Local

No plans to knock down Cary Village Hall to build houses, mayor says

Proposed rezoning would plant offices in residential district

The village of Cary soon could approve zoning changes that would plant the historic building that houses Village Hall, 655 Village Hall Drive, in a residential district, but officials have no plans to knock it down to build houses.
The village of Cary soon could approve zoning changes that would plant the historic building that houses Village Hall, 655 Village Hall Drive, in a residential district, but officials have no plans to knock it down to build houses.

The village of Cary soon could approve zoning changes that would plant the historic building that houses Village Hall in a residential district.

But village officials have no plans to knock it down to build houses.

“I’ve been notified that there’s a big social media thing going on about the demise of Village Hall and the police department,” Mayor Mark Kownick said at the Village Board’s regular meeting Tuesday night.

Those concerns on social media are tied to a public zoning hearing scheduled for Feb. 15. That’s when the village’s Board of Zoning, Planning and Appeals will review a proposed Unified Development Ordinance and proposed changes to the village zoning map. 

Kownick asked Brian Simmons, the village’s director of community development, to explain some of the changes that could affect Village Hall.

One proposal is to eliminate the zoning classification that now encompasses the building.

“This building is currently zoned business park,” Simmons said. “With the elimination of that zoning classification, we’re proposing to rezone this property to the R1 single-family residential district.”

That’s the same zoning that covers homes built east of Village Hall, but the classification has a built-in flexibility that permits many uses.

“Churches, day cares, municipal buildings are all permitted uses in that [residential] district,” Simmons said. “There’s no plans to do anything with the building at this time.”

The village is in the process of commissioning an architect to conduct a needs analysis to assess what improvements the building needs.

Since about 1978, the police department and Village Hall have been in the nearly 100-year-old building at 654 and 655 Village Hall Drive. In 2017, village officials said in the next five years it could cost upward of $1 million to maintain the building.

Officials would like to build a new municipal campus on land the village owns near Industrial and Georgetown drives, Kownick said. If that happens, the current Village Hall building could be used to house something such as a community center.

“We have no plans to knock it down,” Kownick said.

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