Presentation [added after the meeting]

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

 

CLH Design, P.A., on behalf of the Wake County Board of Education, is requesting consideration of a sketch site plan to construct a 230,000-square-foot, three-story building for use as a middle school. The proposal includes a multi-purpose sports field, a softball field, and an outdoor basketball court. The plan also reserves space for the potential addition of mobile classrooms at a future date.

 

The site will have two points of vehicular access, one from the northeast and the other from the southeast. The connection to the north would be from a new public street, which would be extended by the applicant from the Alston Ridge Elementary School site to the east. Access from the south would be via a proposed extension of Winding Pine Trail, which would also include a stub for future connections to the south and west. The plan proposes that staff and visitor parking, along with queuing for student pick-up and drop off, would be accessed exclusively from the northern street. Bus traffic would use the southern access point from Winding Pine Trail, which would connect to the bus parking and loading area on the south side of the school building. Pedestrians could access the site using the public sidewalks along the northern or southern road extensions, both of which would connect to private sidewalks that lead to the school building. 

 

The applicant has identified nine healthy champion trees on the site. The proposed sketch site plan proposes to preserve four of the trees, and the applicant is requesting modifications to remove the remaining five champion trees. Staff granted an administrative modification to the requirement for the building to front on a public or private street.

 

There are currently two dwelling units located on the heavily-wooded 41-acre site. The site has rolling topography, and falls approximately 40 feet from east to west. The sketch site plan proposes four separate storm water control devices, and also identifies several existing wetlands and an existing pond.

 

The sketch site plan depicts the required 15-foot streetscape along the extension of Winding Pine Trail, which is designated as a local street, and the required 30-foot streetscape along the proposed northern roadway, which is anticipated to be classified as a collector street. The required 40-foot type A landscape buffer would be provided along all interior property lines on the site.

 

The proposed building would comply with the architectural requirements of the Community Appearance Manual (CAM), although the Manual does provide some flexibility for institutional uses. A full review for compliance with the architectural requirements will take place during site plan review, and is not a requirement for a sketch site plan review.

 

SITE PLAN WORKSHEET

 

A site plan may be approved by the Town Council only if it satisfies all six approval criteria listed in Section 3.9.2(I) of the LDO. As part of determining whether the first criterion is satisfied, Town Council must determine whether to grant the requested modifications to the Town’s development standards.

 

1.      Does the plan comply with all applicable requirements of the LDO, including all applicable Town specifications and official plans and manuals or documents adopted by the Town?

 

Applicant’s Statement: The plan complies with the applicable requirements of this ordinance.”

 

Staff Observations:

 

§         The sketch plan is generally consistent with the requirements of the LDO, with the exception of the requested modifications.

 

§         Documentation of full compliance with Town requirements will take place at the time of full site plan review. Many of the detailed requirements of the LDO and other regulating documents are not reviewed at the sketch plan phase of review.

 

§         Schools are a permitted use in the R-40 zoning district on sites more than 20 acres in size.

 

 

The following modifications require consideration by Town Council.

 

A.                 Request to remove the following five champion trees located on the site:

 

A1. A 40-inch Willow Oak located on the western portion of the site, in the location of the proposed softball field. The LDO designates this as a tier 1(v) priority for preservation

 

A2. A 42-inch Willow Oak in the location of the proposed parking area, west of the proposed school. The LDO designates this as a tier 1(iv) priority for preservation

 

A3. A 48-inch Willow Oak in the location of the proposed parking area, west of the proposed school. The LDO designates this as a tier 1(iv) priority for preservation

 

A4. A 32-inch Red Oak in the location of the proposed basketball court, west of the proposed school. The LDO designates this as a tier 1(iv) priority for preservation

 

A5. A 33-inch White Oak in the location of the proposed basketball court, west of the proposed school. The LDO designates this as a tier 1(iv) priority for preservation

 

Section 7.2.5(A)(1) provides the purpose behind the Town’s requirements for tree preservation:

 

“It is the intent of the Town Council to preserve trees and other vegetation through buffer (including urban transition buffer), streetscape, and floodplain regulations, and through champion tree preservation requirements, to the extent practical and reasonable. Preserving trees and vegetation on a site should not prevent the reasonable development of a site, given its zoning classification. This section 7.2.5 is designed to recognize unique site conditions and to allow flexibility in meeting the requirements.

 

The Town Council finds that preserving trees and healthy vegetation on a site during development:

 

a) Maintains and enhances the visual character and aesthetic qualities and appearance of the community and preserves community values;

b) Conserves and enhances the value of buildings and land

c) Conserves the natural resources and environmental quality of the Town and its environs;

d) Screens and softens the impact of construction and buildings and balances the scale of buildings;

e) Preserves wildlife habitat, controls surface water runoff, and moderates temperatures; and

f) Conserves water due to increased absorption ability and reduced heat effects.”

 

 

This request should be considered by Town Council pursuant to Section 3.19.1(C)(2) of the LDO, which reads as follows:

 

The Town Council may initiate or approve a minor modification allowed under this section at any time before it takes action on a development application. The Town Council may approve the minor modification only if it finds, after conducting a quasi-judicial hearing, that the modification advances the goals and purposes of this Ordinance and either results in less visual impact or more effective environmental or open space preservation, or relieves practical difficulties in developing a site. In determining if "practical difficulty" exists, the factors set forth in Section 3.20.5, "Approval Criteria" (for Variances) shall be considered. In granting a minor modification allowed under this section, the Town Council may require conditions that will secure substantially the objectives of the standard that is modified and that will substantially mitigate any potential adverse impact on the environment or on adjacent properties, including but not limited to additional landscaping or buffering.

 

Applicant’s Statement: The proposed use is institutional, public middle school, and by nature requires standard program elements such as fire and public safety requirements, ingress/egress requirements, NCDOT MSTA onsite stacking requirements, town code parking requirements, facility size requirements to accommodate the required student population, outdoor recreation requirements, service area requirements, program element adjacency and separation requirements, and accessibility requirements. Other factors affecting the ability to preserve the identified trees to be removed are code required buffers, environmental buffers, existing wetlands, steep topography, poor soils and shallow rock.

 

All factors listed above have been taken into consideration to site the proposed site elements in a configuration to effectively reduce the amount of grading, reduce the amount and height of retaining walls and to minimize the disturbance to existing wetlands. Achieving these items will compact the development footprint, reduces the amount, height and need for costly retaining walls, considers the reduction of potential rock removal and construction schedule to open the school on time. Staff has asked the design team to consider saving the 40” Willow Oak in the middle of the proposed softball field. This cannot be achieved due to the softball field being a middle school program element with adjacency requirements to the building. The proposed softball field is located on the ridge and flatter portion of the site to reduce the amount of retaining walls and impact to steep slopes. The 42” and 48” Willow Oaks are directly in the middle of the required parent stacking/queuing drive and code required parking. These trees have not been asked to be saved by staff. Staff has asked the design team to consider saving the 32” Red Oak and 33” White Oak near the proposed basketball court. These two trees, if saved, would be 9 feet above the proposed finished floor elevation of the building. A retaining wall would be required the entire length around the critical root zone of both trees. The trees would then be on an elevated constructed island with their natural microclimate and drainage removed. The basketball court would need to be relocated affecting the required program elements of adjacency, accessibility and if relocated could require the addition of costly and extensive retaining walls.

