Town of Cary
North Carolina


17-REZ-17 Arthur Pierce Road Rezoning


Department:Planning & Development ServicesSponsors:

Speaker: Katie Drye, Planning


Executive Summary: The applicant has requested the Town consider an amendment to the Town of Cary Official Zoning Map by applying initial Town of Cary zoning to approximately 22 acres, located at 3500 and 3512 Arthur Pierce Road, from Wake County Residential 30 (R-30) to Transitional Residential Conditional Use (TR-CU) to allow the development of a maximum of fifty (50) age-restricted detached dwellings with associated conditions.


There is an associated Owner-Initiated Annexation Petition with this rezoning request - 17-A-08


Recommendation: That Town 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: Recommended for approval by a vote of 5-1. 


The rezoning has an associated Consistency and Reasonableness Statement.


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 Owner

County Parcel Numbers(10-digit) (PIN)

Real Estate IDs (REID)



3500 Arthur Pierce LLC

3308 Glenhope Ct

Cary, NC 27511



0037054 (Portion)

3500 Arthur Pierce Road


Glynis M, and
Guy Dale Young
3512 Arthur Pierce Road

Apex, NC 27539



3512 Arthur Pierce Road


Total Area




Click on map to see surrounding development activity.





Location of Subject Properties

3500 and 3512 Arthur Pierce Road



Town Council

Public Hearing


July 27, 2017

Planning & Zoning Board Public Hearing


September 25, 2017

Town Council



October 26, 2017

Existing Zoning District(s)

Wake County Residential 30 (R-30)

Existing Zoning Conditions


Proposed Zoning District(s)

Transitional Residential Conditional Use (TR-CU)

Proposed Zoning Conditions

1.      Use shall be limited to detached residential and neighborhood recreation.

2.      The maximum number of lots shall be fifty (50).

3.      The minimum lot size shall be 6,000 square feet.

4.      The minimum lot width shall be fifty (50) feet.

5.      The community gathering space shall be a minimum of 10,000 square feet.

6.      Prior to request for subdivision plat approval for the property, the developer or owner shall provide the Town a report from a structural engineer licensed to practice engineering in North Carolina (“Report”) regarding the structural condition of the terra cotta tile curing barn (“Barn”) that is located on the property. If the Report indicates the Barn is not structurally sound, the owner or developer shall have no further obligations regarding preservation of the Barn. If the Report indicates the Barn is structurally sound, the Barn shall become part of the private common area of the development. On the same day that the first plat for the subdivision of the property is recorded, the developer of the Community shall convey the private common area, including the Barn, to a homeowner’s association (HOA).  Prior to applying for any building permits, the developer or owner shall provide to the Town an opinion letter from an attorney, licensed to practice in North Carolina, stating that the private common area and Barn have been conveyed to an HOA. The Barn shall remain on the property in its existing location until its conveyance to the HOA. 

7.      Use of the property shall be limited to age-restricted housing and associated amenities. Within two (2) weeks after the final subdivision plat for each phase of the residential community (“Community”) is recorded, developer of the Community shall record with the applicable Register of Deeds Office a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (“Declaration”) restricting that phase of the Community. The Declaration shall provide that at least eighty percent (80%) of all occupied units shall have as a resident at least one person age 55 or older (“age restriction”). Prior to applying for any building permits, the owner shall provide to the Town an opinion letter from an attorney, licensed to practice in North Carolina, that the age restriction was drafted and recorded in a form that the attorney, in her/her exercise of customary professional diligence, would reasonably recognize as compliant with the Fair Housing Act, § 42 U.S.C. Sec. 3601, et seq., and the North Carolina State Fair Housing Act, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 41A-1, et seq.

Town Limits

The subject properties are located outside the corporate limits and the Town of Cary ETJ. An owner-initiated annexation petition, 17-A-08, has been submitted by the property owner in conjunction with this rezoning request.

