Local News

Johnston County Experiences Growing Pains

Posted January 13, 1998 12:00 a.m. EST

— If you've driven around Wake County lately, you've seen the signs of growth: new housing developments, roads and a lot more traffic. The struggle to manage growth isn't just in Wake County. Johnston County is also feeling a few growing pains.

Residents from the Glad Acres development helped pack the Johnston County Commissioners latest meeting. Their big beef: plans to put a more densely populated subdivision right next door.

"The highways are already starting to get overburdened," says opponent Randy Meredith. "The schools are already overburdened. It's like they're just not planning on doing any of that right now. They're just planning on cramming people in."

Commissioners approved the subdivision by a 7-1 vote. Nevertheless, this underscores a growing sentiment, even among the Triangle's outlying areas, to at least slow down the pace of residential development.

Phil Wineinger also opposes the subdivision. He believes Johnston County is growing too fast and is heading down the same road as the the town of Cary.

Meanwhile in Cary, the state's fastest growing town, longtime growth supporters on the town council have jumped on the controlled growth bandwagon, led by council newcomers like Jess Ward.

"You know infrastructure, water and schools," Jess Ward explains, "These are issues in our community, issues that are ultimately going to hurt the opportunity to continue to grow, if we don't address them. And I think there is a recognition that we do have some issues."

The big turnaround by Cary councilmembers took place during their annual retreat this weekend. A big topic on their agenda was finding more ways to shift the cost of growth to developers.