Cary followed rules

Balancing the rights of people to develop their private property with the rights of their neighbors and the larger good of the community is one of the challenges governments face each day. Another challenge is helping citizens through the sometimes complicated processes that can be necessary to ensure the fair and legal treatment of all interests.

In this regard, here are a few process points about the Cornerstone development in Cary at Davis and High House. (See “Cary citizens file suit over rezoning,” Fiona Morgan, Sept. 19.)

The decision before the Cary Town Council on July 26 was not a zoning decision; zoning was already in place and was not being asked to change. Therefore, state laws about the zoning process, including protest petitions, did not apply. The decision before the council was a mixed use sketch plan decision. Therefore, the Town of Cary’s Land Development Ordinance process for protest petitions applied, and these rules were followed appropriately by town staff.

After the town’s Planning and Zoning Board voted to recommend that the council deny the sketch plan in June, the developer scaled back the plan and the protest petitions were withdrawn on July 24. This meant that a supermajority vote of the council was no longer necessary to approve the sketch according to the Land Development Ordinance.

The change in the status of the protest petitions that had been filed in the case were communicated to the council via e-mail two days prior to the July 26 meeting and communicated to citizens via the printed agenda during the meeting. Additionally, town staff announced the change in the protest status during the meeting, and the point was also reflected in the agenda on the town’s Web site the day following the decision.

It can be difficult on a community when groups differ on the desired outcomes for a development decision, especially when strong feelings continue even after the decision has been made. Our goal is to ensure that everyone has accurate and complete information so that they can draw their own conclusions as we move forward and together work to keep Cary a great place to live, work and raise families.

Susan Moran
Cary Public Information Officer