New housing development worries Haddon Hall residents

aramos@newsobserver.comSeptember 9, 2013 

— When residents of Haddon Hall found out developers planned to build 80 townhomes near their single-family neighborhood on North Salem Street, they mobilized.

They held neighborhood meetings, launched a “Save Haddon Hall” website and started an email campaign to rally against the project.

Residents said they were concerned about increased traffic, density and buffers.

In the end, the Peak Property Group, which is developing the project, agreed to swap out the townhomes for 40 single-family homes on about 10 acres and to extend some of the buffers from 10 feet to 15 feet

The other two developers of the 20,000 square feet of commercial space in the project must build a road connecting to Apex Peakway.

Density on the development, known as Magnolia Walk, is capped at 4.5 homes per acre, which is closer to the zoning that exists at Haddon Hall.

After adding these conditions, the Apex Town Council voted Aug. 3 to rezone the property for the housing and commercial project.

“Is the proposal better than what was originally planned? Yes,” said Christy Macias, whose backyard borders the development. “Is it what I really want? No. You do the best you can. We got some important changes, so it’s not all a loss.”

Some people say the stretch of North Salem Street can’t handle any more traffic.

“The infrastructure is not going to support the development,” Macias said.

According to a traffic impact analysis, the Magnolia Walk development is expected to generate 96 new inbound trips and 107 new outbound trips in the morning peak hour and 104 new inbound trips and 99 new outbound trips in the evening peak hour.

Those numbers might not seem high, but Haddon Hall homeowner Nick Sennert said the subdivision’s entrance is already dangerous.

“It seems like the only people who are going to win in this are the developers,” Sennert said. “All I’m getting is 50 or more cars a day with the potential for more crashes.”

Even with the changes, Sennert said the residential development doesn’t fit in with his neighborhood.

“The whole thing seems out of character,” he said.

Brad Zadell, with the Peak Property Group, said the Magnolia Walk homes will be about 2,000 to 3,000 square feet and will sell for about $400,000. Project engineers will meet with Haddon Hall residents at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at The Halle Cultural Arts Center to present site plans.

The site plans will then head to the Apex Town Council for approval.

Ramos: 919-460-2609

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