Cary residents upset over proposed Habitat for Humanity townhomes

— A plan to build Habitat for Humanity homes in Cary is causing controversy after neighbors said the proposed project is bad for their community.

Homeowners said they don’t have anything against Habitat for Humanity or their low income clients, but the issue is with the type of homes that will be built in the neighborhood.

The property proposed for use is a 2.5 acre lot on Trimble Avenue near West Chatham Street and the land is surrounded by single family homes. The property owner is asking the town to rezone the land so that townhomes can be built.

Homeowners said their neighborhood was not designed for multi-family homes.

“I think that a majority of us are concerned about the traffic flow, the water problems and the amount of town houses they are putting here,” said homeowner Judy Blochl.

The plan is to build up to 23 townhomes and the project would likely require a new connector road through the community.

Brian Norman is the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, which is selling the lot to Habitat for Humanity. The church originally wanted to use the land to expand its campus, but when the property owner between the lot and the church didn’t want to sell, those plans changed.

“We think it’s an opportunity to build townhomes for low income families,” Norman said.

Residents are also worried about flooding as a result of increased runoff. While the property is not prone to flooding, nearby properties are in a flood plain.

“Swift Creek runs through a couple of neighborhoods. The volume of water has increased significantly in the last couple of years. My own home….we’ve lost three feet of our own property,” said homeowner Anne Dennis.

The rezoning request must be approved before the project is allowed to move forward and residents said they plan to fight it.

A final vote is not expected until April.

A special thank you to our friends at WRAL for helping out with this post.