Town of Cary
North Carolina


17-REZ-03 Terramor Rezoning


Department:Planning & Development ServicesSponsors:

Speaker: Debra Grannan, Planning


Executive Summary:  The applicant, Terramor Homes, Inc., has requested the Town consider an amendment to the Town of Cary Official Zoning Map by applying initial Town of Cary zoning of Residential 12 Conditional Use (R-12-CU), Watershed Protection Overlay District (Jordan Lake Subdistrict) and Conservation Residential Overlay District (CROD) to approximately 32.22 acres.  The subject property is located northwest of the intersection of White Oak Church Road and Green Level West Road and is currently in Wake County’s jurisdiction with a zoning designation of Residential 40 Watershed (R-40-W.)  The applicant has proposed zoning conditions to limit the density to a maximum of two (2) dwelling units per acre and to exceed Land Development Ordinance (LDO) standards for community gathering space.


There is an associated Owner-Initiated Annexation Petition – 17-A-03.


Preliminary Recommendation: Staff recommends approval of 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 recommendation will be provided to Town Council following the P&Z Board meeting.



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 site or subdivision plan.


Click the map to see surrounding development activity.




Property Owner(s)

County Parcel Numbers

Real Estate IDs

Deeded Acreage

Thomas Gerald Cloer Sr.

Joyce Lowery Cloer

4112 Green Level West Road

Apex, NC 27523



2.0 ±

Joel and Roxan Daughtridge

1713 White Oak Church Road

Apex, NC 27523




Claudia Smith Horton

4132 Maple Springs Drive

Apex, NC 27523




Bertha C. Hatley Heirs

55 Sallie Drive

Smithfield, NC 27577




Edward Hatley

4136 Green Level West Road

Apex, NC 27523




Barry R Knapp

4124 Green Level West Road

Apex, NC 27523











Narendra Reedy Meka

1708 Corwith Drive

Morrisville, NC 27560




Johnny Michael and

Carole Ann Sanders

4128 Maple Springs Drive

Apex, NC 27523




Wilton Williams, Jr.

4133 Maple Springs Drive

Apex, NC 27523




Total Area






32.22 +/-

General Location

Northwest of the White Oak Church Road and Green Level West Road intersection.


Town Council Public Hearing
June 8, 2017

Planning & Zoning Board
July 24, 2017

Town Council


Existing Zoning District(s)

Wake County Residential 40 Watershed  (R-40-W)

Existing Zoning Conditions


Proposed Zoning District(s)

Residential 12 Conditional Use (R-12-CU)

and Watershed Protection Overlay District (Jordan Lake Subdistrict)

Proposed Zoning Conditions

1.      Residential density for new development of the property shall be no greater than two (2) dwelling units per acre.

2.      Uses shall be limited to detached residential and neighborhood recreation.

3.      The lot area for residential lots shall be calculated based on the actual lot size and shall not include any adjacent land area which is located within a riparian buffer.

4.      No site plan for new development on the subject property shall be approved without provisions for two (2) or more community gathering spaces together totaling no less than 10, 000 square feet.


Town Limits

The subject property is located outside the corporate limits and the Town of Cary ETJ.  An owner-initiated annexation petition, 17-A-03, has been submitted by the property owners in conjunction with this rezoning request.


Pablo Reiter

Terramor Homes, Inc.

7208 Falls of Neuse Road, Suite 201

Raleigh, NC 27615

Applicant’s Contact

Jason Barron

Morningstar Law Group

630 Davis Drive, Suite 200

Morrisville, NC 27560

Staff Contact

Debra Grannan

Senior Planner

(919) 460-4980




The applicant, Terramor Homes, Inc., has requested the Town apply initial Town of Cary zoning of Residential 12 Conditional Use (R-12-CU) to 10 parcels of land comprising approximately 32.22 acres.  The subject property is located within the Green Level Special Planning Area of the Cary Community Plan, but is located outside the Green Level Historic District.


The applicant has proposed to limit the use to detached residential and limit the maximum density to two (2) dwelling units per acre. The LDO requires the development to provide a minimum of 5,000 square feet of community gathering space.  The applicant has offered a zoning condition to provide an additional 5,000 square feet of community gathering space.  The applicant has also offered a zoning condition that states that lot area calculations shall not include any land area in adjacent riparian buffers. 




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 Wednesday, February 1, 2017.   According to the information submitted by the applicant, 10 nearby property owners attended the meeting.   Questions and concerns expressed at the meeting included density, development regulations, and traffic and road access concerns, and are summarized in the attached meeting minutes submitted by the applicant.


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.


Town Council Public Hearing (May 25, 2017)

Staff presented an overview of the request and summarized the conditions proposed by the applicant.  The applicant provided a justification for the rezoning request and described how the request was consistent with the Cary Community Plan polices.

No one spoke during the public hearing.


During their discussion, several council members remarked favorably on the applicant’s proposed condition to not include stream buffer area as part of the lot area calculation. One council member asked what the buffer requirements were adjacent to the American Tobacco Trail.  Staff noted that there was a strip of land owned by Wake County separating the subject property from the trail, and indicated they would follow up on buffer requirements. 