 

We respectfully ask Town Council to approve the request to remove the 5 identified champion trees to provide a new public middle school to serve the entire community.”

 

Staff Observations:

 

§         The minor modification request for the removal of the five champion trees requires council action as the applicant did not successfully demonstrate compliance with the approval criteria of section 7.2.5(D) of the LDO regarding administrative removal of champion trees.

 

§         Town staff encouraged the applicant to save a 33-inch oak tree just west of the bus access drive, which was originally proposed for removal. The applicant redesigned the site and is now proposing to save the tree (impact less than 25% of the critical root zone).

 

§         Each of the champion trees proposed for removal is a tier 1 tree, either due to the size of the tree (greater than 40-inches DBH), or being located in a grouping (defined by overlapping critical root zones). The LDO assigns a higher priority for preservation for tier 1 champion trees.

 

§         Four of the five champion trees requested for removal are located in two separate groupings. Champion trees A2 and A3, both Willow Oaks, are located in close proximity to each other near the proposed parking area, approximately 200 feet west of the school. The other pair, A4 and A5, a Red Oak and a White Oak, are located near the proposed basketball court just west of the school.

 

§         The applicant is required to provide replacement trees for the removed champion trees such that the total caliper inches of trees planted is no less than the caliper inches of the trees removed. The five champion trees that the applicant proposes to remove include a total of 195 caliper inches. If the requested modification is granted, a replacement planting plan would be required along with the full site plan submittal.

 

§         The removal of the five champion trees could be considered to advance the goals and purposes of section 1.3.6 of the LDO, which lists the adequate and safe provision of schools as a general purpose of the Ordinance, if the applicant can demonstrate that the removal of the trees is necessary to meet the programmatic needs of the school.

 

 

2.      Does the plan adequately protect other property, or residential uses located on the same property, from the potential adverse effects of the proposed development?

 

Applicant’s Statement: The plan proposes a middle school in the Town of Cary R-40 zoning district.  This is a permitted use in this district.  Considerations given for protecting the neighboring properties are; to maintain the existing buffers along the perimeter of the site.  These buffers consist of mature vegetation and will give instant screening from the school to the adjacent properties.  The parent queue traffic is going to be controlled on-site.  Approximately 3,150-lf of car stacking is provided on-site for drop off and pick up operations.  This should help alleviate any traffic concerns on Green Level Church Road.  Parents will be directed to a proposed northern public road which will keep parents out of the existing residential subdivision to the east.  Bus and service vehicles will be limited to Winding Pine Trail.  Athletic fields are located on the opposite side of the site from neighboring residential lots.  Lastly, the service area with dumpsters will be completely enclosed by a masonry enclosure with an opaque gate so it is completely screened from off-site views.

 

Staff Observations:

 

§         The proposed school use is a permitted use, however the LDO requires Town Council consideration due to the size of the proposed building (being larger than 100,000 square feet of floor area).

 

§         The sketch site plan provides the required 40-foot type-A landscape buffer along the interior property lines of the site. The existing vegetation will be preserved in these buffers, and supplemented as necessary to achieve a type-A planting standard.

 

§         The majority of the site abuts property that is either vacant or large-lot residential property, including the entire northern and western property lines, which may reduce the likelihood of any potential impacts to those properties.

 

§         As stated by the applicant, the plan locates the outdoor recreational areas on the north and west side of the site, away from the property line shared with Waterford Estates, the adjacent residential subdivision.

 

§         The drive aisle on the east side of the proposed school is proposed as a fire lane with access restricted by a gate. Queuing lanes and drive aisles for general traffic circulation or bus traffic are located on the north, west and south sides of the proposed building, providing greater separation between that traffic and the adjacent Waterford Estates subdivision.

 

§         There are no other uses proposed for the property, and the existing residential dwellings will be removed from the site prior to construction of the school.

 

3.      Does the plan provide harmony and unity with the development of nearby properties?

 

Applicant’s Statement: The new middle school will complement the surrounding area.  The building masses are congruent with existing development in the area.  Landscape buffers surrounding the site have been retained with existing vegetation and streetscape plantings will be provided to reduce the visual impact form the road and adjacent properties.

 

Staff Observations:

 

§         The proposed building is a three-story building with 230,000 square feet of floor area.

 

§         The buildings located in proximity to this site are houses located within the Waterford Estates subdivision, as well as houses on property just south of the site. It is very unlikely that a middle school building could be designed that would both meet the functional needs of the school and be of similar scale to the nearby houses.

 

§         While the proposed three-story building, with a floor area of 230,000 square feet, does not have a similar mass to the surrounding houses, the size and height of the proposed school are partially mitigated by the distance of the building to the adjacent property lines and the provision of type-A landscape buffers along the interior property lines.

 

§         The default building height limit for this site is 35 feet. However, the LDO allows an increase to this height limit with a corresponding increase in the required setback. The proposed building includes three-stories with a fourth floor mechanical penthouse. To accommodate the proposed height, the required building setback from the eastern property line (abutting Waterford Estates) would be 41 feet. The sketch site plan depicts the proposed school building as being located 137 feet from the eastern property line.

 

4.      Does the plan provide safe conditions for pedestrians or motorists and prevent a dangerous arrangement of pedestrian and vehicular ways?

 

Applicant’s Statement: A significant amount of sidewalks and pedestrian plazas are proposed to provide pathways to and from the parking areas and right of way to the school building.   Pedestrians can safely move about the campus because of these factors with limited pedestrian and vehicular conflicts.

 

Staff Observations:

 

§         The proposed plan separates bus and automotive traffic.

 

§         The plan proposes numerous sidewalks from the vehicular uses areas to the proposed building, as well as sidewalks from the adjacent public streets to allow pedestrian traffic safe access to the school building. 

 

5.      Does the plan provide safe ingress and egress for emergency services to the site?

 

Applicant’s Statement: The plan provides safe and direct ingress and egress routes for emergency services.  A significant amount of fire lane striping is proposed to restrict parking and allow a clear travel lane for emergency vehicles.  In addition a fire lane has been designed to get adequate fire coverage around the entire building.

 

Staff Observations:

 

§         The Town of Cary Fire and Police Departments have been made aware of the proposed project. At this time, they have not expressed any concerns regarding the proposed improvements shown on this plan, including the proposal for an access restricted fire lane on the east side of the school.

 

6.      Does the plan provide mitigation for traffic congestion impacts reasonably expected to be generated by the project?

