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LETTER: OK’ing 900 new homes is not OK

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At the March 3, 2020 Wake Forest Planning Board meeting, the board thoroughly failed our community when they voted 5-4 to approve the rezoning of a 272 acre, 988 unit development on Averette Road.

The two existing developments on each side of the Averette proposal, Mill Race and Rocky Ridge, had a substantial turnout and spoke en masse to reject the rezoning proposal.

The Town of Wake Forest Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) clearly states that any rezoning must take into account the impact on existing adjoining communities.

The adjoining communities showed up and their input was ignored.

The UDO specifies transitional zoning from rural to urban. Mill Race and Rock Ridge are rural single-family dwellings placed on generous lots that generally conform with Rural District and GR-3 zoning.

However, the board ignored any transitional zoning and approved Planned Unit Development zoning for the entire project, which is the highest-density zoning allowed in the UDO.

There is no fire protection for the development. Instead, fire protection will be provided by some future and not-yet-committed capital improvement plan.

Meanwhile, fire protection will be provided by general agreements that might be in place with whatever responder is available.

Police protection for a development that expands Wake Forest population by 10% was not mentioned.

The last time there was a hearing on the Averette Road project, the board rejected it.

Nothing significantly changed between then and now except the members of the board.

In summary, the majority of the planning board ignored the guidelines set out in the UDO. They ignored the valid concerns voiced by the affected communities.

The majority of the board did not do the job they are entrusted to do.

How very, very disappointing for those of us who want to have faith in our local officials to listen to and respond to our concerns.

Frank “Spank” McCoy