Town of Cary
North Carolina

Rezoning

17-REZ-33 Macedonia Senior Living Rezoning

Information

Department:Planning & Development ServicesSponsors:
Category:Rezoning

Speaker: Katie Drye, Planning

 

Executive Summary:  The applicant has requested the Town consider an amendment to the Town of Cary Official Zoning map by rezoning approximately 10.94 acres, located in the northwest quadrant of the intersection of Jones Franklin Road and Macedonia Road, from Residential Multi-family (RMF) and Office and Institutional (OI), to Mixed Use District (MXD). There is an associated Preliminary Development Plan (PDP) which proposes an age-restricted multi-family development or life care community with a maximum of 250 age-restricted multi-family units. Through the MXD process, the applicant may propose development standards unique to the subject property.

 

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 Planning and Zoning Board found the request to be consistent with the Imagine Cary Community Plan and recommended approval by a vote of 9-0.

Body

 

 

 

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 development plan.

 

SUBJECT PARCELS

 

Property Owner(s)

County Parcel Number(s)
(10-digit)

Real Estate ID(s)

 

Address

Deeded Acreage

JBM Assoc LLC

C/O Nate McMillan

1000 Venetian Ct

Cary, NC 27518

 

0772872720

0067281

2504 Jones Franklin Road

0.5

0772870683

0038645

2514 Jones Franklin Road

0.61

0772870524

0016955

2520 Jones Franklin Road

0.5

0772778688

0079295

2809 Macedonia Road

3.37

Donna W. Jones

Kathryn Beck

2092 Winwood Farm Rd

Creedmoor, NC 27522

0772776861

0184035

2723 Macedonia Road

2.55

Overby Family Trust Under the Revocable Declaration of Trust by Burke L. Overby

C/O Louisa Pepper

8700 Old Stage Rd

Raleigh, NC 27603

0772871934

0070762

 

 

2410 Jones Franklin Road

2.5

Larry Lee Woodall III

2721 Macedonia Road

Cary, NC 27518

0772778938

0115951

2721 Macedonia Road

0.91

Total Area

10.94

 

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

 

Location

Northwest quadrant of the intersection of Jones Franklin Road and Macedonia Road

Schedule

Town Council
Public Hearing
June 14, 2018

Planning & Zoning Board
July 23, 2018

Town Council
 

August 23, 2018

Existing Zoning District(s)

Residential Multi-family (RMF), Office and Institutional (OI)

Mixed Use Overlay District (MUOD) and

Watershed Protection Overlay District (Swift Creek Subdistrict)

Existing Zoning Conditions

None

Proposed Zoning District(s)

Mixed Use District (MXD)

No change to the designation of Mixed Use Overlay District (MUOD) and Watershed Protection Overlay District

Proposed Zoning Conditions

As contained on the associated PDP, including, but not limited to:

§         Limiting the use to a maximum of 250 units (age-restricted or life care community), approximate density of 23 units per acre

§         The developer of the community shall record with the applicable register of deeds office a declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions ("Declaration") providing 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 in a form that the attorney, in his/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.

§         Maximum building height of 75 feet

§         Roofs shall have an appearance from ground level to be pitched and of a mansard, gable, hip, or shed style.

§         Land Development Ordinance (LDO) Modifications Requested:

o       Relief from the requirement for an internal street connection between site driveways on Macedonia Road and Jones Franklin Road

o       Remove one champion tree (54” Water Oak)

o       Parking ratio of 1.38 spaces per unit

Town Limits

Yes

Staff Contact

Katie Drye

Senior Planner

katie.drye@townofcary.org

(919) 469-4085

Applicant

Jason Barron, Morningstar Law Group

421 Fayetteville Street, Suite 530

Raleigh, NC 27601

jbarron@morningstarlawgroup.com

 

Background and SUMMARY OF REQUEST

 

The applicant is requesting to rezone seven (7) properties totaling 10.94 acres located at the intersection of Macedonia Road and Jones Franklin Road. The properties are currently zoned Residential Multi-family (RMF) and Office and Institutional (OI) and are in the Mixed Use Overlay District (MUOD). The site is within one of Cary’s five (5) destination centers as designated on the Town’s Future Growth Framework Map.