Changes since the Town Council Public Hearing

No changes to zoning conditions.  Staff noted in this report that a 50-foot buffer area is required for development adjacent to the American Tobacco Trail.




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


Adjacent Zoning and Uses:



The subject property is currently located in Wake County with a zoning designation of Residential 40 Watershed (R-40-W).  The same zoning applies to the land to the east and west of the site.   To the east the land use is detached residential.  To the west is a small area of vacant property which is owned by Wake County.  Adjacent to that vacant land is the American Tobacco Trail.  To the north is land owned by the White Oak Baptist Church. That property is currently vacant and a rezoning application is in review for a proposed townhome development.

South of the subject property, on the opposite side of Green Level West Road, is land which is under Apex’s jurisdiction. There are two residential developments currently under construction, Weddington with a density of 1.5 dwelling units per acre and Enclave with a density of 3 dwelling units per acre.


cary community Plan conformance and analysis


Consideration of the rezoning request will be primarily informed by weighing the priorities of the CCP policies identified as most relevant for this case. Given the location and the proposed use for the parcel and the condition offered by the applicant regarding lot area calculations, the primary policies to be considered are: LIVE Policies 1- Maintain Neighborhood Character, 2 - Provide More Housing Choices, and 5 - Support Residential Development on Infill and Redevelopment Sites, and SHAPE Policy 6Provide Appropriate Transitions between Land Uses




LIVE Policies


Policy 1: Maintain Neighborhood Character

Staff Observation: Redevelopment can present an opportunity to modernize homes and neighborhoods, while also upholding the character and design of a neighborhood.

The proposed density of two dwelling units per acre provides a gradual change from the existing development in the vicinity.   It is also compatible with the recently approved Apex developments to the south; which include the Enclave with an approved density of three dwelling units per acre and the Weddington neighborhood with 1.5 dwelling units per acre.  Furthermore, the applicant’s proposed condition to calculate lot area based on actual lot area and not take credit for area in stream buffers supports development that is closer to the character of existing neighborhoods in the vicinity.

Policy 2:  Provide More Housing Choices for All Residents

Staff Observation: The proposed zoning of R-12-CU does not in itself offer a variety of housing options in terms of dwelling type; but the ¼ acre lot size may create some flexibility in terms of lot size in the vicinity. This would nevertheless be consistent with the vision for this area (Neighborhoods west of Flat Branch) outlined in the Cary Community Plan which assumes a less dense bucolic appearance that “blends rural character with green suburban neighborhoods” with housing mainly composed of detached dwellings largely on ¼ acre lots.

Policy 5:  Support Residential Development on Infill and Redevelopment Sites

Staff Observation: The intent of this policy is to promote and support context sensitive development which is compatible with, and sensitive to, the transition to neighboring properties. The proposed rezoning would provide both a sympathetic transition to the mostly large lot existing housing developed under Wake County’s jurisdiction and the newer neighborhoods currently being developed both in Cary and in Apex. This proposed rezoning would thus support the aims of this policy.

Furthermore, there are a number of existing homes on the subject property; redevelopment may present an opportunity to modernize the homes in the vicinity.

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


PRCR Plan Goal 1 - Maintain a diverse and balanced park and open space system as the Town of Cary grows.

According to the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Facilities Master Plan, the subject property is located approximately a ½ mile south of the P-003 future park site on White Oak Church Road, and is adjacent to the American Tobacco Trail.

The Master Plan proposes no public park site on the subject properties, and does not propose the site for conservation open space.


A recreation fund payment or park land dedication will be required in accordance with the Land Development Ordinance.  Staff recommends a recreation fund payment at development.

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

Engage: Goals from the Historic Preservation Master Plan


HPMP Goal 2: Preserve, Protect and Maintain Cary’s Historic Resources

There are no documented historic resources on the subject properties.

HPMP Goal 3: Preserve Historic Contexts

SHAPE Policies


Policy 4: Support and Facilitate Redevelopment and Infill Development

The proposed rezoning may facilitate a redevelopment project.

Policy 6:  Provide Appropriate Transitions Between Land Uses

Staff Observation: This policy is designed to address transitions between different types and intensities of land uses. It is likely based on current development proposals and rezoning requests that the land uses adjacent to this development will be residential with similar land use intensities. Cary’s LDO standards for a perimeter buffer to the north will be determined based on the future development plans for that area. To the east, no buffers will be mandatory (although they may be instituted by the developer) as the LDO does not require buffers between developments of detached residential dwellings that are on lots of 8,000 square feet or larger. To the west, a minimum 50-foot Type A buffer will be required between the lots and the American Tobacco Trail to create a vegetative transition between the trail and any future residential development.

