Rolesville plans to annex neighborhood has local leaders concerned
Posted March 15, 2006 10:31 a.m. EST
Updated May 7, 2008 6:15 p.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — The Wake County town of Rolesville wants to grow.
Raleigh leaders don't have problems with the town growing, but say one of its growth plans is putting a future water supply at risk.
The town wants to annex a new subdivision, The Lakes of Rolesville, which sits in the Little River watershed, and install a water line to serve it.
But Raleigh and Wake County leaders are concerned that the development would make it difficult to get the Little River permitted as a future water resource. The county has already acquired most of the land in the watershed, and Raleigh leaders plan to make it a new water supply within the next 20 years, in which it could provide up to 20 million gallons of water a day to customers.
Leaders also fear that the water line will spark greater population density in the watershed.
"Increased development leads to decreased water quality in the area," Assistant Wake County Manager Joe Durham said.
Raleigh and Wake County normally don't allow utilities to be run into watersheds, but Rolesville doesn't have the same ordinances.
If the development is annexed, Rolesville leaders say they're committed to protecting the Little River, and are even willing to pass tougher environmental standards. They have a different opinion, however, than their larger counterparts.
"There are no facts we've found to back up, because of this one action of extending the water line, that it will lead to all these other things," Rolesville Town Manager Matt Livingston said.
Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker wants city, town and county leaders to develop an environmental policy before annexing the Lakes of Rolesville, but Rolesville leaders, who have already delayed the annexation once, say they cannot keep the developer waiting.
Meeker said that if the town did not delay the annexation, Raleigh, which currently supplies water to Rolesville, could refuse to connect the new line if it's in violation of the city agreement and not in compliance with watershed policies.
Raleigh City Manager Russell Allen sent a formal letter to Rolesville Tuesday asking the town to delay the annexation. Rolesville town commissioners are expected to vote on the request Tuesday.