 

Overview of Preliminary Development Plan (PDP)

The development proposal seeks to permit a maximum of 250 dwellings in a five (5) story building over podium parking (max height of 75’). The applicant has proposed to limit the uses to two options: 1) Age-Restricted Multi-family and/or 2) Life Care Community.

 

1.      The condition for age-restricted multi-family will be implemented through restrictive covenants recorded at the Wake County Register of Deeds. These covenants require that at least one of the residents for each dwelling be at least 55 years old or older.

 

2.      A Life Care Community, as defined by the Town’s Land Development Ordinance (LDO)  is a development where the occupancy is restricted to persons who are at least sixty-two (62) years of age, or married couples in which one of the persons is at least sixty-two (62) years of age, and which provides nursing and/or medical care as well as support services, such as common dining facilities, retail stores, and personal service establishments, which are operated by the owner of the life care community or lessees of the owner. Life care communities are designed to meet the residents' basic needs for shelter, food, and health care, regardless of the level of independence of the individual resident and regardless of how these needs may change over time.

 

Preliminary Development Plan- Proposed by the Applicant (see attachment for PDF of plan)

 

 

 

Elements of the plan include the following features:

 

§         Open Space/Community Gathering Space: The PDP indicates there will be just over 8,000 square feet of community gathering space.

§         Stormwater Control Measure: The PDP shows a proposed stormwater control measure located between the building and the intersection of Jones Franklin Road and Macedonia Road.

§         Parking: The applicants have proposed a parking ratio of 1.38 spaces per dwelling. The applicant states in their justification that this parking ratio is less than the requirement for a multi-family development, but that the need for parking is less because the use will be limited to age-restricted multi-family or life care community (see modifications section below for more information on the reduction).

 

A review of the proposed rezoning finds the following key observations:

1.      The subject site is within a Destination Center as identified in the Imagine Cary Community Plan. Destination Centers are Cary’s premiere mixed use centers which contain higher-density housing, mid-rise office, and mixed-use development. The proposed use and density (23 dwellings per acre) will be evaluated to determine if it is appropriate for this location within the Destination Center.

2.      The applicant has requested a modification to remove a 54” water oak tree. This tree is a champion tree as defined by the Town’s LDO, however, the applicant has submitted two arborists reports detailing concerns with the health of the tree. Staff acknowledges the applicant’s concerns and believes that on balance it is appropriate to approve a modification to remove this tree and provide replacements in accordance with the LDO.

3.      There is an opportunity for the Town to consider future transit options along the frontage of this development. The applicant has committed to installation of a pad for a future transit stop along Jones Franklin Road (as shown on the PDP).

 

Adjacent Uses and Zoning:

Adjacent properties to the north and west are zoned Residential Multi-Family (RMF). Properties to the north are developed with the Franklin Apartment Complex. Properties across Jones Franklin are within Raleigh’s Planning Jurisdiction. One site is used for vehicular sales and the other two are single family dwellings. Raleigh's Comprehensive Plan identifies these properties for low to medium density residential in their Future Land Use Map.


Streams:  Cary’s most recent GIS maps do not indicate the presence of streams, floodplain or wetlands on the subject property. Field determination of such features shall be required at the time of development plan review.

 

SUMMARY OF PROCESS AND ACTIONS TO DATE 

 

Notification
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 Tuesday, January 9, 2018.  According to the information provided by the applicant, no one other than the applicant attended the meeting. 

 

Preliminary Development Plan Review

The applicant has completed three rounds of staff review of their preliminary development plan and the plan has evolved based on interactions with Town staff. The plan may continue to evolve after feedback is received at the Town Council public hearing and the Planning and Zoning Board meeting.

