Electronic Plan Review for Building Permits Goes Live
On March 26, the Town of Cary implemented and made electronic plan review for building permits an option for our design professionals, contractors and citizens. Electronic plan review for building permits was approved for expansion in the FY 2018 budget and will save our design professionals, contractors and citizens printing costs for plans and reduce travel to Town Hall since plans can be submitted remotely, 24/7. In addition, the program will improve staff efficiency during the review process and allow staff to access approved plans electronically from the field. This initiative has been well received by our design professionals, contractors, citizens and staff.
New Non-Residential Permits Issued
There were eight new non-residential permits totaling 855,128 square feet issued in Q3. This square footage represents the most in a quarter since Q2 of FY 2014, when the square footage for new non-residential permits totaled 1,495,710 and included two Metlife Buildings and two Metlife parking decks. The top five new non-residential permits issued in Q3 of FY 2018 were Health Park at Kildaire Office Building, Health Park at Kildaire Parking Deck, Regency Woods Office Building, Regency Woods Parking Deck and Princess Nails Supply Retail/Warehouse.
Non-residential Additions and Alterations
Non-residential addition/alteration permits in Q3 totaled 126, which is down from the Q3 five-year average of 141.
Inspections in Q3 totaled 18,206, which is up from the Q3 five-year average of 17,391. Historically, Q3 inspection numbers are the lowest in the fiscal year largely due to winter weather affecting construction activities.
Fenton Mixed Use Development
The Town Council approved a rezoning and Preliminary Development Plan (PDP) for the Fenton development on January 25, 2018, changing the zoning from Office & Institutional District (OI) to Mixed Use District (MXD). The approval represented the culmination of 32 months of dialogue and a collaborative process that grew to include over 70 Town staff members from every Town department.
A 92-acre greenfield site located in the center of the Eastern Cary Gateway Special Planning Area, Fenton includes vertically mixed uses designed around an L-shaped main street where residential or office uses will be located on top of ground floor retail tenants. Fenton also includes sites for large corporate office buildings and hotels. A total of eight parking decks, the construction of a greenway along a portion of Walnut Creek, six community gathering areas, special architectural standards and the extension of Trinity Road from Cary Towne Boulevard to East Chatham Street are all integral parts of the project. Fenton is anticipated to be a major live, work and play location; one that will serve to fuel additional development in the greater Eastern Gateway area.
One of the conditions associated with the rezoning is that a Development Agreement must be approved before development plans can be submitted for the project. Town staff is currently negotiating the terms of a Development Agreement with the developer. When a mutually agreeable proposal has been developed, a draft agreement will come before the Town Council for a public hearing and consideration. We anticipate this next step occurring in late spring.
Green Level Special Planning Area
In October 2016, Duke Health purchased approximately 62 acres near the intersection of NC 540 and Green Level West Road. The site is located in the Green Level Special Planning Area, which is situated in southwest Cary and stretches from NC 540 to the Chatham County line. The area includes Thomas Brooks Park, the USA Baseball Training Complex, the Green Level National Register Historic District and the American Tobacco Trail.
The Duke Health site is located in the portion of this Special Planning Area where the Imagine Cary Community Plan’s policies are seeking to create a Signature Mixed Use Destination Center that will support residences in Green Level and the larger region. Just two exits from Research Triangle Park, the Green Level Destination Center is intended to provide opportunities for economic development, employment growth and higher-density housing, as well as offer residents a place to shop and dine within a short commute of their homes.
In January 2018, Duke Health submitted a rezoning request to change the zoning for their site from Residential-40 (R-40) to Mixed Use District (MXD). As part of reviewing the Preliminary Development Plan (PDP) associated with the rezoning proposal, the Town has been collaboratively working with Duke Health to determine how to best provide access due to the site’s close proximity to the NC 540 interchange. Since the majority of this Destination Center is undeveloped, Duke Health’s proposal represents an important first step in implementing the vision for this area. Staff anticipates that this will be an upcoming area of interest and focus during Q4 and FY 2019.