Z-45-20 – A Rezoning Request for Buffaloe and North New Hope

I do not support this rezoning request. Here is why.

Z-45-20 is a rezoning request to allow up to 350 apartments at the corner of Buffaloe and North New Hope.

Residents in the area are concerned about adding that much density to that location. Among their concerns are traffic and traffic accidents.

We received a detailed report about traffic accidents over the past 5 years near the intersection. There are two reports. One is for Buffaloe rd and one is for North New Hope rd. Here are the summary statistics:

North New Hope:

There have been 301 crashes.

There have been 3 fatal crashes

There have been 163 injuries

There has been $1,974,772 in estimated property damage

Buffaloe:

There have been 172 crashes

There has been 1 fatality

There have been 95 injuries

There has been $1,150,701 in estimated property damage.

All together that is 473 crashes, 4 fatalities, 258 injuries and $3 million in property damage. The intersection is one of the most dangerous in Wake County

The residents from the North New Hope/Buffaloe road area have expressed their disagreement with this rezoning and have asked that we not approve it. Many of these residents have lived in the area for many years while others are relatively new. None that I am aware of supports this rezoning.

The residents of this area have been very involved with their community. Just five years ago they worked hard and diligently to create a small area plan to guide development at this location. In addition, the current zoning was also established just five years ago with buffers and protections that were the result of of successful, good faith negotiations.

The residents trusted their government and worked in good faith with City staff and City Council, developers, and land owners to develop a plan and zoning that will provide for responsible growth and development. After many months of hard work the Council agreed unanimously with the outcome of that hard work.

The residents find, as I think anyone would, that the proposed rezoning is inconsistent with the small area plan. The proposed heights are too tall. A key policy of the small area plan sets a maximum of three stories and 50 feet in height. The proposed rezoning requests four stories and 59 feet – 20% over the maximum specified in the plan.

The current zoning provides transition areas that include an earthen berm, solid concrete walls, and heavy vegetation. The proposed rezoning removes those neighborhood protections, eliminates the berm, the concrete walls, most of the vegetation, reduces the size of the transition area and provides, instead, a small, wooden fence. Instead of an adequate transition, they will have a parking lot facing their homes.

These residents, in good faith, worked with the City staff and Council on a plan for good development that benefits both land owner and the community. Now, an out-of-state developer is asking that we overturn all of that in order for them to maximize their profits.

We would all like to see a compromise. Unfortunately, the residents and the developer are far apart on this rezoning case. While some concessions have been made, those concessions do not equate to compromise. Compromise means choices that all parties are willing to live with. However, in this case, the gap is great.

The developer has asked us to close the hearing and make a choice. They have signaled that negations are done. The concessions are clear but compromise is far away.

I find the proposed rezoning to be inconsistent with the small area plan and is not in the best interest of the public. I am particularly concerned about high density, car dependent growth at one of the most dangerous intersections in Raleigh and in Wake County. This proposed rezoning and proposed project promotes sprawl when we want to encourage development on our transit corridors and in growth areas.

Given the history of this area, the hard work and good faith of its citizens, the vision that the citizens have for the future of this area, and past agreements with the City and Council on that vision, I cannot support this rezoning as is and I hope that the developer will seriously add conditions that will lead to compromise.

5 Replies to “Z-45-20 – A Rezoning Request for Buffaloe and North New Hope”

  1. Thank you! I’ve lived in Foxcroft, an area that would be directly impacted by the rezoning, since 1985. In my experience, this rezoning would be the single most significant change in the urban landscape of this area and the daily quality of life of thousands of citizens. Please persist in your opposition to these plans and thank you for your thorough explanation and stalwart support.

  2. I have been carefully following Rezoning Request Z-45-20 about building a 4-story apartment complex of 350 units. For 23 years, I have lived at Cobblestone Townhouses near the intersection of Buffaloe Rd. and New Hope Rd. Over time, I’ve witnessed the staggering amount of car wrecks. As noted in Councilman Cox’s statement above, there has been one fatality. When Lidl was constructed on the northeast corner, a new traffic configuration was designed. Straight traffic runs the risk of side swiping because of how traffic merges. It is an accident waiting to happen. On a personal level, one of the reasons for my choosing Cobblestone was the single-family community environment. Constructing an oversize 4-story building simply is a misfit for all the reasons noted above. Such a structure with related traffic issues is irresponsible, dangerous, profit driven, and ignores serious problems of overcrowding in the wrong location. In our community, we worked hard to structure zoning regulations to limit pollution, traffic congestion and unsuitable commercial/residential proposals. To ignore efforts to keep our community livable and safe show a lack of vision resulting in poor planning. You have the opportunity to do the right thing by deciding against the 350 unit apartment complex.

  3. I realize this is a fast moving train, but just a few thoughts. 1) I am opposed to the location, size of the structure, and number of units being proposed. Perhaps decreasing the number of units and strategically placing the entry/exits would lessen the congestion. Adequate parking and traffic considerations must also be made for building visitors. 2) Has anyone conducted a traffic study anticipating what it might be like a year or two from now post covid? Many people are working from home. Keep in mind, many new apartment buildings /homes have saturated our area in one year or less than ever before and I would guess many of these occupants are not included in the past 5 year data traffic study you presented. 3) Will the City of Raleigh and the Developer do what is necessary to ensure proper drainage/runoff to prevent flooding…and especially proper sewage pipes. There are some areas when I walk where it smells like bad waste, which is scary because we have city sewage. I also noticed a neighbors home after Lidls moved in, where their back yard never stops flooding because of the retaining wall that was built and poor drainage. I want growth for our community but not at the risk of shabby workmanship that may impact many of us living in the community.
    4) Finally, will this project remain just apartments or will an office/store be included? No surprises please….
    Thank you for the opportunity.

  4. Thank you for your report, Mr. Cox. This area should be used for small retail strip with a sit-down cafe, Mom & Pop restaurant, dance studio, etc. If it must be residential, despite all of the apts going up on New Bern Ave., it needs to be homes for sale so either a small townhouse area or connected single story homes. No apartments.

  5. Is there a petition I can sign to stop this apartment complex development? Our neighborhood does not need any more people or accidents!

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