 

Town Council Public Hearing (June 14, 2018)

Staff presented an overview of the request followed by the applicant’s agent who shared their justification for the request. There was one speaker at the public hearing, who was an arborist representing the applicant. The arborist spoke regarding his analysis of the champion tree on the site.

 

There was discussion by council about whether additional multi-family developments at this location were appropriate given the amount of multi-family and residential uses in the Crossroads area. Other questions were regarding the internal street network, access to the site, and comments on the arborists reports

 

Clarification to Access to Site

In response to a question from council, staff has reviewed the proposed site access and an existing auto sales business’s access across from the site on Jones Franklin Road. The proposed site access is a full-movement entrance on Jones Franklin Road, which meets the Town's corner clearance requirements from the intersection of Jones Franklin Road and Macedonia Road. There is an approximately 80' concrete monolithic median on Jones Franklin Road that restricts the auto sales' southern access to a right-in/right-out only entrance. The auto sales’ northern entrance is a full-movement entrance. At the time of development plan, the applicant will need a driveway permit from NCDOT. Depending on any known traffic issues in the vicinity of the site NCDOT could require the applicant to modify their entrance to a right-in/right-out only with or without extending the monolithic median to the north past the site entrance.

 

 

 

Residential Uses in the Area

In response to a council question, staff researched the types of residential uses within one (1) mile of the subject property and according to data collected from town, county and regional data sources there are approximately 7,000 multi-family units, 5,000 detached dwellings, and 1,300 townhomes (see map below).

 

 

Planning and Zoning Board Meeting (July 23, 2018)

Staff presented an overview of the request followed by the applicant’s agent who shared the justification for the rezoning. The applicant did not propose any changes since the Town Council Public Hearing and therefore the Planning and Zoning Board did not have a public hearing.

 

The Planning and Zoning Board discussed the condition regarding the age-restriction and there were questions regarding the proposed modification to the internal street connection requirement.

 

The Planning and Zoning Board found the request to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and recommended approval by a vote of 9-0.

 

Changes Since the Planning and Zoning Board Meeting

None

 

 

IMAGINE CARY COMMUNITY PLAN CONFORMANCE AND ANALYSIS

 

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 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.

 

LIVE Policies (Cary Community Plan, Chapter 2)

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

§         Providing a variety of housing choices (Policy 2)

§         Meeting new household needs

§         Maintaining high quality established neighborhoods

Relevant Live Policies:

§     Provide More Housing Choices for All Residents (Policy 2)

§     Provide the greatest variety of housing options in mixed use centers (Policy 4)

 

Staff Observations Regarding Conformance with the LIVE policies:

 

Policy 2.

This policy focuses on expanding housing choices for all residents to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse mix of family and household sizes. Of note, the policy also focuses on encouraging an adequate supply of housing for empty-nest couples and seniors. Given the nature of the housing type proposed, staff considered:

 

§         The extent to which the request increases the town-wide supply of housing choices

§         The extent to which the rezoning request meets locational guidance for senior housing;

§         The extent to which the rezoning request will support increasing the supply of housing for Cary’s growing senior population including...multifamily housing (and) life care communities…

 

Increasing Town-wide Housing Choices. 

The current rezoning proposal seeks to add age-restricted multi-family housing choices for seniors to an identified mixed-use Destination Center, adjacent to non-age restricted multi-family housing.  Destination Centers are intended to have a mix of higher-density residential development, and the subject site seems to be a suitable location for more intense residential development. The site is near both transit and retail services and is within an existing Mixed Use Overlay District.

 

With respect to the second criterion identified, locational guidance for senior housing, the Policy Intent identifies appropriate locations for senior housing as being:

 

(“Locations where) the proximity of such housing to services and amenities is of high importance… 

“Housing for seniors and others who have mobility challenges are encouraged to occur proximate to transit to improve mobility options.”

