November 13, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORCHOA CHALLENGES FALSE CLAIM REGARDING THE LAND AT DUNN AND FALLS OF NEUSE ROADS
From: the North Raleigh Coalition of Home Owners Association (NORCHOA), a group of concerned citizens living in North Raleigh, NC *
Contact: NORCHOA Spokesperson, David Cox, at email@example.com
On November 3, 2014 a story by Andrew Kenney appeared on the News and Observer website entitled, “Attorney: Publix proposal will return to Raleigh city hall soon.” The story quotes Mack Paul, attorney representing the developers who want to develop Dunn and Falls of Neuse into a large grocery store strip mall.
According to the story, “Paul said the project matches city plans, and the developer, Morgan Property Group plans to see it through.”
The story continues by quoting Mr. Paul: “They are fully intent to proceed to the end of the process, and feel like, based on the long-standing designation in the comprehensive plan, that this is fully within the scope of the city’s vision for this property,”
NORCHOA responds to this claim by noting that the plans for this property have been long established. A document dated May 2, 1994 (with revisions dated July 7, 1994) is on file with the City entitled, “Falls River, A Planned Unit Development for Raleigh NC.” On page 4 of this master plan are a description and rendering for an Office Village as shown here:
The rendering for the Office Village clearly shows and labels its location at the northeast corner of Falls of Neuse and Whittington roads – the largest of the parcels now being considered for rezoning. The Office Village is described as follows (note the emphasis on the site being the “gateway” to the Falls River master plan):
“An office village is proposed at the project gateway on Falls of Neuse Road. Current land uses adjacent to the property consist of single family detached housing. In keeping with the residential nature of the area, the office village will provide a non-commercial setting for residentially scaled and designed offices. This clustered setting will provide residents with professional services and employment opportunities.”
The rendering shows about a dozen small office buildings each no more than two stories in height. The site is surrounded by treed and landscaped buffers ranging from 75 to 100 feet wide.
Also on page 4 the Development Consultants are listed as East West Partners Management Co., Inc. from Chapel Hill. Land Planning/Landscape Architecture was provided by Jerry Turner & Associates, Inc. from Raleigh. Engineering/Surveying were provided by The John R. McAdams Company, Inc. at Research Triangle Park. Transportation Engineering were provided by Kimly Horn & Associates, Inc. of Cary.
Another file with the City is a document dated September 11, 2008 showing three preliminary plans for the remaining land at Dunn and Falls of Neuse again illustrating a concept of ten buildings each 3000 square feet in size arranged into three or four clusters. Each schematic shows the ten buildings arranged differently to give three conceptual options for development. Here is one of those schematics:
Over the years residents in the area have been provided the same documentation by their realtors to assure them of how the Falls River master plan was intended to be developed.
The 1994 plans and the 2008 plans illustrate the long standing expectation to develop the land at Dunn and Falls of Neuse as a small office village in scale with the surrounding residential areas. There was an attempt in 2008 to rezone some of the land for larger commercial uses up to 20,000 square feet in size but that was rejected by City Council. The current zoning for most of the land is actually residential with a Planned Development District overlay to permit offices. For the entire site retail is limited to 3,000 square feet in size per floor per structure.
Clearly, based on all the plans and zoning decisions for the past twenty years, the area has been envisioned as a gateway to our neighborhoods and should be built in accordance to the size and scale of neighborhoods. What Morgan Property Group proposes for the land is not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan’s description of Neighborhood Mixed Use or with the area plan for this part of Falls of Neuse.
The claim that their proposal “is fully within the scope of the city’s vision for this property” is not supported by the Comprehensive Plan, is not supported by documentation, is not supported by current zoning, and is not supported by the City’s rezoning decisions for this location.
Lastly, the claim is not supported by the for sale sign that is currently on the property and has been on the property for as long as homeowners in the area can remember: