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Johnston County Experiences Growing Pains

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

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

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

Commissioners approved the subdivision by a 7-1 vote. Nevertheless, thisunderscores 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 Countyis growing too fast and is heading down the same road as the the town ofCary.

Meanwhile in Cary, the state's fastest growing town, longtime growth supporterson the town council have jumped on the controlled growth bandwagon, led bycouncil 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 theopportunity 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 annualretreat this weekend. A big topic on their agenda was finding more waysto shift the cost of growth to developers.

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