Town of Cary
North Carolina


High House Road Rezoning 15-REZ-23



Speaker:  Mary Beerman


Executive Summary: To amend the Town of Cary Official Zoning Map by rezoning 4.14 acres located on the north side of High House Road about 1/3 mile east of NC 55 Highway from Residential 40 (R-40) to Transitional Residential Conditional Use (TR-CU), with zoning conditions that include limiting land use to a maximum of 10 detached dwellings. This rezoning request has an associated Consistency and Reasonableness Statement.


Proposed Council Action: Council may take action


NOTE: The purpose of the rezoning is to determine whether or not the land uses and densities allowed in the proposed zoning district are appropriate for the site.  Technical design standards of the Land Development Ordinance are addressed during review of the site or subdivision plan.





Property Owners

County Parcel Number

Real Estate IDs

Deeded Acreage

WT Cary LLC et al;

Benford Cary, Inc; and

Patricia W. Green

PO Box 31346

Raleigh, NC 27622




Paul C. and Penny A. Young

2324 High House Road

Cary, NC  27519




Total Area







Property Owners


Tom Hankins, Marquis Homes & Co.


4.14 ±

General Location

2324 High House Road and unaddressed property on the north side of High House Road about 1/3 mile east of NC 55 Highway


Public Hearing
December 10, 2015

Planning & Zoning Board
January 25, 2016

Town Council
February 25, 2016

Land Use Plan Designation

Low Density Residential (LDR)

Existing Zoning District

Residential 40 (R-40)

Existing Zoning Conditions


Proposed Zoning District

Transitional Residential Conditional Use (TR-CU)

Proposed Zoning Conditions

1.              Land use shall be limited to 10 detached dwellings.

2.              Area located within stream buffers or urban transition buffers shall not be credited toward meeting minimum lot size or setback requirements.

Town Limits


Staff Contact

Mary Beerman, Senior Planner

(919) 469-4342


15-rez-23 vicmap




Streams:  According to Town of Cary GIS Maps, the site is impacted by stream buffers.  Field determination of such features will be required at the time of site plan review. 

Adjacent Zoning and Land Use:
North – Residential 12 (R-12);  detached residential (Berkley Subdivision and Somerset Subdivision)
South (opposite side of High House Road) – Residential 12 (R-12) and Residential 8 Conditional Use

(R-8-CU); detached residential (Wellsley Subdivision) and vacant [Rezoning from R-40 to R-8-CU (Case Number 14-REZ-05 High House Road South) was approved January 15, 2015].

East – Residential 12 (R-12); detached residential (Berkley Subdivision)

West – Transitional Residential Conditional Use (TR-CU); detached dwelling [Rezoning from R-40 to TR-CU (Case Number 14-REZ-04 High House Road North) was approved September 23, 2014.  A subdivision plan is currently in review].




Land Use  

Detached dwellings are permitted uses in the Transitional Residential Zoning District.

Density and Dimensional Standards



Existing Zoning District


Conventional TR Zoning District

Proposed TR-CU Zoning District

Max. Gross Density

1.08 du/acre

6.0 du/acre

2.42 du/acre

(based on maximum of 10 dwelling units)

Min. Lot Size 1

40,000 square feet

5,000 square feet for detached dwellings

Minimum Lot Width

150 feet 

(160 feet for corner lots)

40 feet for detached dwellings

Roadway Setback

50 feet  from High House Road

Side Yard Setback 1

20 feet (with septic tank/well)

15 feet (with public sewer)

·  Combined setback of 6 feet for both side yards

·   A firewall is required where the setback on either side is less than 3 feet.

Rear Yard Setback 1

50 feet

Min. 3 feet, with combined front & rear setback of at least 35 feet

Maximum Building Height

35 feet (May be increased by one foot for every additional foot provided between the building footprint and the minimum required setback).

1              Unless a zoning condition voluntarily offered by the applicant states otherwise, where a regulatory stream buffer forms a rear or side property line of a lot, and pursuant to NCGS 143-214.23A(f), the Town must attribute to each lot abutting the stream buffer a proportionate share of the stream buffer area (a) for purposes of lot area requirements (i.e., the portion of the stream buffer between the applicable lot line and the near edge of the associated stream will be included for the purpose of determining if the minimum lot size requirement of the LDO is satisfied); and (b) for purposes of calculating the minimum rear or side setback and perimeter buffer if applicable (i.e., the setback or buffer will be measured from the near edge of the associated stream instead of from the actual property boundary).


Landscape Buffer
The LDO requires a 30-foot Type B (semi-opaque) buffer along the northern and eastern boundaries adjacent to the Somerset and Berkeley Subdivisions, and a 20-foot Type B (semi-opaque) buffer along the western boundary.  


