Guiding Community Growth
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At the end of the quarter, the Cary population is estimated to be 164,672. During FY 2018 Cary’s population grew by 3,540 citizens, or 2.2%.
During Q1, there were 33 cases in the rezoning process, and six of these cases were approved. Of the six cases, three had conditions limiting the new development to either assisted or senior living. The quarter’s cases included the Glenaire Expansion, which allows for up to 192 independent units and 40 assisted living units. Macedonia Senior Living’s plan allows for up to 250 age-restricted multi-family units.
There were four new non-residential permits totaling just shy of 100,000 square feet issued in Q1. This square footage represents a 54% decrease from the quarter’s five-year average of over 200,000 square feet. The largest non-residential permit issued in Q1 of FY 2019 was for the UNC Panther Creek Medical Office Building on McCrimmon Parkway.
Non-residential addition and alteration permits in Q1 totaled 143, an increase of 4.5% from the Q1 five-year average of 137.
The top five projects were interior alterations at Verizon located at 6400 Weston Parkway (99,239 square feet), Small HD located at 301 Gregson Drive (33,378 square feet), Bayer Environmental Science located at 5000 Centre Green Way Suite 400 (31,847 square feet), American Tower located at 12040 Regency Parkway Suite 200 (27,010 square feet), and a warehouse addition at Long Beverage located at 10500 World Trade Boulevard (47,867 square feet).
There were 18,843 inspections in Q1, down 7% from the Q1 five-year average of 20,322. This decrease is largely a result of reduced inspections leading up to and after Hurricane Florence, as well as pausing Town operations for two days during Hurricane Florence.
The Imagine Cary Community Plan articulates Cary’s vision and values and sets a course for Cary to continue to be a premier community offering new opportunities to citizens. The Imagine Cary Plan Implementation Team, or PIT Crew, a multi-departmental team of staff focused on plan implementation, continues to meet to develop a detailed understanding of the Plan’s Strategic Initiatives and Actions, and to document projects to implement the vision of the Plan. The PIT Crew is organized into four Focus Teams: Economic Development, Land Development, Move/Transportation, and Strong Neighborhoods. Focus Teams are developing Action Planning Guides for each Action of the Plan, aligning them with projects and services in the Catalog.
Significant progress has been made by the Land Development Focus Team, which is evaluating changes to the Town’s Land Development Ordinance (LDO) and development regulations called for in the Imagine Cary Plan. While several of the actions address changes on a broad level, emphasis is placed on the development challenges and opportunities of the four Special Planning Areas: Downtown, Eastern Cary Gateway, Green Level and Carpenter. These Special Planning Areas are experiencing pressure from new development and redevelopment, which is a catalyst to update the LDO structure and propel the conversation about changes needed to meet our vision.
Within Cary, the greatest opportunity to address the need for updating and restructuring the LDO is within the Town Center District. Redevelopment and infill are already occurring within this area, creating the need to update the development regulations to support revitalization efforts and facilitate reinvestment envisioned in the Imagine Cary Community Plan. Staff is currently developing a multi-phased approach to address both technical and adaptive issues. This approach will ensure that changes to the development regulations meet the existing needs of Cary and address the vision for the future. These initial phases will be used to establish a process to revise the entire LDO and other development regulation resources.
Development has played a vital role in getting Cary to the top of the arc. Looking towards the future, it will play an even greater role in making sure we stay there. As land availability decreases and there is a move from primarily greenfield development to more infill and redevelopment, the Town will need to reexamine the overall development structure and policies to better align resources to meet the Town’s goals.