Last week the town board gave its blessing—and positive votes—to a Town Center Plan, designed to assure that Fuquay-Varina’s two business districts and the link between develop in a manor that makes for an attractive commercial area.
The town’s planners, with the aid of a consulting firm, have worked on a list of amendments to the town ordinances with the aim of seeing that new construction and renovations of old buildings in the downtown business areas are designed to blend together for a pleasing appearance. The regulations relate to zoning and land use as well as appearance factors such as building materials and colors.
Another idea incorporated in the amendments is designed to encourage a mix of residential uses with commercial establishments within the Town Center area.
Local planners have worked on the Town Center plan for close to three years.
During that time they held meetings to explain the concept and to get input from those with business or with land within the district under study. They also held meetings to which the general public was invited to get other reaction.
Town Planning Director Mike Sorensen points to one block in Varina as a good example of the type of development he and other planners envision within the Town Center. On that block the historic Varina depot has been remodeled to become the Aviator Tap Room. Adjoining it is a new two-story building with a restaurant and small shops at street level and apartments on the second floor. It is a blend of old and new, commercial and residential.
At one of the early meetings when the plan was being discussed, Sorensen said, what the planners want to do is “develop a picture of what we would like our town to look like … and then make some regulation changes and create some new requirements to insure that future modifications and new construction fit into that picture.”