Local News

Wake Forest Brings Sides Together to Address Growth

Posted March 1, 2007

— Raleigh feels a lot of the pressure as Wake County grows fast, but not all of it. Some of those 66 new people who move in every day are going to Wake Forest.

In 1980, 3,000 people lived there. Today, it's more than 25,000, and half of those have moved in since 2000.

The growth has local officials trying to make sure growth doesn't spin out of control.

While construction grinds along, elected representatives, developers and town staff members came together for a first-of-its kind meeting Thursday.

The Greater Wake Forest Economic Summit put all the parties investing in the town's growth in the same room.

One of them was developer Andy Ammons, whose Ammons Development Group has plans for 900 acres on the northeast side of town.

“I think the whole Triangle is in a situation where you can't pick out any one spot where you can just stop growth. And if you try to stop it in one city, say if Wake Forest tried to stop it, it would just go around us and go to other areas and communities, so it's not like any one person can stop and start growth,” Ammons said.

“Having a session like this where we can talk to each other and give our visions to each other and start to work together, I think that's how you do it,” Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones said of the process for handling the growth Ammons sees as inevitable.

Some worry the town is growing too fast.

A 250-acre former dairy farm is one of the last big undeveloped parcels near downtown Wake Forest. Holding Village is on the way. It'll transform open fields into homes, apartments, condos, retail and offices.

“If we come together, that is a beginning. If we stay together, that is progress. But if we work together, that is success,” Jones said.

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  • The Capitalist Mar 5, 2007

    And if so many mothers are in need of 2nd and 3rd shift day care, maybe some of them could look at starting their own day care centers. They'd be fulfilling a market need and would probably make a lot more money than they do working at Wal-Mart (nothing against Wal-Mart).

  • The Capitalist Mar 5, 2007

    Infrastructure is a problem, but only because so many people believe that it's something that the government should provide. If society (via government) would get out of the way and allow free enterprise to work, private entities would build (and own) needed roads, water/sewer systems, etc, knowing they could charge for their use and make a profit. A win-win situation. Day care, by the way, is NOT infrastructure--it's an industry populated by private providers (as everything should be).

  • The Capitalist Mar 5, 2007

    As for it all being 'dollar driven' instead of 'community driven', aren't they essentially the same thing? If you tell a developer they can't build a new community with 100 houses that sell for X dollars each, you’re actually telling 100 people they can’t buy the house they want to where they want it at the price they want to pay. Dollars are simply the medium we use in a free society to make mutually beneficial trades of value for value. You seem to imply there’s something wrong with such free commerce.

  • The Capitalist Mar 5, 2007

    El Doggo,
    Why is it okay for someone to take advantage of growth by moving into a town, but then insist that the government stop further growth and not let anyone else move to town? Also, local governments do not 'arbitrate' in the developers favor. Although, many projects are eventually approved, but only after the government forces the developers to make many (usually expensive) changes to their plans. As for 'overpriced' houses, that's really subjective, isn't? They're obviously not overpriced to all the people who are buying them like they're going out of style. And if they're too expensive for your liking, you have people like yourself to thank for that in large part since all the restrictions the government (at your behest) forces on the developer cause the prices of the houses to rise.

  • The Capitalist Mar 5, 2007

    To sort of answer your question, the Holding Village developer is using his own money to build a road that will connect two vital parts of Wake Forest. He's also incorporating a lot of open space that the public will have access to. That should give you an idea of what he's willing to do to accomodate the growth. And Ammons Development Group does the same kinds of things. As for schools, my view is that education should be provided privately and any new schools that are NEEDED will be provided by PRIVATE entities starting as many new PRIVATE schools as the market will bear. Now, if there are government schools that people WANT (because they want others to pay for their children's education), those should not have to be provided or paid for by private developers.

  • notpc567 Mar 2, 2007

    I live in Youngsville and moved there in Aug of '99. I loved the drive down US 1 in the morning for work- minus the traffic. Now your luck is you see a tree standing for all the developement. Wake Forest has lost the beauty it once had and YOungsville is doing the same.

  • El Doggo Mar 2, 2007

    It doesn't have to make sense. It is dollar driven! Not community driven!!!

  • patriot4liberty Mar 2, 2007

    There is not enough infrastructure to support the growth; the day care centers in Wake Forest are stretched to their limits yet people keep coming in and are surprised when there's no support for working parents. The Wal-mart wants mothers to work all day and all night, and there is NO 2nd or third shift daycare available anywhere in Wake Forest, they have to come all the way into Raleigh to find child care and then drive back out to Wake Forest to work. It doesn't make any sense.

  • El Doggo Mar 2, 2007

    These "pro-growthers" are so full of it! They can spin anything with their propaganda!

  • El Doggo Mar 2, 2007

    This is NOT new!!! The cities have alway been willing to arbitrate with the community and builders. ALWAYS IN THE BUILDERS FAVOR!!!! They (the city and the developers) don't give a d@#& about the quality of life of the people who have already moved in!!! All they care about is MONEY, MONEY, MONEY!!! Tax dollars for the city and overpriced house/land prices for the developers!