Check Your County Map Before Relocating
Posted May 18, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — There are so many things to check out when you buy a new home. Traffic. Neighbors. Schools. But how do you check out the things you can't see?
Residents in Holly Springs say they didn't know a landfill would be built nearby. Finding out what's planned for your neighborhood isn't as simple as you might think.
County maps don't always show you exactly what's planned for your neighborhood. Most people don't even check, relying instead on a realtor or developer to tell them everything they need to know. Some Holly Springs residents say that's how they got burned.
"This is my five year old son's room," explains Mary Tassone to WRAL's Stephanie Hawco during a visit to the Oak Hall community. "He will be playing in here and looking at trash trucks up there dumping the county's waste."
When Tassone built her house two years ago, no one told her it it faced the site of the proposed South Wake landfill.
"I really blame the developer for not disclosing this to anybody," Tassone admits. "Nobody would have bought in here, and he'd have a worthless piece of land."
The landfill site was chosen in 1992, years before the development was built. Most residents have only lived in the neighborhood a year or two, yet most just heard about the landfill project a few weeks ago.
"I'm very frustrated and upset that I've bought this house feeling like we knew what we were getting into and that we had investigated thoroughly," says Christie Howell, another Oak Hall resident.
County maps list the site only as a "planned county facility." It isn't labeled as a future landfill. Realtors are required to tell buyers about any factors that could influence their decision. WRAL learned that doing your own homework helps, but you have to know what questions to ask.
"You'd almost have to ask, is there gonna be an airport? Is the road gonna be widened? Is there gonna be a factory?," says real estate broker Ron Fitzsimmons.
Local planning officials agree that sites of developing projects aren't always labeled clearly. They suggest that homebuyers check the maps and talk to employees in the planning department. They'll know what type of projects are planned for a particular neighborhood.