 

Applicant’s Statement: A Traffic Impact Analysis was conducted.  The Traffic Impact Analysis is currently in review by NCDOT and the Town of Cary.  Once the review is completed and all parties are in agreement on the proposed improvements, those improvements will be “committed” and become required improvements as part of approval for the proposed middle school. 

 

In addition, committed improvements at this time are: the proposed northern public access road, Alston Ridge Elementary entrance drive modifications and intersection improvements at Cartecay Drive. In addition to the off-site improvements, approximately 3,150 linear feet of vehicle queueing is provided on-site to avoid parents queuing on the new proposed northern public road.  Only bus and service vehicles will access the site from Winding Pines Trail.

 

Staff Observations:

 

§         The plan proposes to route the school bus traffic along Winding Pine Trail, through the existing Waterford Estates subdivision.  Wake County Public School System has agreed to investigate the existing pavement structure on Winding Pine Trail and will reconstruct the roadway if the additional bus traffic loading warrants a thicker pavement structure.

 

§         Access to the site for parents, school staff and visitors is proposed to be restricted to the northern street, which would be constructed to collector street standards.

 

§         The bus parking and loading area is physically separated from the general vehicular circulation for the rest of the school, with the only connection being a gated fire lane.

 

§         A Traffic Impact Analysis was performed by SEPI Engineering & Construction has been reviewed by Town staff and NCDOT.  The report analyzed 8 intersections and suggests improvements at 3 intersections consisting of the following:

 

1.      Green Level Church Road at Kit Creek Road

§         Construct second northbound travel lane on Green Level Church Road (that becomes right turn lane at intersection) between Kit Creek Road and Cartecay Drive. 

§         Construct ‘pork chop’ island to create northbound channelized right turn.

§         Modify traffic signal.

 

2.      Green Level Church Road at Cartecay Drive

§         Restripe existing Green Level Church Road northbound pavement to add second through lane. 

§         Extend the existing northbound left turn lane to provide 500 feet of storage.

§         Rebuild existing Alston Ridge Elementary School Driveway as the extension of Cartecay Drive to provide a single lane ingress and a dual lane egress on Cartecay Drive at Green Level Church Road.  The eastbound approach would have a shared left-thru lane and exclusive right turn. 

§         Construct additional approach lane on Cartecay Drive westbound. The westbound approach would have a shared thru-left lane and an exclusive right turn.

§         Install new traffic signal at the intersection.

 

3.      Green Level Church Road at O’Kelly Chapel Road

§         Construct second northbound thru lane on Green Level Church Road between Rosepine Drive and O’Kelly Chapel Road.

§         Modify traffic signal.

 

NCDOT has reviewed the above items and has indicated they are acceptable.  These improvements are noted as conditions on the sketch plan cover sheet.

             

APPROVAL CRITERIA AND SUGGESTED COUNCIL MOTIONS

 

Staff has prepared a concise summary of approval criteria, as well as provided suggested conditions as follows:

 

SUMMARY OF APPROVAL CRITERIA for Modification Requests A1- A5

 

1.                                                        Does the removal or adverse impact to more than 25% of the critical root zone of the five champion trees advance the goals and purposes of the Ordinance?

 

2.                                                        Does the removal or adverse impact to more than 25% of the critical root zone of the five champion trees result in less visual impact or more effective environmental or open space preservation or relieve practical difficulties in developing the site?

 

TEST SATISFIED? __ YES __ NO

 

SUMMARY OF Site PLAN APPROVAL CRITERIA

 

1.      Does the plan comply with all applicable requirements of the LDO, including all applicable Town specifications and official plans and manuals or documents adopted by the Town?

 

TEST SATISFIED? __ YES __ NO

 

2.      Does the plan adequately protect other property, or residential uses located on the same property, from the potential adverse effects of the proposed development?

 

TEST SATISFIED? __ YES __ NO

 

3.      Does the plan provide harmony and unity with the development of nearby properties?

 

TEST SATISFIED? __ YES __ NO

 

4.      Does the plan provide safe conditions for pedestrians or motorists and prevent a dangerous arrangement of pedestrian and vehicular ways?

 

TEST SATISFIED? __ YES __ NO

 

5.      Does the plan provide safe ingress and egress for emergency services to the site?

 

TEST SATISFIED? __ YES __ NO

 

6.      Does the plan provide mitigation for traffic congestion impacts reasonably expected to be generated by the project?

 

TEST SATISFIED? __ YES __ NO

 

recommended conditions FOR Site PLAN approval

 

1.      The applicant must satisfactorily address all remaining Development Review Committee comments.

 

Meeting History

Dec 6, 2016 6:30 PM Video Town Council Quasi-Judicial Meeting
draft Draft

Weinbrecht: We have one item on the agenda this evening, and it’s an evidentiary hearing on M16 middle school 16-SP-045. This case is before us tonight because the applicant has proposed to develop more than 100,000 square feet than has request-and has requested modifications to the town’s development standards. As a reminder to those in attendance, even though we are in the council chambers, an evidentiary hearing is more like a court case. Council acts like the judge and can only accept evidence that is competent, material, and substantial. The North Carolina and United States constitutions give the applicant certain due-process rights in an evidentiary hearing that Council must comply with. The Constitution really ties our hands on what evidence we can accept and the reasons this needs to be a different type of hearing. I’ll apologize in advance for what, in my opinion, is an awful process. And it may feel like to those who give evidence that are not experts. So we might have to interrupt you. It is not that we don’t appreciate you attending and voicing your concerns. The Constitution really confines us to only a certain type of evidence that we can consider. We will consider competent material and substantial evidence from anyone who testifies. By law, we can only accept testimony from expert witnesses regarding whether this development will affect property values and whether any increase in traffic resulting from this development will propose a danger to public safety. An expert is a person who is qualified with a special knowledge or proficient in a particular field. A contractual attorney will help us determine who is an expert and what evidence we can consider. And this attorney is sitting to my left. The hearing procedures and detail rules are attached to the printed agenda. All speakers who would like to speak during this public hearing must be administered an oath to Mrs. Johnson, who is to my right. And we’ll pause at this time and take a moment to allow those individuals who’d like to speak at the public hearing to approach Mrs. Johnson and receive their oaths. And once that has concluded, Council will continue.

Virginia Johnson, notary public, provided affirmations to potential witnesses.

None of the members presented had any site visits, ex parte communications, financial relationships, specialized knowledge, or close relationship to an affected person to disclose, except Weinbrecht and George. Their disclosures are included below.

Weinbrecht: I received an email titled “Middle School” something something, and that’s about as far as I got. I saw that Councilmember George is on the email. And I immediately responded with a set cut-and-paste that we have that says we can’t read this, we can’t talk to you, et cetera. So that’s my only issue.

George: I received that email and read the email before I read your email.

Weinbrecht: Okay.

George: But I don’t know that anything came up from the email.

Weinbrecht: Do you believe it will impact your judgment in any way?

