Homeowners lose buffer from new highway

June 1, 2010 9:00:00 PM PDT
Phyllis Silber and some other residents at the Cameron Pond subdivision say they thought they were buying great homes with great views of trees - until the trees started to come down.

"We saw that. We kept asking, and nobody would tell us what it was," said Silber. "Then we noticed that trees were being cut down by the pool and everything, so that was really kind of distressing."

Many of the residents say they knew the new toll road being built to link Interstate 540 with Apex would run behind their houses. But the town of Cary says the developer promised a 100 foot tree buffer between the homes and the big highway would go undisturbed. That didn't happen.

"It's fairly complex, and I think there's a lot of parties involved, but simply put, the town was unaware that the easement for the power line was sold to Progress Energy," said Cary Town Council member Jennifer Robinson.

High voltage power lines went up in place of trees - substantially thinning the buffer.

"We know what we signed off on, but we were not told about the power lines," said Silber.

Homeowners say they can now see the highway and that's dramatically affected their property values. For sale signs now dot the subdivision. Neighbors told ABC11 there are at least 12 homes for sale and while many say they paid in the 400,000s for their home, we found one listed at under $350,000.

Sara Bishop is one of the residents trying to sell her home.

"It's definitely reduced our sales price," she said.

Some of the residents have filed suit against the developer. The Town of Cary may be willing to put $80,000 towards a concrete wall to help with the views and noise.

Many residents want the developer to pay up.

"Some of the residents were saying 'Buy my house back,' which, for what they did to us, they need to do something," said Paul Silber.

ABC11 contacted developer Impact Properties for comment on this story and did not receive a response.

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