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Sneed joins board; neighbors cry foul at development

Mayor: Halt worrisome construction if needed

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ROLESVILLE — While most agenda items — including the appointment of new commissioner April Sneed — passed with little deliberation, most of the excitement at Tuesday’s meeting of the Rolesville Board of Commissioners happened in the first half hour when audience members were allowed to speak.

The public speakers voiced complaints stemming from an approved rezoning request last year allowing the Carlton Group of North Carolina to develop residential units on four lots on Vineyard Pine Lane.

Previous concerns about the rezoning at the time included impacts on traffic in the area as well as the impact of home prices in the vicinity. The developer ultimately agreed to a number of conditions as part of the rezoning, including keeping a 35-foot buffer of trees between residents and the new development

“During that March 2019 meeting, (the developers) all sat here and offered two very important points that provided comfort for my neighbors and myself: That those trees were not going to be touched and that there was a natural ditch that delineates the property line and they weren’t going to go past that natural ditch,” Nicole Feezer of Short Hills Lane told commissioners Tuesday.

Some residents who were opposed to the development last year are now claiming some of those promises were not kept and outright violated.

Feezer went on to say that the area in question was bulldozed Jan. 2, causing flooding to her yard following last week’s rains.

She said the developers “stood here, under oath with this town council, and specifically said no trees were going to be touched.” But after talking with town planning director Danny Johnson, Feezer said she found out that promise didn’t make it into the special use permit approved last year.

Feezer also said that any chance of her home value increasing after a scheduled appraisal is likely impossible due to the lack of trees and rubble left over.

Four other residents mentioned other complaints about the ongoing development on Vineyard Pine Lane, such as heavier construction techniques being used that may impact the physical foundation of homes in the immediate vicinity.

The speakers asked the council if any action could be taken to halt development until the latest grievances could be addressed.

“I don’t know how people can trust this city if you let something like this happen,” said Larry Grzyb, a resident of Bendemeer Lane. “And how can we trust developers or architects (who) promise this or that on future projects when they sit here and make a promise to you and next thing you know, there’s bulldozers ripping trees down behind your house?”

Upon inquiry from the council, communicating with the developer, and investigating the site, Town Planner Kelly Arnold said that while the developers may not be doing the construction in the most courteous sense, the special use permit was being executed within general compliance.

Mayor Ronnie Currin recommended that Arnold and the town attorney make further inquiries with the developers and halt further construction if communication is not established in a timely and speedy manner.

In other matters, the council unanimously approved April Sneed to fill the commissioners seat left vacant by Mayor Currin when he won the mayoral race in November.

Sneed had run for a council seat in that election, placing third behind current members Michelle Medley and Sheilah Sutton. Sneed has been a resident of Rolesville for 14 years and has been most recently known as the executive director of the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce as well as the town’s Military Banner Committee.

Sneed was in attendance and thanked the board for each member reaching out to her personally and said she looked forward to fill the seat until the next election. Sneed will be sworn-in at the council’s Jan. 21 meeting.

After two public hearings, the council unanimously approved annexation of 3.5 acres at 3800 Foxwild Lane, as petitioned by Forestville Road Investors, for the proposed Regency at Heritage subdivision.

The second public hearing saw a petition from A-Master Team to rezone 4.38 acres at 151 Grand Rock Way to a commercial outline special use district. The rezoning is seen by the town as a way to stimulate commercial growth and multi-family residential development.

Commissioners’ next meeting will be 7 p.m. Jan. 21 at Rolesville Town Hall, 502 Southtown Circle.