Wall Road rezoning also on agenda.
By David Leone
WAKE FOREST — The contentious fire station plan returns to the town planning board Nov. 7.
The public hearing for the plan — which calls for a new Wake Forest fire station on a two-acre parcel of land at 1509 Jenkins Road — was held open from Oct. 1 so more expert testimony could be heard.
At the heart of the delay was the fire department’s failure to produce an expert witness for their special-use permit request who could testify and answer questions about his written report stating that the station won’t affect neighboring property values.
Neighboring residents believe it may, and they are also concerned about the noise from fire engines. A number of residents spoke to these concerns, among other speakers, several of whom are experts in fields such as real estate.
Expert testimony is required for special-use permit requests, which are quasi-judicial hearings.
Though the hearing remains open, it’s possible the board will choose to only allow further testimony from the fire department real estate professional.
Empty lot remedy
The only other item on the agenda is a request by Edens Land Corp. to rezone 1.2 acres from conditional-use highway business to residential mixed-use, a classification allowed under the new Unified Development Ordinance.
The lot is at 1320 Wall Road, in Franklin County with a Wake Forest address. It fronts the Richland Hills neighborhood and is bordered on the west by a flex-use commercial building.
All that exists on the site now is an empty parking lot, paved for another flex-space building that was approved in 2006 but never constructed.
The planning department report notes that the new zoning would allow commercial or residential structures — including multifamily housing — to be built on the lot.
The planning board only makes recommendations. Both items go to Wake Forest commissioners for final approval.
The planning board normally meets the first Tuesday of the month. The meeting was delayed to the first Thursday to avoid interfering with the Nov. 5 town board election.