Staff Contact

Katie Drye



3500 Arthur Pierce LLC, and Glynis M and Guy Dale Young

Applicant’s Contact

Glenda Toppe

Glenda S Toppe and Associates

4139 Gardenlake Drive

Raleigh, NC 27612



17-17 vicinity map inset (Medium)

The Town of Cary has received a request to rezone properties located at 3500 and 3512 Arthur Pierce Road on approximately 22.38 acres. The property is currently zoned Wake County Residential 30 (R-30). The applicant is seeking to rezone to Transitional Residential Conditional Use (TR-CU) which would allow for an increase in density to 2.2 dwellings per acre. The properties are located along the south side of Arthur Pierce Road, approximately 2,500 feet from Kildaire Farm Road. The western border of the site is adjacent to the Cotswold Subdivision (zoned R-8-C), and the southern boundary is adjacent to the Glenmitt Stone Subdivision (zoned R-12).


The site identified as 3500 Arthur Pierce Road is located on both sides (north and south) of Arthur Pierce Road, however the applicant is requesting to rezone only the portion of the site on the southern side of the road. Each site (3500 and 3512 Arthur Pierce Road) is improved with a single-family dwelling. 3500 Arthur Pierce Road also includes an existing cell tower located in the southeastern portion of the site.  If the proposed rezoning is approved, the existing cell tower will become a nonconforming use since cell towers are not listed as a permitted use in the TR zoning district. The cell tower may remain on the site and continue to operate in accordance with LDO Chapter 10: Nonconformities.


17-17 Site Aerial

Subject Parcels: 3500 Arthur Pierce Road extends north of Arthur Pierce Road. Only the portion on the southern side of Arthur Pierce Road is included in the rezoning application.





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 June 8, 2017. According to the information submitted by the applicant, 12 nearby property owners attended the meeting. Questions and concerns expressed at the meeting included: concerns over an existing stormwater issue between the site and adjacent property owners; traffic on Arthur Pierce Road and nearby roads; and, questions regarding the developer, type of lots, etc. The applicant’s engineer explained the Town’s stormwater requirements which require stormwater control measures mitigate runoff to predevelopment conditions as well as protect water quality. These questions and concerns are summarized in the attached meeting minutes submitted by the applicant.


Town Council Public Hearing (July 27, 2017)

Staff presented an overview of the request, followed by the applicant’s agent who shared a justification for the request. The applicant shared that pending research on the historic significance of the terra cotta barn, as well as investigation of its structural condition, the applicant would work with staff on options for preserving the barn. There were no speakers at the Public Hearing. One council member noted their interest in the applicant considering a condition to preserve the terra cotta barn (pending findings from the research and structural stability of the barn). The council forwarded the case to the Planning and Zoning Board.


Changes Since the Town Council Public Hearing

The applicant has proposed a new condition which specifies that the existing terra cotta barn, if found to be structurally sound, would be conveyed to the home owners association (HOA) and would remain on the property in its existing location until it has been conveyed to the HOA.   The applicant has not offered to preserve the barn in place in perpetuity. 


Planning and Zoning Board Public Hearing (September 25, 2017)

Staff presented an overview of the request and described the new condition proposed by the applicant regarding the terra cotta barn. The condition specified that the barn would be conveyed to the HOA, however, the condition also stated it would become null and void if the barn were to be determined by a licensed engineer to be “not structurally sound”. Staff then noted that after the staff report had been written, the applicant had submitted an engineer’s assessment of the barn which found the barn to be “not structurally sound” (see attachment titled “17-REZ-17 Barn Evaluation by Structural Engineer”). Therefore, in accordance with the condition offered, there will be no further action by the applicant to preserve the barn. 


There were no speakers at the public hearing other than the applicant’s representative.


One board member expressed disappointment that the barn was found to be not structurally sound. Another board member had a question regarding the age restriction condition. Staff explained the age restriction would be enforced through a deed restriction and the applicant would be required to demonstrate the deed restriction was in place prior to plat approval for any subdivision of the property. Staff also explained that the developer would potentially be able to change the age standards in the deed restriction at a later date and the Town would not be able to prevent this change because the condition would have already been satisfied.