 

If we consider the site’s location in relation to its proximity to transit and services: 

 

Proximity to transit. 

There are two existing GoCary bus routes along Walnut Street and Jones Franklin Road (Routes 1 and 2) as well as a GoTriangle bus route on Jones Franklin Road (Route 305). Through coordination with GoCary, the applicant has offered a location for a future bus stop along their site frontage if transit services were to be rerouted at a future date.

 

Proximity to services and amenities.

There are multiple options for shops and services within close proximity to the site (see map below). Both the Swift Creek and Tryon Road Shopping Centers are located a little over a quarter mile from the site with access to restaurants, and grocery stores. Both pedestrian routes to these centers involve traversing a major thoroughfare. 

 

 

Policy 4.

This policy focuses on expanding housing choices within mixed use centers for citizens who desire to live proximate to shopping, amenities, employment, and/or transit. Policy 4 also states the highest density housing should be sited closest to transit stops, shopping, services, and/or office buildings/employment, to place the greatest number of residents within the shortest walking distances of key destinations.

 

engage Policies

Parks Recreation and Cultural Resources Master Plan Goals

Applicable plan goals:

§     Maintain a diverse and balanced park and open space system as the Town of Cary grows. (Goal 1)

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

§     Incorporate best management and planning practices to ensure quality services and efficient use of resources. (Goal 9)

 

According to the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources (PRCR) Facilities Master Plan:

§         There are not any proposed parks within or adjacent to this site.

§         The nearest existing park is Marla Dorrel Park, located approximately 1.7 miles west of the site.

§         A future park is proposed approximately 1.0 mile east of the site, adjacent to the Macedonia Lake Loop Trail. 

 

Parcel proximity to greenways and street-side trails:

§         There are no existing or proposed greenway corridors or street-side trails within this site.

§         A street-side trail is proposed adjacent to the site – located on the east side of Walnut Street, extending northeast along the proposed Columbus Avenue alignment.

§         Site design should consider access to the proposed street-side trail corridor via the site’s internal pedestrian network a priority.

 

 

ENGAGE: GOALS FROM THE HISTORIC PRESERVATION MASTER PLAN

 

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

 

Staff Observations:

One parcel in the assemblage, addressed as 2410 Jones Franklin Road, contains a c. 1948, one-story frame house that is listed in the Cary Historic and Architectural Inventory.  The 832-square-foot house is clad in asbestos siding, has one-over-one replacement windows, and a side-gable roof with composite shingles. There is a small, frame, c. 1980 gable-roofed storage building behind the house that is also clad in asbestos siding.  Because of its common form and lack of architectural detailing, this house is not a preservation priority.

 

 

shape Future Growth Framework

The Future Growth Framework [Map] in Chapter 6, SHAPE, sets forth the broad geographic development framework for the Town, effectively constituting the town’s future Land Use policy.

The subject site is part of an area defined as Destination Center on Cary’s Future Growth Framework Map (see Chapter 6, pp. 93, 104).  The inset map below depicts the Future Growth Framework Map within the vicinity of the subject site.

 

The Community Plan defines Destination Centers as being Cary’s premiere mixed use centers that contain an integrated mix of commercial (shopping, services), office, and higher-density residential uses, arranged in a walkable pattern with an active pedestrian realm where buildings front streets. Destination Centers are intended to contain the greatest development intensities found in Cary and be regional destinationsIn order to achieve the desired development intensity and character, the plan notes that a large share of parking needs should be met using structured parking, and that buildings of about three to seven stories should predominate

 

 

Staff Observations

§         The multifamily and life care uses proposed by the rezoning are consistent with the types of housing recommended for destination centers.

§         The 5-story building maximum proposed by the PDP is consistent with the plan’s recommendation that 3-7 story buildings should predominate in the Destination Center.

§         The PDP indicates that the site would be entirely surface-parked, as opposed to the recommendation of the Community Plan for more structured parking within the destination center.  However, since the surface parking avoids having a single large parking field, by wrapping the building with a single double-loaded bay of parking, the impact of the surface parking is somewhat mitigated.

