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Cary officials: Pedcor apartment complex must file variance request to proceed with project

CARY – After a contentious consideration process, a post-approval issue has surfaced for the Pedcor apartment project, village officials said Tuesday.

The village recently learned of some troubling calculations regarding intended lot coverage for the affordable, 60-unit Garden Place Apartments. The project was brought to the village by Pedcor Investments and approved in June 2015 despite public opposition that continued after the board’s OK.

Village Administrator Chris Clark gave an update on the situation during Tuesday’s board meeting, from which Trustees Kim Covelli and Jeffery Kraus were absent.

The issue is the current site plan includes more lot coverage than what is allowed per the village code, and Pedcor will have to go through certain procedural steps in order to proceed, Clark said.

“There was an issue raised, it’s been identified ... and we’ve told them [Tuesday] in writing what the process would have to be,” Clark said. “Essentially, [they would have to] file for a variance and, as is normal procedure for a variance, get approval from the Zoning, Planning and Appeals Board, then the Village Board.”

In a letter from Community Development Director Brian Simmons to a Pedcor-contracted engineer, Simmons wrote the current site plan includes 108,885 square feet of lot coverage, which is 54.8 percent of the 4.56-acre parcel. The code requirement is a maximum 45 percent lot coverage, he added.

Clark said the calculation from the engineer came Monday at the request of the village. He added the inquiry for the information was made by Trustee Jim Cosler after discussions with residents. Before being elected in April, Cosler was involved in efforts against the apartment project last summer.

Clark said with the received calculation came a proposal to ameliorate the issue from Pedcor representatives, which has since been reviewed by village staff.

“They have brought forth a proposal to use permeable pavement for their parking spaces to correct the issue,” he said, adding whether it’s an appropriate solution will have to be decided through variance procedure.

Participating via telecommunication, Cosler expressed frustration about the current situation and criticized what the company suggested as a solution. He said the permeable pavement – described by Public Works Director Erik Morimoto as a type of porous asphalt – should not be considered a “one-for-one” replacement for uncovered land.

“When they submit a backup plan that still doesn’t meet the requirements, it makes me question their motives,” Cosler said.

After Tuesday’s meeting, resident Theresa Slavik shared concerns, suggesting she is not totally confident in village procedure to ensure this issue is resolved.

“I guess I’m wondering, who missed this?” she said. “Where was the mistake made?”

During the meeting, Clark said he had not yet received a response from Pedcor regarding the village’s indication that a variance process would be required.

He also said aside from land acquisition, financing and stormwater permitting for the county, there has been little activity since the project was approved in terms of progression.

He ensured trustees the project would remain still until the issue at hand is addressed.

“There will be no building permit issued, period, until this is resolved.”

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