Commissioners approve annexation of Rolesville Road property
by Clellie Allen
ROLESVILLE — The town of Rolesville grew by nearly 73 acres Tuesday night with an eye toward more population growth.
Commissioners voted to approve a voluntary satellite, or non-contiguous, annexation request by Tar Heel Blue Farm, LLC, which acquired the Rolesville Road land just south of Rolesville High School, from a group of land owners in 2007.
Tar Heel Blue Farm (THBF), in conjunction with Meritage Homes of the Carolinas, Inc, hopes to build a 98-home subdivision, currently named Rogers Farm Subdivision, and needs to gain access to Raleigh water and sewer, which can only be done by joining Rolesville.
Because the property is not adjacent to town land already, the sewer would need tobe extended about 3,000 feet from existing sewer lines on Upchurch Lane to the northwest of the proposed subdivision. Water would need to brought some 4,000 feet down Rolesville Road from the high school terminus.
The board then approved with little comment a rezoning request by Meritage, on behalf of THBF, to reclassify the acreage to R2-SUD, or a special use permit district which would allow for a greater density of homes than currently allowed. With 98 homes proposed, the Rogers Farm Subdivision lot sizes are projected to be between 0.34 and 1.04 acres.
Lastly, the board addressed the special use permit itself and after attaching 23 conditions to the petition, approved it as well.
The atmosphere of the nearly packed room was much different from two weeks ago when the three items were first presented to the board.
At that time, the board reluctantly allowed simultaneous public hearings on all three petitions on the advice of the attorney present.
Fred Badget had taken the place of Town Attorney Beth Trahos who recused herself from all discussion as a partner in her law firm, Robert L. Wilson, Jr., is the principal owner of the land through Tar Heel Blue, LLC.
At first, the suggestion by Badget to allow residents to speak on all three issues during the same public hearing sounded solid as the petition subjects were intertwined and it did not seem clear how to address one without addressing another.
As the meeting progressed, however, the discussion became muddier with expert and non-expert testimony mixed up between regular public hearing matters and quasi-judicial ones.
After nearly three hours, the commissioners decided to continue the public hearings until Tuesday. At that time, commissioners also directed representatives from Meritage Homes and the engineering firm of Piedmont Land Design, LLP to hold meetings with the property owners adjacent to the proposed subdivision.
Tuesday, while most of the residents had returned from the Nov. 4 meeting, there were no substantial objections to the commissioners moving forward.
The most discussion concerning the proposed Rogers Farm Subdivision came during the special-use permit portion of the meeting.
In the prior board session, adjacent residents made it clear they had concerns about traffic, the overall increase in population and noise in their once-tranquil surroundings and the possibility of trespassing around the small lake near the front edge of the property.
After meeting with the residents and developers, Town Planner Thomas Lloyd suggested some new and amended conditions for granting the SUP.
Among more typical conditions addressing things like landscaping and open space requirements, homes in the proposed Rogers Farm Subdivision would be required to be a minimum of 2,700 heated square feet, increased from the original 2,500 square feet. Also, none of the homes could have aluminum or vinyl siding.
The developer would also be required to adhere to an anti-monotony policy to ensure duplicate houses would not be side by side. The home owners association covenant would also have to be reviewed by the town attorney before finalization.
The existing pond would not be allowed to be incorporated into the storm water management design of the project and fencing and other buffers would be installed along the dam on the north shore of the pond to prevent trespassing.
The streetscape along Rolesville Road would be graded and prepared by the developer so as to be ready for a meandering sidewalk, without curb and gutter, a sticking point for Mayor Frank Eagles. The curb and gutter lends to faster and more concentrated runoff. Eagles pushed for grass ditching to better manage storm water.
The developer would also be required to notify property owners of any blasting at least seven days prior to such activity — by hand delivered letters.
In other action
•Following passage of the three petitions, board members turned their attention to creating a more clear process to ensure residents are well informed in the event of similar happenings. Although the town complied fully with all state and local notification requirements, there were property owners along Rolesville Road that did not feel they were notified in a timely fashion prior to the first hearing.
To address the problem, commissioners voted to increase the public hearing notification fee from $1 per adjacent property owner to $2 and eliminate the option for developers to mail out notices on company letterhead.
•Eagles introduced Dana Primiano who was recently named the new principal of Rolesville Elementary.
•The next meeting of the Rolesville Board of Commissions is set for Dec. 2, 7 p.m., following the 6:30 p.m. annual tree lighting ceremony to be held at town hall, 502 Southtown Circle. The presentation of the Citizen of the Year award will take place.
Also included will be appointments to the Rolesville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment