Local News

Cary residents upset over proposed Habitat for Humanity townhomes

Posted December 12, 2016

— A plan to build Habitat for Humanity homes in Cary is causing controversy after neighbors said the proposed project is bad for their community.

Homeowners said they don’t have anything against Habitat for Humanity or their low income clients, but the issue is with the type of homes that will be built in the neighborhood.

The property proposed for use is a 2.5 acre lot on Trimble Avenue near West Chatham Street and the land is surrounded by single family homes. The property owner is asking the town to rezone the land so that townhomes can be built.

Homeowners said their neighborhood was not designed for multi-family homes.

“I think that a majority of us are concerned about the traffic flow, the water problems and the amount of town houses they are putting here,” said homeowner Judy Blochl.

The plan is to build up to 23 townhomes and the project would likely require a new connector road through the community.

Brian Norman is the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, which is selling the lot to Habitat for Humanity. The church originally wanted to use the land to expand its campus, but when the property owner between the lot and the church didn’t want to sell, those plans changed.

“We think it’s an opportunity to build townhomes for low income families,” Norman said.

Residents are also worried about flooding as a result of increased runoff. While the property is not prone to flooding, nearby properties are in a flood plain.

“Swift Creek runs through a couple of neighborhoods. The volume of water has increased significantly in the last couple of years. My own home….we’ve lost three feet of our own property,” said homeowner Anne Dennis.

The rezoning request must be approved before the project is allowed to move forward and residents said they plan to fight it.

A final vote is not expected until April.


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  • John Barbara Dec 16, 2016
    user avatar

    What WRAL left out of this is that this project is the 3rd of three developments at this intersection that has already converted or is now converting about 7 acres of land into asphalt and roof. Flooding has grown significantly in the past few years. This project adds another 2+ acres of asphalt and roof. Flooding destroyed one home just a few lots down the street from this location and it was bought and torn down by the city this past summer for flooding. It's amazing how little fact based reporting is going on on this issue. The city has done an amazing job of ignoring the worsening flooding issues in this neighborhood. This will only worsen it and damage/destroy more homes. No one can pretend they're doing a good thing when the consequence of their actions is to destroy someone else's home.

  • Ken Ackerman Dec 13, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    You are lumping all of Cary in with a couple neighborhoods. This neighborhood was built in the 1960s and 1970s, most of the streets are fairly narrow, often with cars parked on both sides, and there are no sidewalks.

  • Patty MacRae Dec 13, 2016
    user avatar

    2.5 acres for 23 townhomes? I would have concerns too. That is not much space for at least double that amount of cars and people and the drain on services. I hope the neighborhood homeowners wins this one.

  • Tracy T. Dalrymple Dec 13, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Notice in the second paragraph, it's not that we are against low income housing, we are against the type they want to put in. They could easily put in Habitat single family homes but they want "more bang for their buck" so they are proposing 23 town homes. I would encourage you to attend the meetings we are having with the town and Habitat so you can get the facts.

  • Scooter Barrette Dec 13, 2016
    user avatar

    "Move the poor people somewhere else!" declare the Cary residents, as they pass the buck, and use thinly-veiled "townhouse" arguments to justify their already well-known reputation for being snobby and 'exclusive'. Expecting another part of the state to take the responsibility of housing and welcoming low-income residents is just another day for this Piedmont town, and the logic surrounding their hatred of "townhouses" is laughable (and really a somewhat teachable moment).

  • Sean Chen Dec 13, 2016
    user avatar

    23 town homes will severely tax the resources of the local area. It was not designed to accommodate so many residents in such a small area.

    How to destroy a community:
    1. find a thriving established community
    2. cram as much low cost housing as possible into it
    3. watch community turn into less than it was

  • Jamie Frazier Dec 12, 2016
    user avatar

    Where does our city councilman Ken George stand on this? Is he going to protect our investment and preserve our neighborhood? What is he going to do?

  • Kylie Marie Summerling Dec 12, 2016
    user avatar

    Townhomes are horrible. The logic that they take less space is flawed in that they take more resources FROM the space.

  • Jim Smith Dec 12, 2016
    user avatar

    Cary is becoming townhome central. They don't need any more townhomes. The whole country has gone townhome crazy too.