George: I do not.

(end of disclosures)

Weinbrecht: On the disclosures you’ve heard from the Council members here tonight, I would invite any party in this matter if they have an objection to a Council member’s participation in this hearing. And I would ask that you come forward now. Seeing no one, we’ll open the quasi-judicial hearing. And Mr. Loveland of our staff will introduce the item.

Loveland: Thank you, Mayor. Good evening, Council. This is a request by Wake County Board of Education for a sketch site plan approval for the construction of a school, as well as consideration of modification requests. The site in question is located west of North Carolina 55, west of Green Level Church Road, just east of the Wake County/Chatham County line. There are three stream buffers that are present on the site that impact the site to some extent, as well as a little bit of hundred-year floodplain on the southwest corner of the site. The Parks and Recreation master plan does not show any greenways or street-side trails that impact or connect to the site. There are no transit routes within the vicinity of the site, either. Site is located in a R40 zoning district. Schools are a permitted use in the R40 zoning district, if they are located on a property greater than 20 acres in size. This site is just over 41 acres in size. So it is a permitted use. Again, of course, the school is needing your approval because of the size of the building, not because it is special use. Site is adjacent to a mixed-use overlay district. It is not in the mixed-use overlay district itself. An aerial view at a small scale of the site. You can see the county lines. You can see Highway 55 to the east. As we zoom in, you can see the adjoining subdivision Waterford Estates on the southeast corner has abutting street that will access the site, as we’ll see in just a minute. Alston Ridge Elementary to the northeast of this site, which will also provide a connection point to the school, as we’ll see. Wake County has proposed to construct a school of 230,000 square feet. As the mayor indicated, that is above the threshold of 100,000 square feet needing Council approval. Access to the school would be through two new proposed public streets, or really extensions of existing public streets. Winding Pine Trail does exist to the southeast, or is terminated to the southeast corner of this site. The applicant has proposed to continue this or extend this public street to its western boundary and take access from it as well. To the north you have the extension of the existing drive aisle to Alston Ridge School. That would be constructed to public street standards all the way out to Green Level Church Road and brought into the northeast corner of this site where it terminates at the north property line, and also provide access to the site. The new school building is, as you can see, is located on the eastern portion of this site. There are the athletic fields, a multipurpose field on the northern side and a softball field off on the western side. Staff and visitor parking are located to the north and west of the school. Those are accessed from the northern drive aisle or from the northern road into the site. The bus traffic is located to the south of the school along with a handful of staff parking spots, which is accessed through the Winding Pine Trail public street extension. There is a gated fire lane to the east of the school that connects these two, the bus access area and the visitor and staff parking, a gated fire lane that would not be allowed for general circulation as proposed. Multiple BMPs or storm water control devices are located on the site. Again, this is a sketch plan review, so some of the details of the exact nature of these storm water control devices have not been reviewed. That’s the nature of a sketch plan; it’s a more general plan. But their general location is indicated on this plan. The need for multiple devices is probably a result of the varied topography out there. It is not a flat site just pitching to one side. So the applicant is utilizing multiple storm water control devices. There are some voluntarily accepted offsite traffic improvements at three different intersections, as outlined in your staff report. Green Level Church Road and Kit Creek Drive has some improvements. Green Level Road and Cartecay, I believe is how it’s pronounced, which is actually the road that’s just opposite of the Alston Ridge drive aisle. So this new road will assume that name. There’ll be a new signal, traffic signal, at that intersection, and there will also be a road widening from the Cartecay intersection to Kit Creek Drive. And finally at Green Level Church Road and O’Kelly Chapel Road there’ll be some intersection improvements and, again, a road widening at that location. This is a drawing that shows you the scale and size of the building. This is oriented more or less north up or northwest view. So you’re actually looking at the back of the proposed school here. You see on the northern side of the building the three-story classroom wing. You note that it actually has a fourth story that is a mechanical penthouse. It is not an occupied story. So the applicant is referring to that as a three-story wing. To the rear of that, to the south of that, you have cafeteria, gymnasium, and similar type spaces. As you can see, that’s at a lower height. This is a sketch plan, so we are not reviewing elevation drawings; that will be done at the site plan stage. So the elevations you see proposed here are still tentative. They will, of course, have to comply with the architectural principles of the Community Appearance Manual. There are nine champion trees that were identified by the applicant on the site. They are proposing to preserve four of those nine trees, shown here in the green, primarily on the southern end of the site, and requesting to remove five of them, hence the five modification requests. A1, which is a 40-inch willow oak, which is located where they are proposing the softball field. The remaining four trees are in two different groupings. A2 and A3, which are both willow oaks, large willow oaks, at 42 and 48 inches, and A4 and A5, a red oak and a white oak that are grouped near the basketball court.

This concludes staff’s initial presentation. I will, of course, be back to present my observations after the applicant and the public has had a chance to speak.

Weinbrecht: Thank you, Mr. Loveland. At this time we’ll call on the applicant’s attorney to present arguments and evidence in support of the application by addressing the applicable approval criteria.

Haywood: Mr. Mayor, members of the Town Council, my name again is Kenneth Haywood. Pleased to be before you tonight on behalf of the Wake County Board of Education. We’re always pleased when we get a chance to be able to come talk to you about new school projects. And, of course, tonight with the fact that this is the sole item on your agenda with regards to the quasi-judicial, we’re pleased that you took the time to allow us to be able to be before you. So thank you, on behalf of the board. We do have a brand-new middle school that has been proposed before you tonight, as you briefly heard from the staff. Let me first of all, as we try to do, thank staff as always. Your staff has been very helpful to work with on this particular site. I appreciate their time and consideration and working with the school and our consultants. For the record, I’m with the law firm of Boxley, Bolton, Garber & Haywood, Post Office Drawer 1429. And as you’ve seen, the school site is in proximity to our Alston Ridge Elementary School, which is already in existence. You’ve heard that this is also Winding Pine Trail, in terms of the street address, in connection with Green Level Church Road. This school is to accommodate approximately 1,280 new students. It is to be able to provide additional seats within the area that it’s going to serve, to be able to serve the areas from which assignment will be drawn. And it is a school that we have used as a prototype. The school also is being used for the new East Wake Middle School located off of Milburnie Road. And so from that extenuation, we took this particular school site from an architectural standpoint, and you’ll hear from the landscape architect. The topography on the site and the other considerations did lead to some challenges regarding elevation changes. Part of that is with regards to the champion trees that you’ve talked about and trying to look to see whether we could preserve, for example, I think it was E4 and E5. That you will hear that from the elevation standpoint that was difficult. From the staffing standpoint, you’ve heard obviously that this is a permitted use. And we’re really here before you for two reasons: one, because of the size; and, two, because of the modification regarding the trees. But for that we believe, based on our application and based on staff report and their comments, that we’re in full compliance with the LDO. Tonight I have with me the landscape architect, Keith Downing with CLH Design. I also have tonight our traffic engineer with SEPI Engineering, who I’ll be calling to be able to provide the testimony to you tonight and satisfaction of various requirements that need to be met. But, obviously, we have provided a full response with regards to the various questions. And so to the extent our application and our report regarding our response to the findings and the staff report tonight, it should be considered as part of the record in support of our particular application. At this time I will ask for Mr. Downing to come down and introduce himself to you and allow him to give you some more information regarding the actual site itself.

