Local News

Controversial Cameron Village project advances

Posted September 8, 2008 6:14 p.m. EDT
Updated September 9, 2008 1:20 p.m. EDT

— Despite neighborhood opposition, the Raleigh Planning Commission on Tuesday approved the idea of placing a five- to seven-story building in the Cameron Village shopping center.

The commission recommended a zoning change for Crescent Resources LLC to the City Council. The Charlotte-based developer wants to build a retail and residential complex at the corner of Oberlin Road and Clark Street, at the southwest corner of Cameron Village.

According to city records, few buildings in the area are taller than four stories. Nearby residents have criticized the project, saying the taller building would negatively impact the neighborhood.

"Everybody would like to see the right project go on this corner," community leader Emily Biggs said. "Because of the massive scale of this project, neighborhoods have become concerned about the infrastructure, in particular the traffic impact it will have on this area and neighborhood."

City Councilman Russ Stephenson said a final decision on the size of the building could be before the full council soon. Crescent Resources' site plan for the area would have to be approved later.

"There's always room for compromise and (to) give some community benefits for additional density," Stephenson said, adding that he realizes the impact of the council's decision.

"One of the big concerns is, if you start doing that on this first project, will that be the precedent that will allow even larger projects in Cameron Village in the future that will really overburden the streets where we'll have to start widening them?" he said.

Crescent Resources officials couldn't be reached Monday for comment.

Biggs said residents plan to meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Church of Christ, at the corner of Brooks and Rosedale streets, to organize opposition to the project.

Nearby residents have fought larger developments in the area before, defeating the so-called Coker Towers project near the intersection of Wade Avenue and Oberlin Road because they thought it was too large.

"We're afraid it's going to have very negative impacts on our community," Biggs said of the latest proposal.