Local News

Wake Forest Draws Up Vision for Big, Controlled Growth

Posted November 15, 2007
Updated November 16, 2007

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Wake County's population will reach the 1 million in six years, and Wake Forest will see its share of that growth. Officials and residents began to draw up big plans to deal with that growth at a town meeting Thursday night.

Town officials and planning consultant Glenn Harbeck, based in Wilmington, have held a series of town meetings to develop goals for the town's growth. More than 200 residents attended the first meeting in April and voiced nearly 1,000 ideas and concerns.

"Now, it's time to look back and seen what's happened in the last 10 years and look forward to see, well, what do we want to see happen over the next 10, 20 years?" Chip Russel, Wake Forest's planning director, said.

A steering committee looked for common themes and released 15 vision statements on Thursday. Speakers asked for the public to follow up by giving them ideas on how to make the goals a reality.

Among the goals were: growth that pays its own way, public safety, affordable housing, quality neighborhoods, keeping small-town appeal and creating neighborhood schools.

"These vision statements depict a clear picture of where the Town of Wake Forest would like to be in the year 2025 (plan horizon year)," read the draft statement released in May.

Wake Forest last updated its community plan more than 10 years ago, Russell said, and the town grew by around 118 percent through the 1990s. That growth continued into the new century, with the town's population increasing by 60 percent in five years.

In August, Forbes Magazine ranked Wake Forest as no. 20 among the country's fastest-growing suburbs between 2000 and 2006.

Wake Forest's downtown looks much the same as it did 50 years ago, with quaint shops and a small-town appeal. However, all around the town center, new homes, developments and big-name restaurants and stores have moved in.

Andy Ammons of Ammons Development Group created Heritage Wake Forest northeast of town, while Holding Village features the apartments, homes, retail and offices on a 250-acre former dairy farm near downtown.

Patrons and employees of Shorty's, a downtown institution grilling up wieners since 1916, said they expect residents will continue to take growth in stride.

"People who have been coming here for so long and love the hot dogs and hamburgers, they are going to keep coming," said worker Nick Pearce.

18 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Nov 17, 2007

    The developers of Wakefield requested that Raleigh annex Wakefield because Wake Forest couldn't provide the services needed by the Wakefield development.

  • 37 Nov 16, 2007

    The entire area above the Neuse River near Capital Blvd. and Falls of the Neuse Rd. was supposed to be part of Wake Forest. Raleigh agreed not to annex north of the river years ago. When Wake Forest refused to extend sewer service to these areas, Raleigh did it instead and now we're faced with one city directly across the street from another and neither taking proper responsibility for the growth.

  • Mad Baumer Nov 16, 2007

    "Wake Forest initially told Wal-Mart no. Wal-Mart than said it would move across US-1 in Wakefield which is part of Raleigh. Wake Forest than reversed their decision because even if Wal Mart wasn't in Wake Forest, Wake Forest would still have the traffic and other problems that the Wal Mart would cause without the tax revenue from the Wal Mart"

    Very interesting info there. I did not know that. I actually had to pause when I heard that they were shutting down the Wake Forest Country Club as one of the FORMER board members lives there. I guess they know how the rest of us feel now. As far as the person who commented on being glad that there is a New Grocery store closer to their home; wait until the 18 year old who is late for work, again, comes plowing through the Wallridge development. That development is one of only 2 access roads. Kids play safely in the culdesacs there. And the early morning beer and bread deliveries. It is an accident waiting to happen. Pitiful........
    Repo

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Nov 16, 2007

    Unless Wake County and the other communities in Wake County come together on a growth plan, any effort by Wake Forest on it's own to stop growth is going to be like bailing water out of the Titanic with a thimble.

    The Wal-Mart in Wake Forest is a classic example. Wake Forest initially told Wal-Mart no. Wal-Mart than said it would move across US-1 in Wakefield which is part of Raleigh. Wake Forest than reversed their decision because even if Wal Mart wasn't in Wake Forest, Wake Forest would still have the traffic and other problems that the Wal Mart would cause without the tax revenue from the Wal Mart.

  • iamforjustice Nov 16, 2007

    Wake Forest is a quaint little town. It needs some bars with pole dancers. That would bring in a lot of reveune for the town. I don't understand why there are more bars like that in this area. I have gone to them in other cities like Miami and it is very good family entertainment that brings in a lot of revenue.

  • Space Mountain Nov 16, 2007

    Isn't Wakefield actually part of Raleigh? If not, I'd consider it Raleigh anyway. And anything south of the Wal-Mart should be considered Raleigh, too. You actually don't have to go further than that for anything else you need, unless you want to go to Triangle Town Center. They need to see if they can get the DOT to extend 540 somehow to the Franklin County line so you can avoid Capital Blvd all together if you want.

  • davidgnews Nov 16, 2007

    Word up! on Shorty's !!

    I miss Burkenstock's, too. It was nice that Skipper's opened, but they went downhill so I hope they recover.

  • allison842 Nov 16, 2007

    mmmm... Shorty's....

  • brassy Nov 16, 2007

    Did they figure out where all the water is going to come from? Drive by Falls Lake sometime. The boat ramps are laying on the ground.

  • davidgnews Nov 16, 2007

    Consultant = 'someone from another county.'

    It's a real problem when builders overrun the town government. They're like modern-day carpetbaggers anyway.

    We really need more bratty developments like Wakefield and Heritage to choke the small town charm. WF is getting 'Cary-ized' more and more.

More...