Local News

Fayetteville Wants To Expand Its Borders

Posted March 12, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— Parts of Fayetteville have a small town feel, but leaders are thinking big. The city is trying to become one of the five largest in the state.

Jose Diaz says there are advantages to being part of the city, but he says the disadvantages pile up.

"There's transportation, sewer and trash pickup. I think we can benefit from it, but at the same time, all our rates and taxes are going to go sky-high," he says.

This summer, Fayetteville will annex his Tiffany Pines neighborhood and two others -- a population increase of about 7,000 people.

Fayetteville is currently the sixth largest city in the state. The annexation and a few more planned in the next couple of years could put Fayetteville ahead of Durham for the No. 5 spot.

City Manager Roger Stancil says a top five spot would help them recruit industry.

"We'd finally be recognized for the urban area we are. We've been neglected in those discussions for many years because people thought of us as a little community," he says.

Stancil also says the city could gain in other financial ways as well. The franchise tax and power bill tax, for example, are based on population. For many years, Fayetteville was not allowed to grow. By state law, the city was exempt from annexation between 1959 and 1983. They've been playing catch-up ever since.

Bigger could mean better for home daycare provider Sylvia Thomas. Under city ordinances, she would be allowed to expand her business. She hopes it will expand recreation too.

"The kids will have more to go to with their families. We'll have more places to go," she says.

The next annexation goal for Fayetteville is to bring urban areas on Highway 401 North into the city. Stancil says bringing those areas inside the city limits could actually bring the population to about 200,000.