Rolesville resident fights to save 200-year-old tree from road widening

ROLESVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- George Garcia has lived along Jones Dairy Road in Rolesville since the late-1970s.

"Quite a bit louder. We've had issues with people running off of Jones Dairy and landing in our property back there," Garcia said of its current state.

Wake County's population boom has led to new development projects, including in Rolesville.

Garcia is concerned that those new projects will lead to a lane widening on Jones Dairy Road, potentially affecting a 200-plus year-old tree near the edge of his yard.

"I'm an engineer by training. I realize dimension-wise, that there's no way that they're going to be able to avoid the impact," Garcia said.

He's referring to a traffic impact analysis submitted for the Preserve at Jones Dairy Road, which recommends a turn lane and traffic signal at the intersection of Jones Dairy Road and Averette Road.

"In order to be able to put additional lanes in here, figuring another one - they're going to have some additional buffer on the side," Garcia said.

Though Garcia acknowledged lane widening could ease traffic issues along the stretch, he said he believes it's insufficient to deal with the anticipated population increase from the new developments.

In a statement to ABC11, a spokesperson with the town of Rolesville told ABC 11: "Since the project is still several years away from completion (estimated to be 2024), it is premature to note what, if anything within the right-of-way, would be impacted or need to be removed."

Garcia plans on planting 20 acres of trees in the back of his property to try to combat the carbon footprint from the additional traffic.

"It's not just the tree. It's the quality of life of the people around here. That's the concern. Children - you see all this traffic around here. The air we breathe," Garcia said.

A Town of Rolesville spokesperson said that though the Town Board has approved rezoning and given preliminary approval to allow the subdivision to move forward, the developer still needs further approval on site plans.

The developer is expected to present those site plans to the developer in the spring.

As for potential road changes or traffic light additions to the intersection, NCDOT would have to approve those plans. In a statement to ABC11, a spokesperson for NCDOT said of the plans:

NCDOT is responsible for reviewing and approving the driveway permit for this development. The driveway permit allows access to the state system and incorporates the improvements that are required for access to the state system. The department concurs with the analysis provided by Ramey Kemp and Assoc. The driveway permit has not been approved at this time.

We are planning on requiring everything that's shown on the diagram provided by Ramey Kemp. Additionally, at the intersection of Jones Dairy and Averette Road, we will be requesting that this location be monitored for a signal. This means that prior to full buildout, a signal warrant analysis must be conducted. If it's found that a signal is warranted and it is approved by NCDOT's Regional Traffic Engineer, then the developer will be required to install a signal.

NCDOT confirmed that the addition of turn lanes and a traffic signal will require road widening.
Copyright © 2022 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.