Neighborhood wins fight against NC developer; town council rejects project

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Wednesday, January 17, 2024
Garner neighborhood fights back against developer's proposal
Raleigh-based developer is proposing using land for 300 single-family homes, 500 multi-family residential units, and 45,000 square feet of commercial space.

GARNER, N.C. (WTVD) -- People who live in the Colonial Heights neighborhood took their fight to the town council Tuesday night to push back on a proposed change to their community and won!

Those changes would include 300 single-family homes, 500 multi-family residential units, and 45,000 square feet of commercial space.

Raleigh-based design firm, McAdams Company, submitted the requests on behalf of SLI Capital to the Town of Garner.

Garner City Council unanimously voted to deny a motion to rezone and annex the property which kills the development proposal.

Before the meeting, ABC11 spoke to several people in the area that would be impacted had the town voted in favor of the developer.

"It's been extremely painful to see that loss for something we don't think will be a benefit to the community, said Ally Kristan.

Kristan's father owned the Par Golf Center that was on US-401 in Garner for decades and has been leasing it to the golf center.

Developer SLI Captial may not move forward on purchasing the land now that the proposal has been rejected.

"We never thought that it would be forever, but it just seems like a lack of justice that this is the one plan that is coming to replace it," she said.

Nate Blanton started a petition seeking 1,500 signatures for the Council to vote against approving the rezoning request and later transferred it to Kristan.

The proposed development sits where Par Golf once was and backs up along Saint Patrick Drive.

"Our primary concern is not development. I'm not anti-development," said resident Robin Vanderwall. "But controlled development and development that's not going to have an incredibly bad impact on this neighborhood. This is a nice, quiet neighborhood, ya know. We would prefer a development that is suitable to what's already here."

Vanderwall's home faces the proposed development. He is concerned the addition of McAdam's plans, along with the recent inclusion of affordable housing, will have an impact on his property and the community.

"To know there are homeowners who are concerned about their property who want to maintain the integrity of the community," Vanderwall said, "that's what we would be happy to see."

Vanderwall said he hopes the rezoning request is not approved.

"I think it's gonna go 4-3. But I don't know which direction," he said. "So we'll have to see. It's going to be a rolling of the dice. And you know what; I bet that (councilmember) doesn't know either."

Meanwhile, Kristan would like to see a different plan altogether given the changes she said the developer has been making since the proposal was first introduced.

"I don't believe the changes are in good faith based on what we've been seeing for the last couple of years already," Kristan said. "Sometimes the words development and growth are used as a euphemism for destruction for what we already have based on a promise that it'll be better for the entire community somewhere down the road. I know I'm personally tired of seeing corporate greed and corporate entities decide what the future of the Triangle will look like."

ABC11 reached out to McAdams Company for comment and they have not responded.