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A family fun park isnt coming to town after all.
The Apex Town Council voted 3-2 on Tuesday in favor of rezoning a 23-acre site at U.S. 64 and Goodwin Road to make way for an arcade, go-kart track, bowling alley, sports fields and miniature golf course.
But six property owners within 100 feet of the proposed park had signed a petition against the project a high enough percentage under state rules to require a super majority of at least four council votes.
Some residents in the area said they worried water wells would dry up if the park tapped into the supply.
There is no compelling reason to change zoning in this residential neighborhood, said Lee Wagner, who signed the petition. There is a high potential for water-source problems. Six wells have gone dry in the past few years.
Developers of the proposed $5.3 million project had hoped to eventually tap into the towns water and sewer and lines. But if the park had opened later this year as planned, it would have relied on local wells until another development project brought utility lines closer to the site.
Without assurances that the well-water supply would be unaffected, Councilman Terry Rowe said he could not vote in favor of the project.
Residents are saying one thing, and the petitioner is saying another. I couldnt get a clear answer, Rowe said.
Carl Helton, a former Apex Town Councilman who planned to develop the fun park, said a sewer or water impact study was not conducted, and it wasnt part of the towns rezoning application process.
Wake County will not issue water and sewer permits if there is not adequate capacity, said Apex Planning Director Dianne Khin. And a project cannot win site plan-approval from the town without showing that theres enough water and sewer, she added.
Councilman Lance Olive, who also voted against the rezoning, said the issue could have been resolved if the council could have annexed the site at the same time it would have granted the rezoning request.
Through annexation, the park would tap into the towns water and sewer lines. But that wouldnt be realistic right now because the existing lines are too far away, said Tom Colhoun, a real-estate agent representing Helton and his business partner, Rod Graff.
Westford, a 100-acre mixed use development, could bring up to 900 homes and water and sewer access near the proposed park site. But Westford construction isnt set to begin until the end of the year or early next year, Colhoun said.
That means the developers will likely look for potential sites outside of Apex to build the park that is expected to create about 50 jobs.
Were going to have to look at other options and expand our search into other municipalities, because we dont think we can find the property suitable for our needs with the appropriate zoning in Apex, Colhoun said.
Councilman Scott Lassiter, who voted in favor of rezoning the site, said the town needs more projects like the fun park.
Frankly, I have to be pragmatic, Lassiter said. I have to do whats best for the town of Apex. Its a place that lacks quality places for family entrainment.
But all hope isnt lost: Carolina Sports Holdings plans to build a 145,000-square-foot sports park on Lufkin Road. The facility would feature indoor skydiving, trampolines, a skateboard park, indoor surfing and bungee jumping.