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Cary Votes to Fund Land Banking Program

Posted January 25, 2008

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— The Cary Town Council on Thursday night unanimously approved $23 million to fund a land banking program that would reserve land for future public uses.

The program would enable the town to buy land at current prices and then set it aside until it is needed in the future, when land prices are projected to be higher. The land could be used for schools, post offices, parks, greenways, open space, community centers and fire stations.

The program "insulates the future public purpose – and the taxpaying citizens that support the governments – from rising land costs," town officials said in a release.

Councilman Nels Roseland proposed the program in August, arguing it was necessary in a town where development consumes as much as 1,000 acres a year.

Town officials will first concentrate on buying sites wanted by the Wake County Public School System, as well as for a post office and open space.

Under a comprehensive plan, the land banking program would be used to purchase more than 700 acres for public use, including up to 500 acres for parks, 250 acres for six public schools,12 acres for a post office and 3 to 4 acres for a fire station.

Officials said the town will look at acquiring large, un- or underdeveloped parcels, as well as sites that are "ideal for community use in the future." Cary will also consider purchasing land outside its town limits.

The sites would be acquired through purchase by the town solely or jointly with another agency, donation by a private party or preservation easements. Developers could also set aside land. Cary will allow other governments to purchase the land in the future at or near cost.

The land banking program will be funded by $3 million from developer contributions, $5 million from the general fund, $5 million from the utility fund balance and $10 million in asset-backed debt.

In September, a citizens' committee recommended that the WCPSS also work with municipalities to create land banking programs.

9 Comments

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  • Jay4 Feb 1, 2008

    The Cary Town Council should not be spending multiplied millions of taxpayer dollars on "future land purchases" while our roads in Cary continue to deteriorate until ours are nearly in a "third world country" type of condition! Shame on your Cary Town Council!

  • Jay4 Feb 1, 2008

    THE CARY TOWN COUNCIL NEEDS TO PROVIDE FUNDS TO FIX THE ROADS IN CARY, BEFORE THEY SPEND MULTIPLIED MILLIONS ON "FUTURE LAND" PURCHASES! OUR ROADS ARE HORRIBLE AND GETTING WORSE BY THE DAY!!!

    SHAMNE ON YOU CARY TOWN COUNCIL - NOW DOMINATED BY LIBERAL DREAMERS WHO HAVE NO DESIRE TO MAKE CARY'S ROADS DECENT.

  • BadDayforButch Jan 25, 2008

    This is something Cary has done before, there are no new ideas here. It makes good sense as long as when they sell the land they get market value or at least a normal interest added to what they paid for it. If they use it for parks, that is great as long as it is big enough to actually do something with.

    Those who think this will help neighborhood schools, forget it. We have a countywide school district that is bent on diversification. They changed from race based diversification to economic based diversification to get around legal rulings. Busing kids all over the county will continue, cause its good for you (at least what they think)

  • csmac99 Jan 25, 2008

    What's wrong with trying to plan for the future? Maybe they should wait ten to twenty years and wonder where the oppportunities went. They should build toll booths around the city borders to keep the knuckleheads out except when they want to buy some water.

  • IzzMad2016 Jan 25, 2008

    As is usually the case, Cary and it's town government decision makers cannot win. If the land were developed with more housing (affordable to all or not) people would criticize. If the land were developed for the public in the way of parks or the like people would criticize. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • whatelseisnew Jan 25, 2008

    So you actually believe that the wake county school board will keep all children in cary assigned to cary schools. Ha Ha Ha That will not happen so long as they assign a percentage of students to schools based on whether or not they get Free lunch. If you can get them to quit doing that and stop worrying about this diversity nonsense, you might have a shot at most kids getting to attend the school near to where they live.

  • districtcadvocate Jan 25, 2008

    Cary needs to take this opportunity to build "affordable housing" for those that work in Cary yet can not afford to live in Cary.

    Cary has to decide if this more incluse strategy will help in their long term endeavor to decrease their carbon footprint and increase their walkable communities.

    Another benefit would be kids would not have to travel long distances to the -Cary- Wake County Public Schools in pursuit of having diverse school experiences for all the children.

  • TheAdmiral Jan 25, 2008

    Hey Cary-ites. The good thing about this is that you should only see an additional dollar per hundred raise in your property taxes.

  • whatelseisnew Jan 25, 2008

    They could got another way and pass an ordinance that the town will never buy another piece of land. That costs 0 dollars.