Policy 8: Preserve and Maintain Cary’s Attractive Appearance and Quality of Development

Staff Observation: This is achieved, in part, by the support of context sensitive development which creates visual harmony with surrounding land uses and through the use of appropriate transitions.  As indicated above, Cary’s LDO standards for buffers and building setbacks will help to ensure an attractive appearance in residential developments.  Furthermore, Cary’s LDO standards for buffers and building setbacks help to ensure an attractive appearance in residential developments. 

Green Level Special Planning Area Policies


Policy 1: Maintain Land Use Transition

Staff Observation: The proposed development presents an opportunity to provide a transition between the Green Level West Road Thoroughfare and existing detached residential dwellings in the vicinity. The Cary Community Plan supports the use of “context sensitive” thoroughfare and streetscape designs in the Green level SPA.

Policy 2: Respect Heritage and Open Space

Staff Observation: The LDO has standard requirements for open space and community gathering areas. For a site with greater than 20 acres, the requirement is 5,000 square feet. The applicant has offered a zoning condition to exceed the amount of required community gathering area by an additional 5,000 square feet.

The standard 50-foot-wide streetscape adjacent to Green Level West Road may not totally shield the development from off-site views; however, some of this land area was cleared previously for detached residential development under Wake County. 

Policy 3: Require Suburban Amenities Along Roadways

Staff Observation: Because it is a thoroughfare, a 50-foot-wide streetscape buffer shall be required adjacent to Green Level West Road.  White Oak Church Road is designated as a local street and therefore, no streetscape buffer is required per the LDO.

Future Growth Framework map:



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.  


Green Level West Road


Existing Road Cross Section:  22-foot roadway width in a 60-foot right-of-way

Future Green Level West Road: 4-lane median divided thoroughfare

Future Planned Road Cross Section:  78-foot roadway width in a 100-foot right-of-way

Sidewalks:  5 feet on both sides
Bicycle Lanes:  14-foot-wide outside lanes on both sides

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


White Oak Church Road


Existing Road Cross Section:  20-foot roadway width in a 70-foot right-of-way

Future White Oak Church Road: Collector Avenue

The right-of-way and road section dimensions for collectors and collector avenues are general in nature as shown in the Move Chapter of the Cary Community Plan. Specific dimensions shall be determined at the time of Development Plan by the Development Review Committee (DRC). Additional right-of-way and road section widths beyond those indicated in the Cary Community Plan may be required to accommodate turn lanes, bike lanes and medians at intersections. The land uses, layout and access proposed at the Development Plan stage may also result in the additional need for right-of-way and road section widths.


Transit:  There are no existing or proposed GoCary routes in the immediate vicinity of the subject property


Note:  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.


key requirements of the LAND DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE


Density and Dimensional Standards



Existing Zoning District

R-40-W (Wake County)


Proposed Zoning District

R-12 Conditional Use


Max. Gross Density

(Dwelling Units/Acre)


2.0 (per zoning condition)

Min. Lot Size 1

(Lot Size)


12,000 Sq. Ft.

Minimum Lot Width


80 Ft. (90 for corner lot)

Roadway Setback



From thoroughfare:  50

From collector avenue:  30

From other streets: 20

Side Yard Setback 1



Rear Yard Setback 1



Maximum Building Height

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

The applicant has offered a zoning condition to not include regulatory stream buffer area as part of the lot area calculations.



Perimeter Buffers and Streetscape
According to Chapter 7 of the Land Development Ordinance, a 50-foot-wide streetscape buffer will be required adjacent to Green Level West Road. Because it is a local street, no streetscape is required adjacent to White Oak Church Road.  The property immediately to the north is currently in review for a proposed townhome development, if approved, a 40-foot-wide Type A (opaque) buffer shall be required between it and the proposed detached residential development.  Buffer standards shall be implemented at the time of development plan review.  To the west is vacant land owned by Wake County, and to the west of that is the American Tobacco Trail.  If any portions of the Wake County property are less than 50 feet in width, the developer of the subject property will be required to provide buffer area to ensure there is no Cary development within 50-feet of the trail.









The proposed rezoning of 32.22 acres with a maximum density of two dwelling units per acre would result in a maximum of 64 dwelling units.  Based on the ITE Trip Generation Manual, 9th edition, Land Use Code 210 – Single Family Detached Housing Units, the proposed rezoning is anticipated to generate approximately 93 am and 89 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.


Preliminary staff recommendation


Based on the analysis in this staff report, Town Staff’s preliminary 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 and SHAPE.

§         The subject site is designated as “Suburban Neighborhood” and is located within the “Green Level Special Planning Area” on the Future Growth Framework Map.  The zoning conditions proposed by the applicant to limit density, provide additional community gathering area and measure lot exclusive of stream buffer area serve to meet the policies of this plan.

§         The proposed use of detached dwellings is an appropriate land use which is similar in character to nearby subdivisions.


Note: This is staff’s preliminary recommendation. A separate recommendation will be made by the Planning and Zoning Board, and the final decision will be made by the Town Council. Staff’s preliminary recommendation is based on the proposal at the time of this report and a final staff recommendation will be provided at the time of the Town Council final action.