Downing: Good evening, Mr. Mayor, members of the board. Keith Downing, landscape architect with CLH Design, 400 Regency Forest Drive Cary, North Carolina. Just to reiterate what Mr. Haywood said, staff, appreciate their time and efficiency, and been a pleasure to work with. And thank you for hearing our case tonight. To build on what Doug said, more about the site. Accessing from the north will be staff and visitors only and the parent queue. And access to the south of the site will be bus and service vehicles. So there will not be any parent traffic or staff traffic on the residential Winding Pine Trail when the school is open. We did that on purpose to try and keep the volume of people off of there. And then obviously the collector avenue is designed much larger to accommodate the amount of traffic that the parent queue requires through MSTA review. Briefly addressing the trees that need to be removed. The two, I think it was, A4 and A5 near the basketball court. Those were elevation-challenged. The finish floor for the-our written justification, it’s about nine feet lower than where those two trees are on existing grade. So if we did save those, there would be retaining wall around them and substantially up in the air. The two in the drive, that’s just the function of adjacency for program elements. We have a required amount of parking. We have a required amount of queuing program elements. Try to move pedestrians safely across the site so you can see the strong east-west pedestrian connection there to help drivers identify pedestrian safety. And parking for the softball field. And that western side of the middle school is where the gymnasium is.

I know that they’re looking at some joint use for the interior of the building. So after hours, when the public uses the facility, they’ll be able to have that pedestrian connection into that side of the building. So we tried to connect the exterior elements with the interior elements.

The one in the softball field, the softball field is a program element of the middle school. And this diagram does not show it, but the site is very topographically challenged. If you take approximately the middle of the site from east to west, there’s a ridge there. And then it’s almost the same going north and south from the middle. So the site is kind of broken into quadrants, and it falls off to each corner. So what we’ve done is we’ve located the building, the parking, and the softball field, those flatter elements, and we tried to locate that on the flattest, most usable part of the site that would impact the topography the least. And that helps us with other challenges such as poor soils, shallow rock, trying to mitigate the size and requirements of retaining walls if we need them, cut-fill balances, and working with the extension of Winding Pine Trail and the other roads we have elevations that we need to connect to provide handicap accessibility from Winding Pine Trail to the building and from the proposed northern road to the building. We’ve got to make all those grades work. So those basically are the biggest challenges, in a nutshell. We also have the 40-foot Type A buffer around the perimeter of the site. We have an existing pond with 100-foot, Town of Cary urban transition buffer, an existing wetland at the south of the site that we’re trying not to impact, a floodway floodplain in the lower left corner of the site. So we were very challenged to fit this program footprint into the center part of the site and make it as compact as we could. If there’s any other questions or anything that I’ve missed along the way, I’ll be glad to answer any of your questions or concerns.

Weinbrecht: Not at this time. Thank you.

Haywood: At this time the applicant would like to ask BenJetta Johnson to please come down to provide testimony.

Johnson: Good evening, Mayor, Council. I’m BenJetta Johnson. I work for SEPI Engineering. I’m the traffic department manager there. We’re located at 1025 Wade Avenue in Raleigh. SEPI Engineering was retained by Wake County Public Schools to do the traffic impact report for the M16 middle school. We coordinated our study area, the assignment of student trips, as well as offsite improvements with the town engineering staff, the NCDOT district office, as well as the NCDOT municipal school and transportation assistance group. As was already mentioned, the number of students-the approximate number of students was used to generate trips for the proposed development. And the study area included the intersections from NC 55 at Kit Creek over to Green Level Church Road and then down to Yates Store. Approximately, between 30 and 35% of the student population assigned to the school was assumed to come from the eastern part of Cary, east of NC 55. The remaining traffic was assumed to be coming north along 55, to access the school. The offsite improvements that were mentioned as part of the town report are all along Green Level Church Road. They start at Kit Creek intersection, where there is a recommendation for a continuous right-turn lane at the signalized intersection of Green Level Church Road and Kit Creek. There is a recommendation to extend the northbound left-turn lane and install a traffic signal at the intersection of Green Level Church Road at what will be the extension of Cartecay. And there are improvements along Green Level Church Road at the intersection of O’Kelly Chapel Road just to the east of Yates Store Road, at the current signalized intersection. If you have any additional questions, I can answer them.

Weinbrecht: Not at this time, thank you.

Johnson: Okay.

Haywood: At this time, let me spend a few minutes to talk about the issues that I think are before us tonight. From a traffic standpoint, since Ms. Johnson was just before you, my understanding is that there is full understanding and agreement between the school system and the Town staff regarding the improvements that you’ve heard about. There is no issue at all between your staff, the Town, and our traffic engineer regarding the site plan elements that you’ve heard. There is, with review in this staff report, no issues between what the staff is recommending and what they have opined in terms of compliance and what we say. And so we have a unique situation or a good situation, I would actually state, with regards to the Town staff who has reviewed the application and the information we have submitted that we come in compliance with the LDO and the various requirements that are necessary for locating a middle school in this particular area. We’re here because obviously you need to approve the size of the school, which is a requirement under your ordinances, and then we’re here because the fact of there are some champion trees that need to be removed in order to be able to site the school on this particular campus. And so that’s why we’re here tonight. And those are the two issues before us. School-the size is obviously just an element of the function of the size of the building we need. And with regarding the trees, let me add a couple items with regard to the trees. There is one tree that you heard of that’s in the middle of the planned softball field. Our landscape architect looked to see whether it could be revised in terms of other locations and considerations in terms of proximity of where the building needed to be and where the field is. That’s where the field is best located to be able to work within the topographic challenges that you’ve heard about. So should we look at not having a middle school softball team and a field for those students, the school system believes that that is a program element that they should provide for this particular school and for the students. Not having that would require the students, both in terms of their afternoon practices and their games, to have to be transported to other locations, which we therefore think then adds to your roadway system in terms of additional traffic. And then obviously you get the issues in terms of safety concerns of having to travel children on a daily basis for practices to one or more different campuses in order to be able to have them. And so we believe, from the school system’s standpoint, that that’s an important program element and one should be preserved. We wish we didn’t have to remove that champion tree, but it’s either the champion tree or the softball field. And for the reasons that I’ve expressed and others we think that there is justification for the removal of that tree in order to be able to have that program element for the school. The other ones you’ve heard of in terms of next to the parking lot, elevations that are surely just a function of the site plan, in terms of the elevations of the building. And those would need to be removed because of the fact that it, as you’ve heard, they would be significantly higher in the air in terms of the elevation. So we believe that there is important justification. We’re not removing trees just to remove trees. We’ve carefully considered all nine of them. We’ve been able to preserve four of them. And the five that need to be removed, we believe there is justification that we’ve provided to staff and tonight in terms of why those needed to be removed. We are maintaining a heavily mature vegetated buffer around the entire site. And so when you look at this particular site, it is very mature in terms of growth. And we are containing all of that growth around the perimeter to be able to allow that natural screening to continue to exist, which I think is a good thing for the school system to do, in terms of stewards of the land. I will mention also, you briefly heard this, that there has been conversations with the Town regarding joint use of some of the facilities. We want this conversation to continue. We’re excited about that, as we always are whenever we can have joint use between towns and school system. And the same is true here. And so those areas of the school in which the Town would like to be able to use have already been identified, and I think the appropriate folks are working on making sure that that comes to pass. The other items that I need to address tonight, before I sit down and then see whether there’s any one to speak in opposition to this particular application, are the various-when we look at the worksheet, there are six different elements. And on those, I believe, as I’ve said before, we’ve provided justification for each of those previously, in terms of our packet of information, which I would adopt tonight, in terms of our particular response to all those different findings. In addition to what you’ve heard tonight, I think that there is not anything from my review from a staff standpoint that they challenge or disagree with the information that we’ve provided. So therefore I do think that the application and tonight we have satisfied each of the six different requirements in order for you to approve our application tonight. The only concern of staff was regarding the trees. And under your ordinance, they can only administratively approve removal either for such things as roadways, utility connections, and others. And obviously in this situation, what we have tonight, that requires your approval instead of staff, which is why we are here before you tonight. So I’m going to-Mr. Mayor, with your approval-see if there is anyone to speak in opposition to this particular application. And if not then I’d like to be able to come back, finalize with a very, very brief conclusion in terms of a closing statement, and that will be all we have tonight.

