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Wake Planners Want Residents' Input On Future of Development

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RALEIGH — One of the biggest complaints from people in over-developed areas is they did not get a chance to speak out before the bulldozers moved in, but planners are giving people in northeast Wake County the chance to voice their opinion.

Northeast Wake County just does not look like it used to. In many places, development is replacing rolling fields and farm land.

Wake County planners are starting a land-use study trying to map out a course for the future, and they want to hear what you have to say about it.

Planners say the growth is coming in northeast Wake County. In many places, the growth has already arrived. The land-use study is a chance for people to get involved.

"It's a very good time to get involved. Unfortunately, many times people take things for granted and don't show up to meetings and public hearings and express their opinions. It's very important for them to do that," explained Mark Williams, Wake Forest town manager.

Wake Forest sits just off the northern border of the Northeast Wake County land-use study area. County planners want to draft a non-binding growth plan. Many say the area needs managed growth.

"I think our major concern here in Wake Forest is we want to control it. We want to make sure we get the right balance of residential to non-residential. We don't want to just become a bedroom community to the larger communities of Raleigh and Durham. We want to be our own community and have our own identity," said Williams.

Josephine and Nicholas Sacco want to keep their neighborhood's identity. They just moved into the study area and want commercial growth to stay out of the neighborhood.

"I'd just like to see it stay residential. It would be an asset to the vicinity," said Josephine Sacco.

Wake County thinks input from the public would also be an asset.

Planners will be on hand from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Riley Hill Family Life Center. The center is at 5901 Riley Hill Road just off Highway 96 near Zebulon.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
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