There were also questions regarding the existing cell tower on the site. Staff explained that the Town cannot consider potential health impacts of cell towers as part of the zoning decision, but could consider land use aspects of the tower. Further, if the rezoning is approved, the cell tower would become a legal nonconforming use and could remain on the property and continue to operate. Staff also addressed questions regarding the setbacks from the cell tower (the LDO specifies that no new lots shall be located closer to the existing tower than the height of the tower). Other questions included road widening requirements along Arthur Pierce Road, and buffer requirement standards.


The board forwarded the case to Town Council with a recommendation for approval by a vote of 5-1.


Changes Since the Planning and Zoning Board 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 or opinions of the Town of Cary.




17-17 zoning and streams (Medium)




The 2040 Cary Community Plan (CCP) is the comprehensive plan for the Town of Cary, adopted on January 24, 2017.  This report section identifies policies and elements of the Community Plan that are relevant to this rezoning case, and provides an analysis of the extent to which the proposed rezoning conforms to these plan policies and recommendations.


Attached is a complete listing of each policy statement in 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 policies applicable to this case and has provided an analysis of those policies below.



The Town’s LIVE policies respond to the housing challenges and opportunities facing Cary by:

§         Providing a variety of housing choices

§         Meeting new household needs

§         Maintaining high quality established neighborhoods 


Policy 2:  Provide More Housing Choices for all Residents


Staff Observations:

The applicant is proposing TR-CU zoning to allow for the development of age-restricted, detached dwelling units on a 22-acre site. While the proposal appears to add more detached dwellings at a similar density to the housing that currently exists in the vicinity, the product type proposed would actually add a new house type sub-category to the area. The developer is proposing to build age-restricted (55 and older) units with small lots that may facilitate future “aging in place” by residents. The Cary Community Plan identifies one of the biggest challenges facing Cary as ensuring there are adequate housing choices for its rapidly growing senior demographic, thus the introduction of this specialized product will directly address an existing unmet need and directly addresses a key priority of the Cary Community Plan.


Policy 3:  Provide for more housing options in new neighborhoods


Staff Observations:

The primary intent of this policy is to encourage an adequate supply of housing suitable for our growing diversity of household types. This will include provision of housing for Cary’s growing senior population including small lot homes. The proposed rezoning directly addresses one of the key demographic groups identified as a priority for the provision of new housing options within new housing developments in Cary.


Policy 5:  Support Residential Development on Infill and Redevelopment Sites


Staff Observations:

The subject site is bordered on the west by Cotswold Subdivision (zoned R-8-C); on the south by the Glenmitt Stone Subdivision (zoned R-12), and on the north by Arthur Pierce Road. In addition, the northwest and southeast corners of the subject parcel are bounded by individual detached dwellings zoned Wake County R-30. Considered within this context, the subject property, which is currently occupied by two detached dwellings and a cell tower, might be considered an infill property although it is edged to the north by a large vacant site (used for agriculture). If approved, the requested rezoning will allow additional detached housing at a density of 2.2 dwelling units/acre, but incorporating a senior oriented house type and lot design configuration. While this density is similar to the density of the abutting subdivisions, the site will include a large area of retained communal open space (10,000 square feet per zoning condition) and smaller individual lots (6,000 square feet per zoning condition).





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


Engage: 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.


§         Parcel proximity to parks and greenways:  The subject parcel is located 2.9 miles from Jack Smith Park and 0.9 miles from a greenway access, Camp Branch Greenway. 

§         A park land dedication will be required for residential development, except where payment of funds-in-lieu of land dedication is approved in accordance with the Land Development Ordinance.


The PRCR Master Plan calls for a future neighborhood park (neighborhood parks are 10-25 acres per master plan) in the vicinity of the subject property.  The required park land dedication for the subject property would result in a maximum of 1.42 acres based on the zoning condition limiting development to a maximum of 50 units.  Given the small size of the land dedication that would be required and the lack of adjacent land on which expansion might be possible, staff recommends the applicant make a payment of funds in lieu of land dedication.  


§         The Town of Cary’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources (PRCR) Facilities Master Plan does not indicate a greenway corridor located within or directly adjacent to the subject parcel. 