A 50-foot opaque streetscape is required adjacent to High House Road.


The proposed conditions limit this development to a maximum of 10 dwelling units on the 4.14-acre site. Based on the ITE Trip Generation Manual, Land Use Code 210 – Single Family Detached Housing Units, the proposed rezoning is anticipated to generate approximately 15 am and 14 pm peak hour trips. The threshold for a traffic study is 100 peak hour trips; therefore, a traffic study was not required.



At the time of site plan review, the future plan must meet all stormwater management and detention requirements of the Land Development Ordinance.




Notice of the public hearing on the proposed rezoning was mailed to property owners within 800 feet of the subject property, published on the Town’s website and posted on the subject property.


Neighborhood Meeting

A neighborhood meeting for the proposed rezoning was facilitated by Planning staff at Cary Town Hall on November 4, 2015.   According to the information submitted by the applicant, 13 nearby property owners attended the meeting.   Questions and concerns expressed at the meeting are provided in the meeting minutes submitted by the applicant.


Town Council Public Hearing (December 10, 2015)

Two residents of the adjoining neighborhood expressed concern with traffic on High House Road and cumulative traffic impacts of other properties that have been rezoned in the vicinity.  Transportation and Facilities staff noted that there had been recent conversations with NCDOT and neighboring residents to explore options related to signalization and access points along this portion of High House Road.  A council member commented that options for addressing cumulative traffic impacts should be developed for consideration. 


Planning and Zoning Board Meeting (January 25, 2016)

The Planning and Zoning Board recommended approval of the request by a vote of 6-2.  Board members casting the dissenting votes expressed concerns related to cumulative impacts of traffic from other rezonings approved in the vicinity.  There was also discussion regarding recent State legislative changes requiring that local jurisdictions allow credit for area in stream buffers to be given when determining compliance with minimum lot size and setback requirements.  In response to concerns, the applicant offered revisions to the previously-proposed zoning conditions to: 1) decrease the maximum number of dwelling units allowed from twelve to ten; and 2) add a new zoning condition specifying that area located within stream buffers or urban transition buffers would not be credited toward meeting minimum lot size or setback requirements.


Criteria for Consideration in Reviewing Rezonings


Section 3.4.1(E) of the Land Development Ordinance sets forth the following criteria that should be considered in reviewing rezonings:
1.  The proposed rezoning corrects an error or meets the challenge of some changing condition, trend or fact;
2.  The proposed rezoning is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and the purposes set forth in Section 1.3 (LDO);
3.  The Town and other service providers will be able to provide sufficient public safety, educational, recreational, transportation and utility facilities and services to the subject property while maintaining sufficient levels of service to existing development;
4.  The proposed rezoning is unlikely to have significant adverse impacts on the natural environment, including air, water, noise, stormwater management, wildlife and vegetation;
5.  The proposed rezoning will not have significant adverse impacts on other property in the vicinity of the subject tract; and
6.  The proposed zoning classification is suitable for the subject property.

Applicable Comprehensive or Area Plan Requirements


Land Use Plan

Future land use guidance for the subject property is provided by the Townwide Land Use Plan, which recommends Low Density Residential (LDR) development. The Land Use Plan defines LDR as detached, single-family residential dwellings at one to three units per acre. The applicant is proposing Transitional Residential (TR) zoning with conditions that: 1) limit the number of units to 10 on 4.14 acres; and 2) limit the housing types to detached dwellings. Therefore, the applicant’s request partly meets the long-range vision of the Land Use Plan.       



Conformance with the density recommendations of the Land Use Plan:  The applicant’s proposal for Transitional Residential (TR) zoning with a maximum of 10 units on 4.14 acres translates to approximately 2.42 units per acre. This density falls within the recommended LDR density range of 1-3 dwellings per acre, thus the proposed overall density conforms to the recommendation of the Land Use Plan.  (Note: The Land Development Ordinance (LDO) was amended on November 19, 2015 to require a Plan Designation of Medium or High Density Residential in order for an applicant to request rezoning to the TR district.  The application for this rezoning request was submitted prior to the effective date of that LDO change).


Conformance with the housing type recommendations of the Land Use Plan:  This rezoning request also includes a condition limiting development to detached dwellings  Detached single-family units are consistent with the Land Use Plan’s vision for low density residential use. 


Planning History for the Subject Property

The Land Use Plan designation of Low-Density Residential for this site has remained unchanged since the initial adoption of the Townwide Land Use Plan in 1996.