§         The rezoning includes only residential and does not propose a mix of uses. In addition, the site location is also not well-suited to commercial, shopping, or office uses. 

 

 

chapter 6, shape - Policies and Future Growth Framework

shape Policies

The Town’s SHAPE policies guide future growth by:

§         Supporting the Town’s economic development efforts

§         Efficiently using existing and planned infrastructure

§         Ensuring the Town’s fiscal health

§         Maintaining the high quality of development found today

Applicable policies:

§     Encourage Mixed Use Development (Policy 3)

§     Support and Facilitate Redevelopment and Infill Development (Policy 4)

§     Provide Appropriate Transitions Between Land Uses (Policy 6)

 

Staff Observations:

Within the shape chapter the following policies are relevant:

 

Policy 3: Encourage Mixed Use Development - Support the creation of developments and locations that include a mix of commercial/retail uses, office and employment, and housing. Site designs should encourage future densification of sites.

 

Policy 4: Support and Facilitate Redevelopment and Infill Development - To support economic development policies, Cary will support and facilitate redevelopment and infill development, particularly within Commercial Mixed Use and Destination Centers.

 

Policy 6: Provide Appropriate Transitions Between Land Uses - Support the provision of appropriate transitions between sites having markedly different types or intensities of land uses.

 

The current rezoning proposal is supported by each of the above policies. Policies 3 and 4 focus on support for the destination and activity centers where more intense uses would incorporate higher housing densities and focus on creating and supporting existing activity centers by developing “strong residential neighborhoods complemented by walkable mixed use activity nodes”. The rezoning would also support the densification of the site and may provide an appropriate form and land use transition from the existing non age-restricted residential multi-family in the adjacent Franklin apartment complex to the major road intersection between Macedonia Rd and Jones Franklin Rd. Proposed site placement indicates a significant building line setback for the intersection allowing a more staggered transition from the single family homes on the opposite side of Jones Franklin Rd which also then transition back to intuitional and townhome forms to the west and south

 

 

MOVE Policies

Cary’s MOVE policies are designed to respond to transportation challenges and opportunities:

§         Provide an efficient, functional, and well-designed transportation system

§         Allow mobility choices

Applicable Policies:

§         Ensure Safety for All Users and Modes (Policy 1)

§         Apply Multimodal Street Designs (Policy 2)

§         Design Transportation Infrastructure to Address Land Use Context (Policy 3)

§         Ensure a Well-Maintained System (Policy 8)

 

Cary’s transportation requirements for development reflect 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. 

 

Jones Franklin Road (SR 1319)

Existing Cross Section:  2-lane roadway within 60 ft of right-of-way.  As the roadway approaches the Macedonia Road intersection, the right-of-way widens to 120 ft.  There are no sidewalks present. 

 

Future Cross Section:

§         Road:  5-lane roadway in a minimum 90 ft of right-of-way.  Additional right-of-way may be needed at the Macedonia Road intersection to accommodate turn lanes.

§         Sidewalks:  5-foot sidewalk on both sides of the roadway    

§         Bicycle Lanes:  14-foot-wide outside lane in both directions

 

Macedonia Road

Existing Cross Section:  2-lane roadway within 60 ft of right-of-way.  As the roadway approaches Jones Franklin Road, the right-of-way widens to approximately 110 ft.  There are no sidewalks present. 

 

Future Cross Section:

Macedonia Road is a collector avenue in the Town’s CCP. 

§         Road: 2 lane road with curb and gutter within 60 ft of right-of-way 

§         Sidewalks:  5-foot sidewalk on both sides of the road

§         Bicycle Lanes:  4-foot wide bike lane in both directions

 

 

Improvements Being Considered by the Town of Cary as Part of Ongoing Budgeted Capital Projects:  None

 

Transit: At present, GoCary Routes 1 and 2 serve Jones Franklin Rd., Dillard Dr., and Walnut St. approximately ½ mile north of the project site. Additionally, GoTriangle Route 305 serves Dillard Dr. in this same area. The applicant has offered a location for a future bus stop along their site in the event that Town staff determines that transit service would be feasible south of Dillard Drive.

