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Heritage to get new 300-unit apartment complex

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WAKE FOREST — A majority of commissioners Tuesday agreed to let a developer build a 307-unit apartment complex in the Heritage community.

The 17-building Legacy Heritage complex will cover 24 acres south of Dr. Calvin Jones Highway, along Heritage Lake Road and north of Friendship Chapel Road.

The Wake Forest Board of Commissioners was split in its vote, 3-2, after Commissioner Bridget Wall-Lennon proposed stronger requirements on the developer regarding road improvements, buffers and other concerns. Wall-Lennon and Liz Simpers voted against the development without those added conditions.

Commissioner Anne Reeve, who made the motion to approve the master site plan, said she felt the time had passed to introduce new conditions on the developer.

“With Heritage being a planned community, I think this is a piece of that plan that really works well where it’s located,” Reeve said of the apartments. “I think it’s an advantage to have this development in this area.”

At a public hearing earlier this month, multiple neighbors brought up concerns about traffic.

“The 900-pound dilemma in the room is traffic,” Bob Hill, who said he lives directly across from planned development. “It’s no secret to anyone around Wake Forest that traffic is an issue for all of us.”

The developer will be required to pay part of the cost of road improvements on Friendship Chapel Road, and there will be a new dedicated turn lane from Heritage Lake Road into the apartments. The apartments can be accessed through either Friendship Chapel or Heritage Lake roads.

The plans include a connection to the Dunn Creek Greenway, a town-owned pathway that already exists on the development site.

New commissioners sworn in

At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, three commissioners stepped away to make room for the victors of this year’s municipal elections.

Outgoing commissioners Reeve, Brian Pate and Greg Harrington earned standing ovations from the audience as they concluded their terms. Pate and Harrington chose to not seek re-election, and Reeve was defeated in her bid for another term.

In their place were seated Jim Dyer, Chad Sary and Adam Wright. The three new commissioners took their oaths of office before taking part in their first vote: the adoption of the 2020 board of commissioners meeting schedule.