CARY – The Cary Village Board unanimously approved Sage Products’ request to vacate a village road, Sage Parkway, to make room for the business’ 27-acre expansion.
Within the next five years, the medical device-maker plans to add on to its current property, 3909 Three Oaks Road, using vacant land to the east. About 350 new jobs are expected to be created with the expansion, village officials have said.
A traffic study concluded that vacating Sage Parkway would not have a detrimental effect on the surrounding roads; however, residents at Tuesday’s meeting voiced concerns over the effects that the road closure would have on safety and traffic in surrounding neighborhoods.
“We would be for the vacation if they found an alternate access,” said Forrester Faia, a resident of the Cambria subdivision.
Faia presented a petition supporting that sentiment to the Village Board with about 36 signatures as of Tuesday night.
According to the study, provided by Sage and conducted by James J. Benes and Associates Inc., the vacation will improve public safety by directing eastbound and northbound traffic on New Haven Drive toward Georgetown Drive.
There is a traffic signal at Georgetown Drive and Three Oaks Road, which more safely controls left turns for westbound traffic, according to the study, and no additional road or intersection improvements will be needed.
Sage Products President Scott Brown said Sage used to own the road before donating it to the village, and the company plans on buying it back.
“It makes good business sense to attach the two buildings,” Brown said. “We certainly do not want to have people going across that street 24 hours a day as pedestrians, on forklifts, in trucks – we think that will be dangerous.”
Resident Brian Murphy said he and others had concerns about the traffic on other surrounding streets such as Industrial Drive, especially with traffic coming from nearby soccer fields and The Goddard School.
Resident Ginny Palumbo said it is “a mess” to turn left onto Three Oaks Road off Sage Parkway, and she hoped the board would support Sage’s expansion.
“I think it’s a lot more important to keep Sage where they are,” Palumbo said.
Cary Village Administrator Chris Clark said although this decision had come up quickly, it’s important for the board to consider that Sage has other options and could relocate. Problems brought up at the meeting will be taken into consideration by staff and the zoning board, Clark said.
“What this means is we have taken every one of your concerns into consideration,” Mayor Mark Kownick said after the vote.
His remark was met by shouts of “No, you didn’t” and “You didn’t listen” from the audience.
The Cary Board of Zoning, Planning and Appeals will review Sage’s request to rezone the property east of its building to a business park at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn, 800 S. Route 31, said Brian Simmons, Cary community development director.
If the board makes a recommendation, the zoning change is expected to go before the board at its Nov. 1 meeting.