Cary residents fight to thwart Habitat for Humanity plan

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Cary neighbors fight to keep Habitat for Humanity plan out of their area.

A fight to keep a planned Habitat for Humanity community out of Cary is gaining momentum.

Signs against a proposed rezoning line front yards in the Scottish Hills neighborhood.

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The plan calls for nine single-family homes on two and a half acres of land on Trimble Avenue off West Chatham Street.

But neighbors say the project does not blend with the current neighborhood.

"Some folks are trying to make this a Habitat issue," said Scottish Hills resident Scott Peters. "We are looking for homes that fit, they're on appropriate lot sizes, that have room for kids to go out and play, things like that, not just pack in however many homes you can happen to squeeze in."


Habitat for Humanity of Wake County's original proposal called for 23 townhomes on the land, but after neighbors complained, they reduced the number to nine single-family homes.

The non-profit said it tried to accommodate concerns, but neighbors are still not satisfied.

"Compatibility, to me, worries me in that in one way what you're really saying is you want things to stay just like they are, and here's some of the underlying conversation that makes you wonder if this isn't some resistance to having people that are different move into the community," said Kevin Campbell, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Wake County.

Habitat has built 54 homes in Cary during the last 20 years but only three since 2010.

Cary has less than 1 percent of subsidized affordable housing compared to nearly 10 percent in neighboring communities.

Campbell believes Habitat's plan is in line with the town's newly overhauled development policy.

The non-profit said it has received more than 200 signatures of support for the project from Cary residents.

"Cary really doesn't have its fair share of affordable housing. There's a lot of employment there, and I think there's really a need to grow there."

Cary's planning commission sided with neighbors last month when it denied a recommendation to approve the project.

Neighbors hope the town council agrees when they take a final vote on May 25.

"Habitat is completely welcome here, and you will find the majority of folks around the neighborhood agree with that. Our issue is working with us, following council's recommendations and together planning some kind of development that we can all be happy with and be proud of," Peters said.

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