Local Politics

Fuquay residents want county to turn old golf course into park

Posted August 14

— Scores of Fuquay-Varina residents packed the Wake County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday afternoon to urge the board to purchase a defunct golf course and transform it into a park for southern Wake County.

Crooked Creek Golf Course closed two years ago, and its 150-plus acres could be the county's for $4 million under a deal with the environmental nonprofit Conservation Fund. The owners of the golf course signed a letter of intent with Conservation Fund to turn the property into a park.

"It is a beautiful piece of land that can be saved in an area that's being rapidly overdeveloped," Ron Nowojczyk, president of the Crooked Creek Homeowners Association, told commissioners.

The site includes five ponds and 4½ miles of paved walking paths, and residents wearing green shirts and waving hand fans with the words "Park Please" painted on them told commissioners Wake County can't afford to pass up the deal, which expires on Sept. 28.

"We need meeting places and places for children to just run while parents sit nearby," Erica Tyler said. "Right now, there's nothing like that."

The $4 million price tag doesn't include development of the property. Adding picnic shelters and other amenities could increase the cost of a creating a park to $15 million.

Several commissioners agreed that this kind of opportunity doesn't come around too often. But Wake County has other needs as well, they noted.

"As we grow, it's really important to protect this area we call home," Commissioner Erv Portman said. "We have to do schools, mental health and, as the case is so often at home, there's never enough money to do everything."

Commissioner Jessica Holmes reminded the crowd the county is desperately trying to keep up with the need for affordable housing. She asked if some could be put on the site but was told covenants put in place by the developers a long time ago place restrictions on any residential units there.

The Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on the proposal at its next meeting in early September.

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