Weinbrecht: Thank you. I do have a script to follow, so it might be a little bit later than you think. At this time I’ll invite others to speak, who were sworn in to speak in support of the application, to approach the podium. Anyone additional in support? Moving on.

Does any-we now open the hearing to those who are opposed to the request. As a reminder to those testifying, an applicant’s representative has the right to object to your testimony. He or she may object while you are speaking. I may interrupt you while you’re speaking. They have the right to do that. I have the right to do that. Our contractual attorney may interrupt you as an objection has been made. He will give Council options on how to move forward with an objection. So at this time I would invite the first speaker forward in opposition. Anyone to speak in opposition?

Davuluri: Good evening. Kalyan Davuluri. 1813 Seahorse Court in Cary. I am one of the homeowners in the neighborhood next to the proposed school building. Mr. Mayor and the Town of Cary Town Council, and also the Wake County School Board. The reason I’m speaking up here is at least I’m personally not opposed to building a school next to my neighborhood. It’s probably better than building a gas station or a Walmart. But one thing I wanted to bring up or highlight attention is on the intention of opening up Winding Pine Trail, the single road into the neighborhood for bus traffic. Because if you see, right, even though it’s being classified as a public road, it’s a very narrow street. And when you have cars parked on either side, even getting a single car through will be a problem. So think about what would happen when you open it for bus traffic. And I hear that in the meeting that the facility might also be used for other Town of Cary recreational activities. So this will have an impact to people getting in-

Weinbrecht: I’m going to stop you right there.

Davuluri: Okay.

Weinbrecht: You are stating an opinion. We can only take opinions from expert witnesses. You can state what you have seen, but you cannot give an opinion that-am I correct?

Silverstein:That’s absolutely correct when it comes to traffic safety. As the mayor said, you can state your observations, but you can’t state conclusions unless you are trained as an expert.

Davuluri: Okay, can I state that we have small kids playing in the neighborhood?

Weinbrecht: Yes, absolutely.

Davuluri: Yes. So that’s going to be impacted when you have buses coming through. I know they won’t be playing when the buses are in the morning, but if you open up the road for connection there is nothing to prevent from people from driving through the neighborhood. There is going to be no gates or anything like that on the south entrance, to my understanding. And then down the line when the facility gets opened for weekend activities, who knows what’s going to happen? So all we are-all I’m trying to urge is, try to find a alternate road for the bus traffic that doesn’t go through the neighborhood. That’s all I have to say. Thank you.

Weinbrecht: Thank you. Any other speakers in opposition? If you’ve been sworn in and you haven’t signed a statement, I need you to sign that statement before you can speak. So you can come on down.

Rao: Hi. Thanks for the opportunity to just say a few words. So I just want to make a few observations.

Weinbrecht: State your name and address, please.

Rao: Yeah. I’m Suhale Rao. I live at 1721 Colleen Circle.

Weinbrecht: Thank you.

Rao: Which is in Cary and part of the Waterford Estates neighborhood. I just want to make one observation. I didn’t hear anything about traffic consideration for O’Kelly Chapel and Winding Pine Trail, where the buses would be entering in and out of the neighborhood to get to the school. So I’m wondering if someone could comment on if there is going to be something done there. It’s already difficult at traffic times for us to get in and out of the neighborhood for our homes. And when you have a row of buses trying to get in or out, I’m just concerned about trying to pull out there and to see if there’s any-been any consideration about that. That’s it.

Weinbrecht: Okay. And the way this works is we’ll deliberate later. The attorney for the applicant may comment on this. If not, we may comment on it later, or we may ignore it all together.

Rao: Okay.

Weinbrecht: I don’t know.

Rao: All right. Thank you.

Weinbrecht: Next speaker, please, in opposition?

Tyagi: Good evening, Mr. Mayor, Town Council Member. Thank you for giving me a chance to speak here. My name is Sameer Tyagi, and I live 5017 Makefield Court, which is right next to the proposed school. Just like Kalyan said, I welcome having a school in our backyard. And the only concern we have is that the Winding Pine Trail is a very narrow street. And, as they mentioned, we have children playing, you know, during the off hours. So we wanted the town to take that into consideration. That’s all I wanted to say.

Weinbrecht: Thank you. Any other speakers in opposition? Anyone else? Seeing no one, we’ll invite the applicant’s attorney to cross-examine if he wishes.

Weinbrecht: Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.

Reiss: Good evening, Mr. Mayor.

Weinbrecht: Can I get you to move to your left, please? Thank you.

Reiss: My name is Louise Reiss. And my husband, Edmund Reiss, who really wanted to be here tonight but was called out of town, own the property immediately adjacent to the school to the north.

Weinbrecht: Give us the address, please.