 

Notes: 1) Streets in Cary are typically constructed or widened in increments, with developers completing the half-width section along their frontage when the property is developed. 

2) Construction of other off-site improvements may be voluntarily offered as zoning conditions by applicants for rezoning cases.  3) NCDOT may require additional off-site improvements.

 

kEY REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAND DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE

 

Land Use

The MXD zoning district allows and encourages a wide range of residential and non-residential uses.  Multiple use types may be integrated within an individual building or throughout the larger area comprising the Destination Center. The proposed age-restricted multi-family or life care community use are both permitted uses in the MXD zoning district.

 

Streetscape

At the time of development plan review, the following streetscapes will be required:

§         Macedonia Road- 30’ Type A streetscape

§         Jones Franklin Road- 50’ Type A streetscape

 

Traffic

The proposed rezoning of 10.94 acres with an approximate density of 22.85 units per acre would result in a maximum of 250 dwelling units. The applicant is conditioning the PDP with a maximum of 250 units. Based on the ITE Trip Generation Manual, 9th edition, Land Use Code 252 - Senior Adult Living-Attached the proposed rezoning is expected to generate approximately 50 AM and 62 PM peak hour trips. The threshold for a Traffic Analysis Report (TAR) is 100 peak hour trips; therefore, a TAR was not required.

 

Stormwater

The Town of Cary 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 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 transportation 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 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.

 

 

Proposed modifications to Development Standards

 

The applicant has proposed modifications to certain development standards related to parking, champion trees, and street networks that would be effective if the rezoning is approved.  While these may deviate from those typically found in Cary’s Land Development Ordinance (LDO), a Preliminary Development Plan in a mixed use overlay district allows flexibility for applicants to craft different standards.

 

Below is a summary of the applicant’s proposed development standards in comparison to the LDO standards that would otherwise apply.  A detailed list, which includes maps showing various site features and the applicant’s justifications, is contained on the cover sheet and supplemental pages of the PDP and is attached to this report.

 

 

Topic

Summary of PROPOSED Modification

1

Section 7.2.5

The applicant is proposing to remove one (1) champion tree

 

2

Section 7.8.1

The applicant is proposing a reduction in required parking up to 38% (1.39 spaces per unit)

3

Section 7.10.3(A)(2)(a)

The applicant is proposing to eliminate the requirement for an internal street connection between site driveway #1 and site driveway #2

 

Staff Observations of Modifications

 

1.      Champion Trees: Section 7.2.5- The applicant is proposing removal of one (1) champion tree located within the project site.

 

Applicant’s Justification:

A waiver is sought from the Town’s Champion Tree Regulations, Section 7.2.5 of the Land Development Ordinance.  The proposed development seeks to remove a single champion tree.  The Applicant submitted reports from two different independent certified arborists, both of which concluded that the subject tree should not be preserved on a developed site for safety/liability reasons due to multiple defects.  These defects include, among others, evidence of internal decay and disease, existence of fungal tissue, death of two or more major limbs, and questionable structural health/integrity.  One arborist specifically found this tree to be susceptible to “wind throw” if the saplings around it are removed for development, thereby exposing the tree to wind from all sides.  The health of this tree is questionable at best, and it definitely poses a risk to public safety.  Given that both arborists have concluded that preservation of this tree would create a significant safety concern, the requested modification is the least deviation required to make compliance practicable and the site safe.  Therefore, the Applicant believes this minor modification is justified.

