Volume 16, Number 2
The plan for an extensive sports complex on 114 acres owned by the Town of Wake Forest will have to go through the complete planning process, several town officials assured the Gazette this week. The process includes providing a fully detailed site plan to be reviewed by the planning staff, usually several changes which can take time, and then consideration by the planning board and town board.
The lease agreed on by the town and the Complex Sports Group has been signed, officials said, but it only allows the group to proceed to construction after the plan is approved.
The town owns two adjoining tracts on the east side of Capital Boulevard and the north bank of the Neuse River.
The first tract of 41.44 acres was a gift to the town by Riverplace III LLC made in December 2001. Riverplace had purchased the land in 1999 from Burlington Mills for $2,115,500. It is on the Wake County tax rolls with a value of $1,624,614 and the town has had it zoned highway business since 2002. Wake Forest Finance Director Aileen Staples said in an email, “Only stipulation was it was to be used for a greenway, which there is one included.”
Former town manager Mark Williams said the gift came about because Riverplace’s principals wanted something else from the state.
The editor has seen a surveyor’s map of that tract with the 100-year and 500-year floodplains delineated. The 500-year floodplain is almost on the northern property line.
The larger tract, 68.16 acres, adjoins the gift tract on the east and was purchased in September 2006 with funds from the 2005 referendum. The town paid the previous owners, Robert Clinbelle and Lance Hutchens, $682,000 and the county now sets its value at $433,440.
The land is zoned OS for open space, a district “established to preserve and protect environmentally sensitive lands (e.g. floodways, wetlands) and properties that are already under public ownership and/or otherwise restricted for use for passive or active recreational use,” according to the town’s Unified Development Ordinance.
The county also places land into different categories and of the 68.16 acres, 67.44 are listed as “flood,” probably floodplain, and 0.72 acres are listed as woodland.
One neighbor in the Shearon Farms subdivision has a lot backing up to this tract and said she has had 20 feet of water in her back yard after a severe rain. She cannot do anything with her back yard because it is a protected wetland.