The subdivision business is picking up steam in these parts, which means it's back to the future for eastern Durham County.
A 231-home subdivision in eastern Durham County got the Durham Planning Commission's endorsement last week. That advisory body unanimously recommended City Council approval for rezoning a 33.3-acre tract on Andrews Chapel Road, straddling the Wake County line near Brier Creek.
Pulte Group, a Michigan developer with a branch office in Raleigh, wants to build "Brier Creek Townes" there, next to property where its Del Webb affiliate is building a 1,314-unit "active adult community" on Leesville Road.
Before the Great Recession, there were a bunch of developments in the pipeline for the still-rural section between Sherron Road and the Wake County line. north of U.S. 70. Close to RTP, close to the airport and close to Brier Creek shopping, it's an area begging development – projected, in the last decade, to be the county's fastest-growing district in the next 10 or 15 years.
All of which was worrying for those concerned with water quality in Falls Lake and its tributaries that run right through these prime homesites.
Not to fret in these cases, though. The property in question doesn't drain into Falls Lake; rather, it drains into Brier Creek, which leads down to the Neuse River below Raleigh, so if whatever runs out of Brier Creek Townes and its larger neighbor is problematic for water quality, it's not the Falls watershed's problem.
By the way, Pulte's rezoning case is an exercise in Durham's new annexation procedures. The city had already agreed to annex the site and to extend utilities to it last fall.
But, since Pulte did not make a specific zoning request at that time, the property was automatically zoned "Rural Residential.," which allows a maximum density of just two dwellings per acre. For Brier Creek Townes, Pulte needs an average of eight dwellings per acre.