 

Staff Analysis:

The site contains four candidates for champion trees. The applicant submitted two arborists reports (attached to staff report) which evaluated all four (4) trees. These reports concluded the trees should be removed prior to construction. Upon staff review of the two reports, staff agrees that three of the four trees (44”, 42” and 50” Willow Oaks) are no longer candidates for champion trees due to their condition and health and following the criteria of the LDO.

 

Staff’s assessment is that the 54” Water Oak near the intersection of Macedonia Road and Jones Franklin Road (see below) would be considered a champion tree. 

 

 

 

2.      Parking: Section 7.8.1- The applicant is proposing a reduction in required parking up to 38% from the requirements for a multi-family development.

 

Table 7.8-1 of the LDO requires the following parking ratios:

§         Multi-family- 2.25 parking spaces per dwelling unit (additional spaces required for units with three bedrooms or more).

(Note: the LDO does not have a separate parking requirement for age-restricted multi-family, so the multi-family requirement applies)

§         Life care community- 0.25 per resident + 1 per each staff person

 

The applicants are proposing a minimum parking ratio of 1.39 spaces per unit (a 38% reduction from the requirement for a multi-family development). The applicant has submitted the following justification for their parking ratios:

 

Applicant’s justification:

If approved, the proposed rezoning would allow the property to be developed for an age-restricted multi-family community, a life care community, or a combination of the two.  For these two uses, Table 7.8-1 – Off-Street Parking Schedule “A” – of the LDO assigns two very different parking ratios.  Under this table, multi-family dwellings are parked at a ratio of 2.25 spaces/Du while only 0.25 spaces per resident and 1 space per staff person is provided for a life care community.  The proposed development is capped at 250 units.  In a pure multi-family development of this size, the LDO would require 563 spaces.  A life care community of the same size would be required to provide only 112 spaces, for an effective parking ratio of 0.448 spaces/Du.  This range is 451 parking spaces apart.

 

Problematic is the fact that the LDO does not reduce parking ratios for any use when that use is age-restricted.  That is to say that the LDO prescribed parking ratio for multi-family and age-restricted multi-family are the same; 2.25 spaces/Du.  In this way, the top end of the range of parking for this development plan is overstated.  As evidenced by the Trip Generation Study performed by Ramey Kemp, dated November 22, 2017, a 490 unit congregate care facility would be estimated on average to produce less than 1,000 trips in a weekday (meaning each trip to and each trip from the site).  The proposed plan is limited to 250 units, which suggests even fewer trips, and thus fewer cars will need to be accommodated at the site.

 

The bottom end, 112 spaces, may be understated.  Given that the Applicant is requesting the ability to establish either use, it stands to reason that adequate parking should be provided for the more intense use.  The Applicant is requesting the ability to provide parking at a ratio of 1.39 spaces/DU, for a total of no more than 348 total parking spaces to accommodate up to 250 age-restricted multi-family and/or life care units.  The proposed parking ratio is almost exactly halfway between the required LDO parking ratios for both uses.  Moreover, the proposed parking ratio is expected to provide adequate parking to accommodate parking demand at the site for either use.  The applicant is the developer of the adjacent Franklin property and other age-targeted projects.  In their experience, a parking ratio of 1.39 spaces/Du is ample to meet the parking demands they experience at other sites.  Moreover, the Town previously has approved parking ratios in this range for age-restricted multi-family projects, like Ryan Springs Residential (16-REZ-31), which was approved with a parking ratio of 1.24, and Twin Lakes (17-REZ-29), approved with a parking ratio of 1.3.  The requested reduction is consistent with the goals of the LDO.  Based on the foregoing, the applicant submits that the requested parking modification is reasonable and should be granted as part of the proposed PDP.

 

Staff Analysis:

Staff believes the intent of the LDO can be achieved with this proposal, particularly as it pertains to ensuring the proper and uniform development of parking areas throughout the Town. As is evident from the applicant’s submitted justification, similar requests to modify the required parking standards for multifamily development have been approved throughout the Town. The timing of those requests would suggest a development trend indicating that fewer spaces are needed for age restricted multi-family developments than the Town currently requires.

