Local News

Downtown Cary Businesses Could Be Forced Out In Name Of Progress

Posted November 20, 2002

— Cary is trying to update its zoning districts and the town's downtown image, but the change could mean some businesses could be forced out.

Last year, town officials approved a plan that calls for phasing out mechanics and other industrial businesses downtown over the next 10 years.

Donald Frantz has operated his auto shop in Cary for more than 15 years. By his account, he said more than 30 businesses that line Chatham Street could be displaced.

"They are trying to eliminate what they consider eyesores," he said. "Yeah, we're all for improving Cary. We want to make it a great place, want to make it beautiful, make it pretty, but at the same time, we want the businesses that have been here to be able to stay."

On Tuesday, town planners mapped out their goals for downtown, which include attracting the type of development that draws people to a downtown area like high-end retail shops, restaurants and condominiums.

"The thinking is if we create conditions for these kinds of high-density uses to come in and locate themselves, then we're doing good not only for Cary, but for the region as a whole," town planner Chad Meadows said.

Meadows said relocating businesses is an option the town may consider. He also the draft plan is a working document, subject to change.

Another public information meeting is scheduled for next Monday at Green Hope High School.

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