17-rez-17 PRCR map (Medium)





The Town’s ENGAGE policies reflect the goals of the previously-adopted Historic Preservation Master Plan


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


The subject property contains a house and four outbuildings that are listed in the Cary Historic and Architectural Inventory.  The house is listed as a c. 1950, one-story, frame house clad in weatherboard that has subsequently been covered in vinyl.  Three brick chimneys pierce the roof ridge – two in the primary section of the house and one in the northwest section.  Windows are primarily six-over-six, occasionally paired. Four outbuildings, circa 1930 -1960, are located to the side and rear of the house, one of which is a gable-roofed, terra cotta-tile tobacco-curing barn.


Staff Observations: 
The house is representative of the simply-finished frame houses built in Wake County by farmers around the middle of the twentieth century, though the location of the chimneys and construction of the foundation indicate a possibility that the house may contain an older structure at its core. Because of its architectural simplicity and significant exterior alterations and additions, the house is not a preservation priority, but it should be noted that the tobacco-related outbuildings, especially the terra cotta-tile curing barn, are increasingly rare on the landscape.  In July, Planning staff, along with representatives from Capital Area Preservation Inc., met the developer and the owner’s representatives on site to more closely examine the outbuildings. Based on staff’s visual assessment, the tiled barn appears to be the least altered, most structurally-intact outbuilding, although it does have some roof damage. It also appears to be a large, well-constructed version of a type of ceramic barn that first appeared in Wake County around the 1930s – a time when there was experimentation in new, heat-absorbing materials for tobacco barns. Given that this type of tobacco barn was relatively rare in Wake County at the time and is even more so today, the developer has offered a rezoning condition stating that if the barn is found by a structural engineer to be structurally sound, then it will be conveyed to a homeowner’s association as part of the private common area of the development.  The applicant, on September 20, 2017, submitted an engineer’s assessment of the barn which finds the barn to be “not structurally sound” (see attachment titled “17-REZ-17 Barn Evaluation by Structural Engineer”). Therefore, in accordance with the condition offered, there will be no further action by the applicant to preserve the barn.   






The Town’s SHAPE policies guide future growth by creating the geographic development framework that best achieves the vision and policies contained in the other plan chapters, particularly LIVE, WORK, SHOP, ENGAGE, MOVE, and SERVE.


Policy 4:  Support and Facilitate Redevelopment and Infill Development


Staff Observations:
The proposed rezoning affects a site partially ringed by existing subdivisions and individual large-lot detached dwellings. While the minimum lot size and narrower lot widths of the proposed detached dwellings as conditioned by the applicant will lead to a slightly denser appearance for the proposed housing type, the form and overall density of the development will provide a residential development that is very similar in character to the adjacent developments. The development will also connect to existing utility infrastructure leading to a more efficient utilization of the existing public infrastructure.


Policy 6:  Provide Appropriate Transitions Between Land Uses


Staff Observations:
The intent of this policy is to provide for harmonious transitions between different types and intensities of land uses. Typically this would be achieved through a mix of elements including form, use, and design/appearance or by the introduction of screening buffers to create visual and physical delineation. Where we have compatible land uses, as in this case, we would expect a harmonious integration of form and density. The current conditions offered as part of this rezoning would largely achieve that by matching house types and site density and through the stipulation of increasing the minimum lot area and lot widths. In addition, the use of the TR-CU zoning designation will lead to the requirement for an undisturbed buffer between the site and adjacent R-8-C and R-12 subdivisions per the LDO.


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


Staff Observations:
The conditions offered by the applicant and the proposed housing type will be complementary to the aesthetic harmony of the surrounding developments and will also offer greater retention of green space due to the conditions offered by the applicant as well as the buffer requirements between the proposed land use and the neighboring subdivisions.


