Local News

Cary Seeks Online Input on Development Plans

Posted September 10, 2007 4:45 p.m. EDT
Updated September 10, 2007 6:13 p.m. EDT

— To generate more public input on proposed developments around town, Cary officials have added a section to the town Web site.

Every time a developer proposes a new project, people will be able to submit their thoughts online at anytime. Visitors are able to review plans and are then asked to fill out a series of questions about a project.

"We ask them, 'How can we make this better? What would be your thoughts to make this project better?'" said Dan Matthys, planning manager for Cary's Planning Department.

The first two proposals to be featured on the site are an apartment complex near Harrison Avenue and a mix of offices and residences on 22 acres near Cary Parkway and Evans Road. Eventually, 25 projects will be featured on the site, Matthys said.

Cary resident Lindsey Chester already has taken advantage of the new system.

"I looked at the land use, how they were planning, what was going there," Chester said. "They let you click on the developments to see the plans."

Matthys said the online comments would be used in addition to input gathered at public hearings.

"There are a lot of people that are deathly afraid of public speaking (and) a lot of people that can't make the meeting. This is another way for us to get that input," he said.

Gathering input is one thing, and using it is another, Chester said.

"The tough part will be in the actual execution. Are our voices going to be heard? I think we'll have to wait and see a couple of these meetings go by and see. Do they listen to the comments? Do they read them off?" she said.

"We're not going to brush them off," Matthys said. "We actually attach a copy of this report to the data sheet, so when Town Council is up there making a decision, they can link to the actual report."