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ROLESVILLE — Although a simple majority of the Rolesville Town Council approved a controversial rezoning matter, legislative protocol dictated a delay in final approval in a public hearing at the council’s Tuesday meeting.
The matter concerned not just rezoning but a traffic study along 4521, 4522, 4541, and 4542 Vineyard Pine Lane. Carlton Group of North Carolina LLC has been petitioning the town for a special use permit to include the properties in the Carlton Pointe subdivision master plan for townhouse development.
Steven Greene of Ramey Kemp and Associates presented the traffic study to the council, which showed peak traffic patterns on U.S. 401 Business and Jonesville Road. Greene said that peak hours for traffic were between 7-8:45 a.m. and that any delay in traffic due to potential new townhome properties would amount to one second in either direction.
Nicole Fieser, a resident of Carlton Pointe, questioned not only the flexibility of the traffic study but how the rezoning could change the character of the neighborhood.
“I’m firmly opposed to this for multiple reasons,” she said at Tuesday’s meeting. “I think we’re highly underestimating the quality of life impact this could have. These developers don’t live here. My dad’s from the Bronx and the Bronx is not Rolesville. Some of us bought houses based on this town’s grand plan and I think it’s disingenuous of you [the council] to change that now.”
Other local residents expressed concerns about the potential pricing of the new townhouses given that the developer has stated in previous meetings how they’re hoping to court both first-time homebuyers, elderly retirees and teachers working at nearby schools.
“I’m just concerned about who is going to move in and the type of people the developer says they want probably can’t afford it,” Erica Vogel said.
Commissioner Jacky Wilson later weighed in on the rezoning concerns.
“This is a difficult matter,” he said. “But we can’t deny a rezoning based on fear of a neighborhood changing based on who could move in. If we did that, this town and this board could be liable for housing discrimination and prejudice.”
Wilson then made the motion to approve the special use permit and the council voted 3-2 in favor of it. However, after conferring with the town attorney, Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles said that because the vote was not a supermajority as dictated by the town’s legislative protocol, the request counted as a first reading of the matter.
The council then approved continuing the public hearing until Tuesday, April 16 when the matter will be voted on again and can likely pass a simple majority.
The next regular meeting of the Rolesville Town Council is scheduled for April 16 at 7 p.m. at Rolesville Town Hall, 502 Southtown Circle, Rolesville.