Town of Cary
North Carolina


17-REZ-02 1620 Wackena Road Rezoning


Department:Planning & Development ServicesSponsors:

Speaker: Katie Drye, Planning


Executive Summary: The Town of Cary has received a request to rezone property located at 1620 Wackena Road, consisting of approximately 2.55 acres. The applicant, Highcroft Investors LLC, is requesting to rezone the property from Residential 40 (R-40) to Residential 8 Conditional Use (R-8-CU), with zoning conditions limiting the use to detached residential dwellings and a maximum of three (3) dwelling units per acre.


This rezoning has an associated Consistency and Reasonableness Statement.


Recommendation: That Council approve this rezoning request with the conditions as proposed by the applicant. See below for more information on the recommendation.


Planning and Zoning Board Recommendation: The Planning and Zoning Board recommended approval by a vote of 8-0. 


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.  Section 3.4.1(E) of the Land Development Ordinance sets forth the criteria that should be considered in reviewing rezonings. Technical design standards of the Land Development Ordinance are addressed during review of the development plan.




Property Owner(s)

County Parcel Number(s)

Real Estate ID(s)

Deeded Acreage

Highcroft Investors, LLC
PO Box 3557
Cary, NC 27519



2.55 ±

Total Area

2.55 ±


Click the map to see surrounding development activity.





Highcroft Investors, LLC


J.W. Shearin, JS Development Company, LLC


2.55 ±

General Location

1620 Wackena Road, south of Indian Wells Road


Town Council
Public Hearing
March 30, 2017

Planning & Zoning Board
April 17, 2017

Town Council

May 25, 2017

Existing Zoning District(s)

Residential 40 (R-40) and Watershed Protection Overlay District (Jordan Lake sub-district)

Existing Zoning Conditions


Proposed Zoning District(s)

Residential 8 Conditional Use (R-8-CU) and Watershed Protection Overlay District (Jordan Lake sub-district)

Proposed Zoning Conditions

1.      Land use shall be limited to detached dwellings and neighborhood recreation

2.      Density shall be limited to three dwellings per acre.

Town Limits


Staff Contact

Katie Drye




The Town of Cary has received a request to rezone property located at 1620 Wackena Road on approximately 2.55 acres. The proposal seeks to rezone the subject property to permit an increase in residential density. The current zoning, Residential 40 (R-40), allows 1.08 dwellings per acre; the requested Residential 8 Conditional Use (R-8-CU) allows 5.44 dwellings per acre, however, the applicant has proposed zoning conditions to limit the site to three (3) dwellings per acre maximum.


The subject site is currently vacant and wooded. Although the site is addressed as 1620 Wackena Road, it does not have road frontage on Wackena Road. The site will receive access through a future subdivision (Wellfield Subdivision- see figure 1 below) that is currently in review with the Town (plan review number 17-DP-0905).

Figure 1: Subject Property is adjacent to and will receive access from a future subdivision that is currently in review with the Town (development plan name: Wellfield Subdivision, Town of Cary plan review number 17-DP-0905)




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 February 1, 2017.  According to the information submitted by the applicant, there were no nearby property owners in attendance at the meeting.  


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 of opinions of the Town of Cary.


Town Council Public Hearing (March 30, 2017)

Staff presented an overview of the rezoning case. The applicant explained the rezoning request. There were no questions from council members. The Council forwarded the case to the Planning and Zoning Board.


Changes since the Town Council Public Hearing



Planning and Zoning Board Meeting (April 17, 2017)

Staff presented an overview of the rezoning case. The applicant explained the rezoning request. The Board had a question regarding the natural state preservation easement to the south of the property and whether it impacted the subject property. Staff explained the easement was located entirely on the lot to the south and did not impact the subject site. The subject site, however, may be impacted by stream buffers along the southern boundary of the site.


The board forwarded the case to Town Council with a unanimous recommendation for approval.




Streams:  Cary’s most recent GIS maps indicate the presence of streams on the subject property. Field determination of such features shall be required at the time of development plan review.


Adjacent Zoning and Land Uses:

Figure 2: Adjacent Zoning, Uses and Stream Buffers in the Vicinity




The 2040 Cary Community Plan is the comprehensive plan for the Town of Cary, adopted on     January 24, 2017. 


Attached is a complete listing of all the policy statements contained within the Cary Community Plan. Based on staff review and analysis of the descriptions and detailed intent of all the Plan’s policies, staff has identified the policies specifically applicable to this case.


The below provides an analysis of the applicable policies and the extent to which the proposed rezoning conforms to these plan policies.


Applicable Plan Policies




LIVE Policies

Provide More Housing Choices for All Residents (Policy 2)

The applicant is proposing R-8-CU zoning to allow three single-family dwelling units per acre on a 2.55-acre site. This proposal adds more of the same type and density of housing that exists now in the area, but the small size of the subject site doesn’t provide much room for an appropriate transition to a different density and/or housing type.


Support Residential Development on Infill and Redevelopment Sites (Policy 5)

The subject site is flanked on the east by Sedgefield Subdivision (gross density of 3.69 dwelling units/acre); on the north by Wellfield Subdivision (max. gross density of 3.1 dwelling units/acre), a planned subdivision that is currently in review; on the west/northwest by The Reserve at Wackena (max. gross density 3.1 dwelling units/acre), a planned subdivision currently in review; and on the south by permanently protected natural area. Considered within this context, the currently vacant subject property is an infill property. If approved, the requested rezoning will allow additional single-family-detached housing at a density of 3 dwelling units/acre.  This density is in keeping with the density of the adjacent Sedgefield Subdivision, and also with the planned subdivisions that are currently under review, including the planned Wellfield Subdivision, through which the subject property will receive access.


