Town of Cary
North Carolina


17-REZ-28 Wilson Road Rezoning


Department:Planning & Development ServicesSponsors:

Speaker: Debra Grannan, Planning


Executive Summary: The applicant has requested the Town consider an amendment to the Town of Cary Official Zoning Map by rezoning approximately 0.62 acres, located at 1551 Wilson Road from Residential 20 (R-20) to Transitional Residential Conditional Use (TR-CU) to allow the development of detached residential dwellings and/or neighborhood recreation.  Conditions proposed by the applicant would require a minimum lot size of 7,000 square feet and would require right of way dedication, consistent with the Move Chapter of the Cary Community Plan if the event that the property is subdivided.


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.  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)



Bal K and Radha Sharma

301 Stromer Drive

Cary, NC 27513



1551 Wilson Road


Total Area



Click the map to see surrounding development activity.






1551 Wilson Road



Town Council

Public Hearing


December 14, 2017

Planning & Zoning Board


January 22, 2018

Town Council




Existing Zoning District(s)

Residential 20 (R-20)

Existing Zoning Conditions


Proposed Zoning District(s)

Transitional Residential Conditional Use (TR-CU)


Proposed Zoning Conditions

1.      Use shall be limited to detached dwellings and/or neighborhood recreation.

2.      The minimum lot size shall be 7,000 square feet.

3.      Any plat that divides the subject property shall dedicate right-of-way consistent with the Move Chapter of the Cary Community Plan.

Town Limits

The subject property is located within Cary’s ETJ but outside the corporate limits.  Annexation shall be required if the property owners request connections to Cary utilities or if the property is developed as part of a Development Plan.

Staff Contact

Debra Grannan, Senior Planner

(919) 460-4980


Bal K and Radha Sharma

Applicant’s Contact

Glenda Toppe

Glenda S. Toppe and Associates

4139 Garden Lake Drive

Raleigh, NC 27612





The Town of Cary has received a request to rezone approximately 0.62 acre from Residential 20 (R-20) to Transitional Residential Conditional Use (TR-CU). The subject property is currently vacant and the proposed zoning is similar to the zoning district immediately to the south of the subject property.  Since the size of the subject property is 0.62 acre (less than two acres) it may be possible for the property owner to subdivide the subject property into no more than three lots using the real estate plat process and without being required to submit a Development Plan.  In the event this occurs, the applicant has offered a zoning condition that requires dedication of right-of-way along Wilson Road, consistent with the Move Chapter of the Cary Community Plan.





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 the Planning staff at Cary Town Hall on November 1, 2017. According to the information submitted by the applicant, only one nearby property owner attended the meeting.  The primary concerns expressed at the meeting pertained to how this proposed development might impact adjacent property.  These questions and concerns 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 (December 14, 2017)

Staff presented an overview of the case.  The applicant stated that the request was in compliance with the Cary Community Plan.  There were no speakers during the public hearing.


Changes since the Town Council Public Hearing






The subject property is zoned Residential 20 (R-20).  The applicant has requested a zoning designation of Transitional Residential Conditional Use (TR-CU) which is similar to the adjacent property to the south.  Property to the north, east and west of the subject property is within the planning jurisdiction of the Town of Morrisville. 

The Morrisville zoning designation for parcels to the north and west of the subject property is Low Density Residential (LDR).  The Morrisville property to the east of the subject property is zoned Conditional Residential Transition, which has similar characteristics to Cary’s Transitional Residential zoning district.




The 2040 Imagine 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 Imagine 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.  Zoning conditions proposed by the applicant would limit use to detached dwellings and/or neighborhood recreation.  The product type proposed would be consistent with the new house type sub-category that was recently added to this area. 


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


Policy 5:  Support Residential Development on Infill and Redevelopment Sites


Staff Observations:

Given the new development that has occurred or is proposed nearby, the subject property, which is currently vacant, may be considered an infill property.




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.


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


§         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. 




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


There are no historic structures on the subject property.




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 bordered by existing subdivisions and individual large-lot detached dwellings and smaller lot subdivisions.


The dimensional standards for minimum lot size and building setbacks are more lenient with the TR district than with the existing R-20 district, creating an opportunity to facilitate more flexible design.


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 is 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, the buffer requirements and dimensional standards of the LDO serve to provide a harmonious integration of form and density.


Future Growth Framework Map

The Development Category for the subject property is Traditional Neighborhood. The Traditional Neighborhood area is generally typified by the large, master planned communities typical of the “suburban boom” era which started in the mid-1980s.  Most areas contain some degree of housing mix, but detached residential use predominates.  Neighborhoods may include moderate amounts of other housing types such as patio homes, townhomes, and multi-family housing. 


Transitional Residential Conditional Use, as in this case, is an appropriate district for the Traditional Neighborhood Development Category.




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


Wilson Road – Local Road


Existing Section: Variable width right-of way

Future Section: 27-foot roadway section within 50-foot right-of-way

Sidewalks:  Required on one side

Transit:  There is an existing GoCary transit route located along NW Maynard Road, approximately one mile east of the subject property.

Status of Planned Improvements:  N/A


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

Semi-detached dwellings and townhomes are permitted uses in the TR zoning district.


Density and Dimensional Standards



Existing Zoning


Proposed Zoning


Max. Gross Density



6 (Per LDO)

Min. Lot Size

(Sq. Ft.)


5,000 (Per LDO)

7,000 (Per Zoning Condition)

Minimum Lot Width


With Septic Tank/Well:

150 (160 for corner lots)

With public sewer:
125 (135 for corner lots)

20 per dwelling unit


Minimum Roadway Setbacks


From Collector: 30 Feet

From other streets: 20

From Collector:  30;

From all other streets: Min. of 18 feet when parking is provided between the roadway and dwelling unit;

10 feet when parking is not provided between roadway and dwelling unit

Minimum Side Yard Setbacks**


With septic tank/well: 20

With public sewer:15



0/3 feet minimum,

16 feet minimum between building groupings

Minimum Rear Yard Setback**




The width of the roadway or front and rear setbacks combined shall equal at least twenty (20) feet and any individual rear setback shall be at least three (3) feet.


On thoroughfare, collector, or other streets, 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* (May be increased by one foot for every additional foot provided between the building footprint and the minimum required setback).

*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 applicant 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

If developed as an exempt subdivision, no perimeter buffers or streetscapes can be required.



The proposed zoning of Transitional Residential Conditional Use has a maximum density of six dwelling units per acre.  Based on the land area of 0.62 acre, the maximum number of lots for the subject property is three.  The threshold for a traffic study is 100 peak-hour trips; therefore, a traffic study is 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.






Town Staff’s summary of analysis for the rezoning request with the conditions is discussed in the table below.


Summary of Analysis

§         Policies found in the chapters for LIVE, SHAPE, and MOVE were found to be applicable to the rezoning request.

§         The subject site is designated as part of the “Traditional Neighborhood” on the Future Growth Framework Map. The proposed rezoning may introduce a development type that creates a ‘stepped’ transition between larger lots in the vicinity. 

§         The applicant has offered a zoning condition that requires dedication of right-of-way along Wilson Road, consistent with the Move Chapter of the Cary Community Plan.




Next Steps:  After making their recommendation, the Planning and Zoning Board will forward the case back to Council for final action.