 

3.      Internal Street Connection: Section 7.10.3(A)(2)(a)- The applicant is proposing to eliminate the requirement for an internal street connection between the site driveway on Jones Franklin Road and the site driveway on Macedonia Road.
 

Applicant’s Justification: The subject site fronts onto Jones Franklin Road and Macedonia Road. The Comprehensive Transportation Plan classifies these roads as a Thoroughfare and a Collector respectively. Section 7.10.3(A)(2) of the LDO requires multifamily developments greater than 5 acres to connect all access points from thoroughfares and collectors through a continuous network of public or private streets. Importantly, these connection streets cannot contain perpendicular or angled parking.

 

The Applicant desires to modify this provision as it relates to the proposed development. The proposed development will consist of one primary building. By its nature, the use is the end destination that motorists would be pursuing. That is to say that there is no reason for passersby to access the development. Only residents of the community would have a need to enter the site. Moreover, providing such a connection would serve only one purpose: a cut-through to avoid the light at Macedonia and Jones Franklin. Given that the site is catered to a senior population with healthcare needs, inviting pass through traffic to the site seems unwise.

 

Finally, the inability to provide parking along such a connecting street is problematic given that the Applicant has already requested a parking modification. If the Applicant is required to provide a connection in the manner required in LDO Section 7.10.3(A)(2), many more parking spaces would be eliminated from the site. A standard perpendicular parking stall is 9.5-ft wide, while a parallel parking space generally is 20-ft wide. Thus, about half as many spaces could be provided in the same space. This means that additional parking would have to be provided elsewhere on the site, resulting in more impervious area.

 

Ultimately, the connection between Jones Franklin and Macedonia will be provided by the proposed development, even with the requested modification. The connection; however, will feel more like driving through a parking lot rather than a dedicated street. In this way, the requested modification works as a traffic calming measure for the site, which will offer a safer environment for the residents of the community. Additionally, the requested modification works double duty by enabling the site to be developed with an appropriate number of parking spaces for the intended use. If the site were made to comply with this LDO provision, the additional parking would need to be provided elsewhere on the site resulting in more impervious surface. For these reasons, the Applicant submits that the requested modification advances the goals and purposes of the LDO and results in more effective environmental preservation.

             

Staff Analysis:

Staff believes the intent of the LDO can be achieved with this proposal. While this requirement may be appropriate for true mixed-use or commercial developments, multifamily residential developments are not well served by streets directly linking multiple thoroughfares. Based on site characteristics, the required street would break up the development and encourage cut-through traffic to avoid the intersection. This creates safety concerns for pedestrians and will diminish the sense of community within the development.

 

 

STAFF rECOMMENDATION         

 

Town Staff’s recommendation for the rezoning request is for approval and the rationale for the recommendation is discussed in the table below.

 

Rationale for Recommendation

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

§         The subject site is designated as part of a “Destination Center” on the Future Growth Framework Map. The Community Plan defines Destination Centers as being Cary’s premiere mixed use centers that contain an integrated mix of commercial (shopping, services), office, and higher-density residential uses, arranged in a walkable pattern with an active pedestrian realm where buildings front streets. Destination Centers are intended to contain the greatest development intensities found in Cary and be regional destinations.

o       In this case, the proposal is for an age-restricted multi-family use and/or life care community. The location is within close proximity to retail and office uses and the applicant has prepared the site for a future transit stop.

§         Evaluating the case under the LIVE Chapter, it is noted that the site will provide additional housing options for seniors. The Imagine Cary Plan provides guidance for senior housing and in this case, there are multiple options for shops and services within close proximity to the site.

 

 

 

NEXT STEPS

 

The Town Council may take final action on the rezoning request.  If the rezoning is approved, the developer or property owner must submit and obtain approval for a Development Plan for the subject property prior to commencing construction of infrastructure or submitting requests for building permits.