Local Politics

Wake commissioners OK purchase of former golf course

Posted June 18, 2018 4:19 p.m. EDT
Updated June 18, 2018 6:12 p.m. EDT

— The Wake County Board of Commissioners voted 4-3 Monday to approve the purchase of part of the former Crooked Creek Golf Club near Fuquay-Varina.

The golf course, off Hilltop Needmore Road west of U.S. Highway 401, closed in 2015, and county officials began looking at it last year as the potential site for a future park.

The commissioners last fall, by the same 4-3 vote, decided to explore putting a park on the site.

The move became an issue in the heated May primaries, where the four Democratic commissioners who voted for the plan all faced opposition from political groups that said the county should be spending more money on education instead. Two of the four incumbents, Erv Portman and John Burns, were defeated.

The county will buy 143 acres of the Crooked creek property – the golf course was 164 acres overall – from The Conservation Fund for $4 million.

"We don't have enough park land now, let alone for future generations," David Carter told commissioners before Monday's vote. "I would ask you to go to your GIS department and ask them for a list of all 100 acres or more parcels. They will give you very, very few."

"Eleven minutes away, we have the Southeast Wake Park," Stephanie Lormand told commissioners in arguing against the purchase. "So, it is not true we have a lack of land in southern Wake County."

A consultant will be hired to develop a master plan for the site, which officials said also could be used for affordable housing. The Wake County Public School System is considering placing a new elementary school near the Crooked Creek property.

The planning process is expected to begin by the end of the year and will include community meetings to gather public input.

During the process, the property will be closed to the public. Wake County will put up gates, fences, lighting and signage to secure the property and will contract with someone to mow the property, officials said.

These efforts are expected to cost an additional $700,000.