ENGAGE:  Goals from the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Master Plan

Provide citizens with a highly functional, safe and well-maintained greenway network that provides recreation, transportation, and education opportunities and wildlife benefits opportunities. (Goal 2)

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Facilities Master Plan proposes no new public park land or public greenways on the subject property.  The property is located within approximately 400 feet of the Morrisville Parkway Street-Side Trail and the Green Hope School Greenway.


The Master Plan did not propose the subject property for open space conservation.


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


ENGAGE:  Goals from the Historic Preservation Master Plan

§         Preserve, Protect and Maintain Cary’s Historic Resources

§         Preserve Historic Contexts

There are no documented historic resources on the subject property.


SHAPE Policies

Support and Facilitate Redevelopment and Infill Development (Policy 4)

The proposed rezoning utilizes a site surrounded by subdivisions (existing and in review) as well as protected open space, and will provide residential development that is very similar in character to adjacent development.


Provide Appropriate Transitions Between Land Uses (Policy 6) 

Protected natural area and a storm water feature provide a natural transition from the site to the existing residential development located to the east of the site. In addition, the length of the site’s southern border runs adjacent to protected natural area in addition to a stream buffer.


Future Growth Framework Map




The Development Category for the subject property is Mixed Neighborhood, depicted in dark pink in the image above.  This neighborhood type contains a substantial variety of housing types, unit sizes, lot sizes, and densities. The Mixed Neighborhood area is generally characterized by large, master-planned communities. Predominant use types for this category include single-family- detached (large and small lot), single-family-attached, and multi-family housing (large and small).  Residential-8 zoning is an appropriate district for the Mixed Neighborhood Development Category.


MOVE: Comprehensive Transportation Plan


Cary’s transportation requirements for development are a reflection of the Move Chapter policies. Planned improvements illustrated on the adopted Move chapter maps were developed to ensure the safety and accommodation of all users and modes, reflect land use considerations, provide additional system connections, close gaps, and minimize thoroughfare widths wherever possible. 


Wackena Road


Existing Road Cross Section: 16 feet back-of-curb to back-of-curb in a 60-foot right-of-way.

Future Wackena Road: 2-lane-undivided collector street residential

Future Road Cross Section: 37 feet back-of-curb to back-of-curb in a 60-foot right-of-way.

Sidewalks:  5-foot sidewalks on both sides.

Bicycle Lanes:  4-foot bike lanes on both sides.


Improvements Being Considered by the Town of Cary as Part of Ongoing Budgeted Capital Projects:  N/A


Transit:  Currently, the nearest existing fixed-route transit service is provided by GoTriangle Route No. 311 along NC Highway 55, about 0.3 mile east of the site, but the GoCary long-range expansion plan anticipates future fixed-route service along NC Highway 55.


Streets in Cary are typically constructed or widened in increments, with developers generally completing the half-width section along their frontage when the property is developed. Construction of off-site improvements are not required but may be voluntarily offered as zoning conditions by applicants for rezoning cases.  In some cases construction of off-site improvements may be required by NCDOT.





Land Use
Detached dwellings are a permitted use in the R-8 zoning district.


Density and Dimensional Standards



Existing Zoning District


Proposed Zoning District


Max. Gross Density

1.08 du/acre

Per LDO: 5.44 du/acre

Per Zoning Condition: 3 du/acre

Min. Lot Size

40,000 square feet

8,000 square feet

Minimum Lot Width

150 feet

(160 feet for corner lots)

60 feet

(70 feet for corner lots)

Roadway Setback

20 feet from internal streets

Side Yard Setback 1

20 feet (with septic tank/well)

15 feet (with public sewer)

5 feet minimum,

20 feet combined

Rear Yard Setback 1

30 feet

20 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


Table of Landscape Buffer Requirements

Northern Property Boundary
(adjacent to proposed Wellfield Subdivision)

The northern property boundary is currently adjacent to detached dwellings which requires a 20-foot-wide Type B (semi-opaque) landscape area.

According to the proposed plans for the Wellfield Subdivision, the subject site would be adjacent to a street (see Figure 1). If the subject site is adjacent to a street, then no buffer would be required.

Southern  Property Boundary
(adjacent property preserved in a Natural State Preservation Easement)

No buffer is required if the adjacent site meets the required planting standards

Eastern Property Boundary
(adjacent open space for the Sedgefield Development)

No buffer is required if the adjacent site meets the required planting standards

Western Property Boundary

(vacant property and detached dwelling)

20-foot-wide Type B (semi-opaque) buffer is required


The proposed rezoning of 2.55 acres with maximum density of three (3) dwelling units per acre would result in a maximum of eight detached dwelling units. Based on the ITE Trip Generation Manual, 9th edition, Land Use Code 210 – Single Family Detached Housing, the proposed rezoning is anticipated to generate approximately 6 AM and 8 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.



staff recommendation


Based on the analysis in this staff report, Town Staff’s recommendation is for approval of the rezoning request with the conditions as proposed by the applicant.


Rationale for Recommendation

·         The rezoning request was found to be consistent with policies of the Cary Community Plan, specifically policies found in the chapters for LIVE, ENGAGE, SHAPE and MOVE.

·         The subject site is designated as part of the “Mixed Neighborhood” on the Future Growth Framework Map, which is described as having a variety of housing types, unit sizes, lot sizes and densities. The proposed use of detached dwellings is an appropriate land use which is similar in character to nearby subdivisions.

·         The subject site is considered an infill site because it is currently vacant and properties adjacent are developing.


Note: This is the Town Staff’s recommendation. A separate recommendation has been provided by the Planning and Zoning Board, and the final decision will be made by the Town Council.