Rolesville, N.C. — Even in Wake County's smallest town, the population is exploding, and a proposal for a mega-subdivision has pitted neighbor against neighbor.
In 1990, 572 people called Rolesville home. By 2006, that number nearly tripled to 1,711. To house the growing population, town records show 15 subdivisions "in progress" as of September, but a proposal for 831 homes is not going down easily.
Ammons Development Group wants to clear 355 acres of farmland for the Averette Farms mixed-use development. It would include 831 homes, soccer fields, children's parks and a commercial center.
Some residents think that long-term development planning will benefit Rolesville.
It would work "if they develop as they planned, like a planned community," resident Hilda Lloyd said.
Down the street in the Wall Creek subdivision, though, Lloyd's neighbor Jerry Huff disagreed.
"I liked it when I moved up here, because it wasn't a real large town," he said. "And it didn't take you forever to go three or four blocks. But now it does."
Along with extra traffic, Huff said he's worried that the subdivision's residents could strain the town's water and sewer system. Another person recently passed out flyers expressing similar concerns about growth.
Averette Farms' developer, Andy Ammons, said growth will come to Rolesville no matter what, and his proposal offers an organized way to go about it.
"Short of putting up a fence and keeping people out, that wold only encourage people just to hopscotch and leapfrog over us," Ammons said. "They'd be on both sides of you, so you'd get none of the benefits but most of the problems with growth."
Rolesville Planning Director Brian Hicks said the town will have enough water, even with the new subdivision. Plans are in place to ease traffic congestion should Ammons get approval to build Averette Farms, Hicks said.
The public will get a chance to speak on the issue at the Board of Commissioners meeting at Town Meeting Hall, 101 N. Main St., at 7 p.m. Monday. Commissioners might vote on the proposal then.