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Affordable Housing Plan Meets Resistance in Cary

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CARY — Finding an affordable place to live in theTown of Caryis not easy. One developer wants to change that by building apartments which would be affordable for people who make between $25,000 and $30,000 a year. But the plan is not going over so well.

A developer wants to put 124 apartments on a seven-acre tract of land on East Chatham Street. But the idea is meeting a lot of resistance from some town leaders who say it is not a good spot.

Everyone agrees that there needs to be affordable housing in Cary; they just cannot agree upon where to put it.

The small piece of land in question looks like an abandoned lot. But to developer Carroll Ogle, it looks like a potential home for 124 families.

"The idea is to use the land the best we can," says Ogle.

He says the apartments would give people who work in Cary a place to live.

"There are some comments that have been made along that line like ... 'not in my backyard' type of thing."

"Many people don't want things that they don't understand near them. But it's essential that we make housing available for policemen, firemen and teachers," says Town Council member Jess Ward.

Opponents say the site is not close to shopping or public transportation, does not have enough space for parking and is bordered by some hazardous materials. They also say it is not a good time for development in Cary.

"We don't have water at the current time to support any more multi-family projects in town. We don't have enough water to support the ones already approved and in place," says council member Glen Lang.

"When we address legitimate concerns about an individual type of development, that's not saying in any way, shape or form that we're against lower-income housing. We're very much for it," says council member David Brooks.

The Town Council is expected to take a final vote on the project in December. If it is approved, the developer hopes to have the apartments ready by fall 2000.

The two and three-bedroom apartments are expected to rent for $600 to $750 per month.

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Amanda Lamb, Reporter
Edward Wilson, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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