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Apex Stops Growth to Build for the Future

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APEX — A Wake County town decided to stop growing until its leaders are sure they have the resources to handle more residents.

Following the lead of other Triangle towns, Apex will not grant new residential building permits for at least seven months so town leaders can nail down more rigid development codes.

Mayor Pro Tem Mike Jones, an Apex native, remembers when his hometown had just 1,000 residents. In the past nine years, Apex's population has tripled to 17,000.

"I think it would be irresponsible to not plan for growth, because it's going to happen," Jones said.

Jones admits that it was necessary for Apex to stop approving projects. Developers currently have the permits to build another 5,000 homes, even though Apex's water and sewer systems are close to being tapped out.

"And there are some other infrastructure issues we need to deal with, like streets and schools and other things," Jones said. "We need to have some influence in that. We didn't have a choice."

Other fast growing towns like Holly Springs still have a choice. They are watching what places like Apex and Cary do to handle the growth.

"The big issue around the Triangle is how will the infrastructure keep up with the growth," says Jennifer Carr, Holly Springs' economic development director. "We don't want to stop the growth, but we have to be able to serve our citizens. It's just a matter of making sure everything is in place so we can manage the growth."

In one year, Apex believes it will reach its water capacity. Within three years, town leaders believe Apex will also reach its sewer capacity, and that its population will double.