Reiss: 7633 Wake Road, Durham. And we have no objections to the school whatsoever; however, our concerns are minimal but are important to us and for the safety of the children of the school. First, we request that the 40-foot buffer between the school and our property extend the whole length of the property line. As the plan now stands, a proposed stub stops the buffer with 70 feet to go. If the transportation department deems this stub essential, even though our property will never be developed and is intended to go into land conservancy, we propose that the stub be placed on the school side of the buffer. As precedent, a comparable stub in the development to the east of our property stops within the development. Second, because our three Doberman pinschers are accustomed to follow a path through our woods along this property line, we think a substantial fence, ideally an eight-food solid fence on the school side of the buffer would be desirable both to deter children from coming into our woods and encountering our dogs and to prevent our dogs from entering school property. While a four-foot hog-wire fence already exists along our property line, it is frequently breached by deer. As precedent to this, an eight-foot solid fence was constructed by the development to our east at the buffer between their property and ours. We think it is necessary for the safety of our property and especially the safety of the children. Over the past 43 years we have been able to work successfully with both developers and the Town of Cary and as change and development affected our property. We trust that we will be able to do the same in this instance. Thank you very much.

Weinbrecht: Thank you. Anyone else to speak in opposition? Okay. We’ll close that and offer the applicant’s attorney the ability to cross-examine, please.

Haywood: I do have a question or two, if I may ask, of the last lady who spoke with regard to that. Using this microphone. I do have a question or two I’d like to be able to ask the last presenter, if I could.

Weinbrecht: We’ll get her the microphone. Hold on just a second.

Reiss: Thank you very much.

Weinbrecht: They have to type everything we say later, so that’s why it has to be on the microphone. Go ahead.

Haywood: Thank you very much for your comments. I wanted to ask with regards to your request to the Town Council, are you aware that there is over 1,100 feet worth of distance between our property corners, between our property and your property?

Reiss: Well, we’re concerned about the population of this school going off to the woods, in effect.

Haywood: Right. But my specific question is, are you aware of the amount of distance of the property . . . .

Reiss: I didn’t know the exact distance, no.

Haywood: Okay. Would you have any reason to disagree that it’s over 1,100 square feet?

Haywood: Over 1,100 feet?

Reiss: No.

Haywood: And are you aware of any other school locations in the county in which the school has a precedent for building fences for the benefit of a property owner and not for the school’s purposes?

Reiss: No, I don’t know about those situations. But at the same time . . . .

Haywood: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Reiss: . . . . I think it’s really beneficial to the children not to be able to go over there.

Weinbrecht: Okay. At this time I’ll invite the staff forward for additional information.

Loveland: Thank you. So, again, the consideration is needed for this request for the approval of a sketch site plan due to the size of the proposed development as well as the requested modifications for tree removal, which I’ll get to in just a second. I did want to comment on the stub to the northern property line. That, of course, is a requirement of the LDO, that it stub to that location. And that is ending the buffer at that stub. Unfortunately it’s coming in at an angle, which is hard to avoid, so it’s taking up a little more linear distance of her northern property line than if it was going through that buffer at a true 90-degree angle, which would have been preferable. But the location of the stub is required to allow for future development. She has mentioned the fact that they may in the future put that property into a land conservancy, but we can only act on the status of that property now, which it’s not in that now, so there is a requirement for that stub. The champion trees require removal, as the applicant has made a case, primarily due to programming requirements for the school, whether it be the size of the school or different athletic requirements which were not criteria that staff could consider for staff removal. There are certainly some topographic challenges to the site as well, which made it a challenge. But not to the extent where to qualify for staff removal. I will comment that there is a 33-inch oak just south of the drive aisle, or just west of the drive aisle into the school, which originally wasn’t slated for preservation. And we worked with the applicant, and they were able to alter the drive aisle for the school bus parking lot and were able to preserve that tree. That’s only my observations. I’d be happy to answer any questions for you. And certainly would note if you want more information about the offsite transportation improvements, which I did not really dwell on, we’d be happy to answer those questions.

Weinbrecht: Thank you, Mr. Loveland. At this time I’ll once again offer the applicant’s attorney the ability to cross-examine. Okay, very good. Does any party believe that Council members-does any party or Council members believe that new evidence has been presented this evening that requires a continuance of this hearing? Anyone need a continuance? All right. We will now begin the deliberative phase. Yeah?

Glover: Before you do that, Mr. Mayor, I think that Mr. Haywood had asked for a little time for rebuttal and a closing statement earlier, if you’re inclined to grant that to him.

Weinbrecht: Please.

Haywood: Thank you, Mrs. Glover. This will be very short. I do wish to, regarding the comments that have come up in opposition to the school, mention a couple of things. You’re well versed in hearing multiple of these school cases in the past that there are requirements by the Department of Transportation. There are MSTA units in terms of separation of school traffic regarding parent traffic and regarding bus traffic. And so the fact that we have two different aisles, one for parents and one for buses, is something that is outside of our purview as one that’s mandated on us regarding that. So to the extent that there is minimal bus traffic coming through Winding Pine Trail as was a topic of some of the comments that you’ve heard, that’s really the function that it was a choice of either putting parent traffic through that or bus traffic through that. We chose to be able to have the least amount of traffic, which would be the bus traffic, which are a minimal amount of buses coming through at, obviously, only two times a day. And that is why that was chosen, in terms of that, to try to actually work with the neighborhood in terms of the amount of traffic coming through, so we could comply with the DOT and MSTA requirements. With regards to a couple of the other items you heard, with regards to the property owner to the north, the stub requirement, as you’ve heard from staff now, is something that we didn’t have any choice over. That was something that was dictated by the LDO. And regarding the fence, I’ll just mention that I think the property owner, if they choose to wish to put a fence to maintain their dogs within their property, is certainly allowed to do that on their side of the property. I would, quite frankly, rather spend the money on teacher salaries and other requirements that are necessary for the academic use of that school than to build a fence at the site of what this particular property owner is asking for in terms of both the length, the height of the fence in order to be able to maintain their animals. I have nothing against dogs. I have nothing against their animals. But if they choose to be able to maintain them on their site, then that’s certainly something they can do with their own funds. But I think that the money has been allocated for this particular school to be able to build it out of the bond that’s been approved by the taxpayers. And when we consider the best use of taxpayer dollars, I think that we need to look at a conservative use of those dollars in terms of where they are most needed. So we would request that that not be a condition that’s added to approval. But we do ask for your consideration tonight in approving the application based on all the evidence you’ve heard tonight and the application that’s been before you. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your thoughtful deliberation. And on behalf of the Wake County Board of Education, we look forward to being able to work with you and your staff in a new middle school adjacent to our Alston Ridge Elementary School. Thank you.

Weinbrecht: Thank you. We’ll now begin the deliberative phase of the hearing. And I’ll open it up to Council members for comments or questions.

Bush: I have just a couple. There is the Winding Pine Trail road. Can staff let me know, does that have a current sidewalk on it today?

Loveland: I don’t know the answer to that specifically, although it’s appearing that it does. Ken, do you know?

Bush: Yeah. So there is a safe place for the kids to ride their bikes . . . .

Dunn: Yes.

