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Capital Blvd. Sprawl Causes Residents To Take Sides

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WAKE FOREST, N.C. — Officials claim Wake Forest's population exploded more than 120 percent between the 1990 and 2000 census. With more people moving to the area, the demand for housing, shops and stores is at a high. While some neighbors welcome the influx of construction, others are opposed and are taking a stand against it.

Sarah Bridges has lived on Capital Boulevard in Wake Forest for a long time. Her family built its house 54 years ago. Now, the road is bustling with big-box retailers, chain restaurants and new homes, and it is creeping up on the Bridges.

"We kind of saw the writing on the wall that it was time to leave," homeowner Sarah Bridges said.

But that is where the trouble started. The Bridges say no one will buy their old house with all the new development nearby. They want to rezone their property to allow a retail operation to move in. They said it is the only way to start over and build a new home away from the new Capital Boulevard.

However, other people in the subdivisions behind the Bridges said that would not be good for them. They have formed an alliance to fight the rezoning.

"They want to sell their property and they want the most for their property, but we also have to think about the rest of Wake Forest," homeowner Stacy Bagley said. "If you are going to allow this, I'm scared. What's the rest of Wake Forest going to turn into. We came here for the small-town effect."

Neighbors in the subdivisions behind the Bridges' plan to pack a town commissioners' meeting next week to show their disapproval for the rezoning.

The explosion of people does not stop in Wake Forest. Holly Springs is the fastest growing town in the county. Since 1990, its population grew nine times over from 900 people to more than 9,000. Officials claim Morrisville has grown more than 400 percent and Apex has grown by more than 300 percent. The entire county grew by nearly 50 percent.


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