Future Growth Framework Map

The Development Category for the subject property is Suburban Neighborhood, depicted in the image below.  The Suburban Neighborhood area is generally viewed as a fairly homogenous transition ring between more intense and varied neighborhoods closer to the urban center and more rural developments outside of municipal boundaries. Predominant use types for this category include single-family-detached large and small lots with limited cases of other housing types such as patio homes. Transitional Residential Conditional Use, as in this case, is an appropriate district for the Suburban Neighborhood Development Category depending on the context and types of conditions offered.


17-17 fgfm (Medium)




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. 


Move Policy 3:  Design Transportation Infrastructure to Address Land Use Context




Existing Road Cross Section:  22 feet back-of-curb to back-of-curb in 60-foot right-of-way; existing 2-lane section

Future Arthur Pierce Road:  3-lane thoroughfare

Future Planned Road Cross Section: 45 feet back-of-curb to back-of-curb in 70-foot right-of-way

Sidewalks:  5-foot sidewalks on both sides of the road

Bicycle Lanes:  14-foot-wide outside lane on both sides

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

Transit: This site is not located adjacent to or within walking distance to any local or regional current or planned routes.


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.





Land Use

Detached dwellings are a permitted use in the TR zoning district.


Density and Dimensional Standards



Zoning District

Wake County (R-30)


Proposed Zoning District


(Detached Dwellings)

Max. Gross Density


6 dwellings per acre

2.23 dwellings per acre

(per zoning condition)

Min. Lot Size

30,000 square feet

5,000 square feet

6,000 square feet

(per zoning condition)

Minimum Lot Width

95 feet

30 feet (min lot width at road frontage)

40 feet

50 feet
(per zoning condition)

Roadway Setback

30 feet

The width of the roadway and rear setbacks combined shall equal at least thirty-five (35) feet and any individual setback shall be at least three (3) feet.

Side Yard Setback 1

10 feet
30 feet (for corner lot)

0/3 feet min.

6 feet combined

Rear Yard Setback 1

30 feet

The width of the roadway and rear setbacks combined shall equal at least thirty-five (35) feet and any individual setback shall be at least three (3) feet.

Maximum Building Height

35 feet

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 and Streetscape

17-17 buffers



The proposed rezoning of 22.38 acres would result in a maximum of 50 detached dwelling units for senior adults.  Based on the ITE Trip Generation Manual, 9th edition, Land Use Code 251 – Senior Adult Housing Detached, the proposed rezoning is anticipated to generate approximately 27 AM and 38 PM peak hour trips. The threshold for a traffic study is 100 peak-hour trips; therefore, a traffic study was not required.



The Town has specific stormwater and floodplain management requirements for new development that must be addressed during the development plan review process to satisfy Cary’s Land Development Ordinance. These new development requirements are established to mitigate potential flooding impacts and to enhance water quality of our streams while protecting current and future residents of Cary. These protections are provided comprehensively as follows:


§         During development plan review, address improving stormwater and floodplain management by addressing the potential for replacing aging and inadequate infrastructure, as allowed and applicable.

§         During construction, provide sedimentation and erosion control measures to prevent transport of sediment from the construction site.

§         In perpetuity, limit the stormwater runoff from new development to pre-development site conditions with approved stormwater control measures (SCM’s) that restrict stormwater flow leaving the site to engineered limits.

§         Upon completion of the post-construction SCM’s and prior to final acceptance of the new development, require independent certification that they will function as designed, and require provisions for the ongoing maintenance of the SCM’s, to protect quantity and enhance the quality of stormwater leaving the site in perpetuity.


Next Steps


Council may take action on the proposed rezoning.




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 “Suburban Neighborhood” on the Future Growth Framework Map, which is described as a fairly homogenous transition ring between more intense and varied neighborhoods closer to the urban center and more rural developments outside of municipal boundaries. Predominant use types for this category include single-family-detached large and small lots with limited cases of other housing types such as patio homes. Transitional Residential Conditional Use (TR-CU), with the conditions proposed, is an appropriate district for the Suburban Neighborhood Development Category based on the context and types of conditions offered (some of which include, limiting the number of units to 50, which equals a maximum density of 2.23 dwellings per acre, increasing the community gathering space, and increasing the minimum lot size and lot widths).