Bush: . . . . to walk to school, et cetera. And then is there a plan for a continuation of that sidewalk into the middle school?

Loveland: That’s part of the LDO requirements of, here is evidence that there is. It looks like it’s on the north side. The LDO will . . . .

George: The south side.

Loveland: . . . . require sidewalk.

Bush: Sorry, it’s on the south side?

Loveland: Oh, you flipped it. It’s on the south side. Excuse me. He flipped the view.

Bush: And is the sidewalk also on the south side of the continuation of Winding . . . .

Loveland: I don’t think that’s been determined yet at the sketch plan stage. So that’s a detail we would look at the site plan stage. But it’d be required on one side of the road on a local . . . .

Bush: You know, personally it makes me feel good that there is a sidewalk there. I feel better about kids. One of the things we teach our kids, “Stay on the sidewalk. Don’t play in the street.” So I feel good about knowing that there is a sidewalk there for the parents who are very concerned about that. I have buses come through my neighborhood as well because we have an elementary school in our neighborhood. And if the school system would be so fortunate as to be able to make the decision where the sidewalk comes, I’m sure continuing that safe route to school would certainly be helpful. That’s my only question.

Weinbrecht: Okay. Other comments or questions?

Frantz: I mean, I’ve got comments if there’s no other questions.

Weinbrecht: Any other questions.

George: I’ve got a question about the, how is this Winding Trail is currently a what classification street?

Loveland: It’s a local street.

George: And what’s the width?

Dunn: It’s 27 back to back.

George: Okay.

Weinbrecht: And for the record, does he need to state his name? Yeah.

Dunn: Ken Dunn with the Transpiration and Facilities.

Weinbrecht: Thank you.

George: So it-does the traffic-can we determine that if there are cars-that cars can park on both side of the street? There’s no no-parking on this Winding Pine Trail, correct?

Dunn: I believe they can park on both sides of the street.

George: And with cars parked on both sides, does that leave enough passage for just a single vehicle or dual vehicles or with a bus? I’m trying to do the math in my head with 27 feet.

Dunn: It would generally be a single vehicle if there’s a car parked on both sides.

George: A single vehicle only probably?

Dunn: Yeah.

George: Okay.

Dunn: Correct.

Weinbrecht: Any other questions, Mr. George? Any other questions?

George: The speed limit is 25?

Dunn: Correct.

George: Okay, that was my only question.

Weinbrecht: Okay. Comments? Mr. Frantz?

Frantz: Yeah. First and foremost, thank you so much to Wake County Schools. We have been in dire need of a middle school in Cary for quite some time. And it’s very delightful to see one finally come into fruition. And then thank you also to our staff who have worked with Wake County Schools to help make this happen. I appreciate the folks that came out to speak tonight and some of their concerns. I think the school system has done a good job to mitigate those as best as they can. It’s not like this will be the first school that has school buses going through residential streets. I’m sure that probably happens more often than not. I do not have any concerns with the champion trees. Quite frankly, I find it pretty hard to play softball with a tree in the middle of the field. Probably a safety hazard for the kids. I don’t have any other concerns regarding property values or anything. I actually think property values are going to increase given now that they have an elementary and a middle school adjacent to nearby homes. So I’m excited to support this.

Weinbrecht: Do we have any other comments before we move to the motion portion of this hearing? Mr. Yerha. . . .

Yerha: As far as the champion trees, you know, it does not make me really happy to lose five healthy Tier 1 champion oak trees. But I believe the applicant has demonstrated the need to do so in this case, and that’s in order to satisfy the burning need of bringing a middle school to this part of town. So as much as I don’t like losing those trees, I’m not going to let those trees stand in the way of my support for the application, just as the applicant didn’t allow those trees to stand in the way of the site plan.

Weinbrecht: Other comments?

George: It have to be . . . . so because it’s more than 100,000 feet, it comes before us?

Weinbrecht: Right.

George: But we don’t have to . . . . that’s not the . . . . .that’s not an issue, though? Like, that we’re not . . . .

Weinbrecht: No, that triggers a . . . .

George: It triggers, okay.

Weinbrecht: . . . . quasi-judicial meeting.

George: Okay.

Weinbrecht: Yes.

George: But so we’re approving . . . .so had there been no trees . . . .

Weinbrecht: We would still have this . . . .

George: We’d have to meet it to approve a larger . . . .

Weinbrecht: Yes.

George: . . . . than 100,000? Okay. Well, I’ll . . . .

Weinbrecht: If it’s 99,000 square feet and no champion trees, we wouldn’t see it.

George: Okay, well, I’m happy that they’re making it very large, because we definitely need to use the square foot. We don’t have much land left, so I’m happy that it’s large.

Weinbrecht: Okay. Any other comments? If not . . . .

Frantz: I’ll make a motion.

Weinbrecht: We have to close the comment portion of the hearing, and then I can ask you for a motion. Okay. Go for it.

Frantz: Okay. I would like to make a motion to approve the modification requests. For the reasons discussed, I move that we approve the modification requests made by the applicant, as the request meets all approval criteria of the applicable sections of the LDO.

Bush: I second.

Weinbrecht: There’s a motion and a second. Discussion? All in favor, please say aye.

All council members present stated aye.

Weinbrecht: Opposed?

ACTION:

Motion: Frantz moved to approve the modification requests. For the reasons discussed, I move that we approve the modification requests made by the applicant, as the request meets all approval criteria of the applicable sections of the LDO.

Second: Bush

Vote: 6 - 0 (unanimously approved)

Frantz: And I’d like to . . . .

Weinbrecht: The motion carries unanimously.

Frantz: . . . . . follow up with a motion to approve the development plan for the reasons discussed, that we approve that a proposed development plan with the conditions as stated below as it meets all the approval criteria set forth in Section 3.9.2(I) of the LDO, and that this approval is conditioned upon the following: that the applicant must satisfactorily address all remaining development review committee comments on the master plan set submitted for signature.

Bush: Second.

Weinbrecht: There’s a motion and a second. Discussion? All in favor, please say aye.

All members present said aye.

Weinbrecht: Any opposed? The motion carries unanimously.

ACTION: [The motion is captured verbatim above.] Motion: Frantz moved to approve the development plan for the reasons discussed,

that we approve that a proposed development plan with the conditions as stated below as it meets all the approval criteria set forth in Section 3.9.2(I) of the LDO, and that this approval is conditioned upon the following: that the applicant must satisfactorily address all remaining development review committee comments on the master plan set submitted for signature.

Second: Bush

Vote: 6 - 0 (unanimously approved)

Weinbrecht: Mr. Silverstein, if everything is in order, I can close this public hearing.

Silverstein: I believe everything is in order.

Weinbrecht: Thank you, sir. So I’ll close this public hearing.

RESULT:APPROVED [UNANIMOUS]
AYES:Ken George, Harold Weinbrecht, Jack Smith, Don Frantz, Lori Bush, Ed Yerha
ABSENT:Jennifer Robinson