by Clellie Allen
ROLESVILLE — Monday’s regular business meeting of the Rolesville town board saw yet another developer approach commissioners with a request to relocate a tot lot.
Unlike the previous case of Terrell Plantation where the developer plainly stated her request was for financial benefit, Martin Silverberg, the attorney representing Carlton Pointe Subdivision, located off of Jonesville Road and U.S. 401, said the request to move the playground location is because the originally approved spot cannot be modified to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) standards for accessible design.
The tot lot was planned to go into an open space between Virginia Water Drive, Bendemeer Lane and Marshcroft Way. But the elevation is such that to make it ADA- compliant, numerous, overly long ramps would have to be installed, said Silverberg. This would make it virtually impossible for anyone in a wheelchair to be able to navigate the ramps to the playground alone, he contended.
As such, the subdivision developers asked to be allowed to move the playground to an open space on Virginia Water Drive, near where it intersects with Bendemeer Lane.
Residents and commissioners had concerns about future development plans which extend Virginia Water Drive to U.S. 401, as well as the sewer easement running under the proposed new location.
When Virginia Water Drive is finished, it will be a thoroughfare street for the subdivision — something that at first glance doesn’t seem to mix well with having a playground nearby, said one resident.
Silverberg said developers plan to add an off-street parking lot so that parents can drive to the location and park safely.
One resident, Aaron Bitting, also a Wake Forest police officer, said he believed the Virginia Water Drive location would be better because traffic could be controlled with a stop sign at the intersection of Bendemeer Lane.
Many of the same traffic woes would exist on Marshcroft Way, Bitting said, but a difference would be there is no ability to provide off-street parking in the original location.
Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles’ problem with the move revolved around the sewer easement. Raleigh, which supplies the town’s water and sewer utilities, does not allow for permanent structures to be built over easements, although asphalt can be put down.
After some discussion by the board over what entity would be responsible for repairs to any structure or pavement if Raleigh had to access the sewer in an emergency, for which they did not have an immediate answer, Silverberg told commissioners that plans had already been drawn up that did not put any playground equipment or parking area over the easement.
“That is all slated to be a grassed-in area,” Silverberg said. Planning Director Thomas Lloyd also told the board that before the playground could be constructed, the developer would have to obtain a building permit — allowing the town to review the design before construction.
Limited to considering only the quasi-judicial findings of fact about the request, commissioners voted to approve the move, 4-1, with Gil Hartis dissenting. They did, however, add conditions to the special use permit — that no structure or pavement be put over any sewer easement, that no stream buffers could be disturbed and that the developers would have to create one handicapped parking space and five additional regular spaces.
Swimming pool to be a splash
The second major agenda item was a site plan review request, also by Carlton Pointe Subdivision, for the construction of the community’s swimming pool and clubhouse. They would be located on Virginia Water Drive, just east of Prides Crossing.
The planning board reviewed the request in their May 20 meeting and voted unanimously to recommend approval to the commissioners, with the addition of extra fencing around the pool to shield swimmers from anyone on the adjacent greenway.
The commissioners also voted unanimously to approve the project. Silverberg told the board that he expected as soon as all the permits were in hand, construction would begin immediately with an expected opening in spring of 2014.
•Incoming Rolesville High Principal Erika Lucas was formally introduced to commissioners and residents. She told the board that all the approvals are in place and that she now has the keys. “We own that building now,” Lucas said with a big smile.
Nearly 600 freshmen and sophomores are expected to attend the school when it opens in August. A ribbon cutting, in conjunction with the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, is slated for July 23, 11 a.m.
•After a public hearing, commissioners also approved new no-parking zone language to ensure that people using the parking lot of the Community School Park and Ballfields would only be able to park in marked spaces. The new language makes it illegal to park in front of or around traffic islands.
•Eagles clarified for those in attendance that the decision by Walmart to drop plans to build an express store in Rolesville was because he would not allow them to put off the public hearing.
After the town had already run one public notice about the hearing, Walmart developers approached Lloyd to postpone. Eagles balked.
“I felt like they were stalling and stalling,” Eagles said. “I decided it was time for them to put up or shut up.”