Growth Management Plan
The Growth Management Plan includes the following Guiding Principles which are relevant to this case: 


1. Ensure that adequate infrastructure and services are available concurrently with new development.

2. Concentrate growth near existing and planned employment centers and available and planned infrastructure to minimize costly service-area extensions.


Analysis: Infrastructure and services are available near the subject property. The subject property is less than 2,000 feet from offices and services located at the intersection of Hwy. 55 and High House Road, and is just under a mile from the Community Activity Center at the intersection of Davis and High House Roads.


Affordable Housing Plan  The Affordable Housing Plan includes the following goals that may be relevant to this case: 


1.          Provide for a full range of housing choices for all income groups, families of various sizes, seniors, and persons with special challenges.

2.          Facilitate the creation of a reasonable proportion of the Town of Cary’s housing as affordable units through additional homeownership opportunities for individuals and families earning between 60% and 80% of area median income.

3.          Encourage the location of high density housing within walking and convenient commuting distance of employment, shopping, and other activities, or within a short walk of a bus or transit stop, through "mixed use" developments, residences created on the upper floors of nonresidential downtown buildings, and other creative strategies.

4.          Assure a quality living environment and access to public amenities for all residents, present and future, of the Town of Cary, regardless of income. 


Comments:  There is insufficient information at this point to know if the proposed rezoning may further the first and second goals cited above. However, the proposed rezoning may help to support the third and fourth goals cited above because the subject site is within walking distance of an array of services at the High House and Hwy. 55 intersection, and there is C-Tran fixed-route bus service along High House Road.


Comprehensive Transportation Plan             
High House Road is designated as a Major Thoroughfare

Existing Section:   4-lane section with 18-foot median in 78-foot back-of-curb to back-of-curb in approximately 100 feet of right of way

Future Section:   4-lane section with 18-foot median in 78-foot back-of-curb to back-of-curb in 100 feet of right of way
Sidewalks:  Existing 5-foot sidewalks

Bicycle Lanes:  14-foot-wide outside lane required

Status of Planned Improvements:  N/A

Transit:  C-Tran’s fixed-route #4 provides bus service along High House Road; the closest TTA bus route is route #11 which runs along Hwy. 55 to Research Triangle Park.

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Master Plan
According to the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Facilities Master Plan there are no issues related to this specific site. 


A recreation fund payment or park land dedication will be required in accordance with the Land Development Ordinance.  Staff recommends that a recreation fund payment be made for this site in lieu of a land dedication.


Open Space Plan
According to the Open Space Plan there are no significant natural resources associated with this site.


Historic Preservation Master Plan

There are no identified historic resources on the subject property. 


Other Reference Information     



This information is being provided for your review; however, the Wake County Board of Education controls capital projects for school capacities.



Projected Range of

Additional Students2

Elementary School


Middle School


High School


Total Projected range of additional students2



1Information regarding  specific Wake County Public School assignment options may be found by visiting the following:

2 The Projected Range of Additional Students is a rough approximation.  The actual number of students will vary depending on variables, such as the number of bedrooms, dwelling size, and other factors. For example: a site with 12 three-bedroom homes could yield six additional students, while 12 homes with greater than three bedroom units could yield 10 students. The basis for making this calculation is based on multipliers provided by the Wake County Schools Office of Student Assignment.  At rezoning, student yield cannot be accurately determined due to unknown variables.




Attached are the applicant’s responses to the justification questions contained in the application form.  Please note that these statements are that of the applicant and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Town of Cary.




15-REZ-23 High House Road Rezoning






Section 1: The Official Zoning Map is hereby amended by rezoning the area described as follows:




Property Owners

County Parcel Number

Real Estate IDs

Deeded Acreage

WT Cary LLC et al;

Benford Cary, Inc; and

Patricia W. Green

PO Box 31346

Raleigh, NC 27622




Paul C. and Penny A. Young

2324 High House Road

Cary, NC  27519




Total Area



Section 2:  That this Property is rezoned from R-40 to TR-CU subject to the individualized development conditions set forth herein, and to all the requirements of the Cary Land Development Ordinance (LDO) and other applicable laws, standards, policies and guidelines, all of which shall constitute the zoning regulations for the approved district and are binding on the Property.


Section 3: The conditions proposed by the applicant to address conformance of the development and use of the Property to ordinances and officially adopted plans, to address impacts reasonably expected to be generated by the rezoning, and to promote the public health, safety and general welfare, and accepted and approved by the Town are:


1.              Land use shall be limited to 10 detached dwellings. 

2.              Area located within stream buffers or urban transition buffers shall not be credited toward meeting minimum lot size or setback requirements.


Section 4: This ordinance shall be effective on the date of adoption.

Adopted and effective: February 25, 2016



Harold Weinbrecht, Jr.