Wake Forest CommunityPlan
Vision Statements and Policies Including the Growth Strategy Map
CommunityPlan Vision Statements and Policies Including the Growth Strategy Map
Adopted September 15, 2009
Board of Commissioners Vivian A. Jones, Mayor Frank Drake
Planning Board Bob Hill, Chair Grif Bond Stephen Stoller Edwin Gary H. Ward Marotti Zachary Donahue Al Merritt Sarah Bridges Kim Parker Speed Massenburg (former) Tom Cornett (former) Michael Martin (former) Keith Robbins (former)
Steering Committee Jeff Adolphsen Anthony Allen Andy Ammons Kathy Brewer Mary Hayes
Margaret Stinnett Chris Kaeberlein Peter Thibodeau Ann Hines
Stephanie Jenny Michael Johnson Debbie Ludas Guerda Martin Tim O’Brien Keith Shackleford
Stephen R. Barrington (former) Velma Boyd-Lawson (former) David Camacho (former)
Town Department Heads Mark Williams, Town Manager Joyce Wilson, Town Clerk Roe O’Donnell, Deputy Town Manager Aileen Staples, Finance Director Chip Russell, Planning Director Mike Barton, Public Works Director Tammy Moody, Human Resources Director Greg Harrington, Chief of Police Susan Simpson, Parks & Recreation Director Eric Keravuori, Engineering Director
Town Project Staff Chip Russell, Planning Director Ann Ayers, Assistant Planning Director- Planning Services Agnes Wanman, Planner Candace Davis, Planner Chad Sary, Assistant Planning Director- Development Services Bill Summers, Planner Charlie Yokley, Planner Bill Crabtree, Public Information Officer
Consulting planner Glenn R. Harbeck, AICP Glenn Harbeck Associates, Inc. Community Planning and Public Involvement
Town of Wake Forest | 301 S. Brooks Street, Wake Forest, NC 27587 | 919-435-9400 | www.wakeforestnc.gov
Introduction to the Plan 1 Town History and Growth Influences 9 Town Vision 21 Town Areas 35 The Neighborhood Planning Area 35
The Neighborhood Planning Area Map insert
Older Neighborhoods | Newer Neighborhoods | Future Neighborhoods
Commercial Areas 69
Existing Commercial Areas | Future Commercial Areas
Business and Industrial Areas 89 Downtown Wake Forest 101 Parks, Open Space and Greenways 112 Town Transportation 123 Streets 123 Major Streets | Minor Streets
Sidewalks 147 Bikeways 154 Greenway Trails 162 Public Transportation 167
Town Appearance 171 Street Trees 171 Street Lights 178 Utility Poles and Wires 185 Wireless Telecommunication Facilities 188 Town and Special Area Entrances 192 Community Character 197
Growth Management 205
Regional Intergovernmental Cooperation 205
Regional Transportation | Water and Sewer | Water Conservation | Community Oriented Schools
Paying for Growth 219
Quality of Life 227
A Healthy, Sustainable Environment 227 Economic Development 238 Arts, Culture and History 243 Public Safety 252 Leadership and Community Involvement 259 Growth Strategy Map 267
Growth Strategy Map Area Descriptions 267 Growth Strategy Map insert
Appendices under separate cover Growth Factors Analysis Action Agenda
4 | Wake Fo r e s t Commun i t y P l an
Communities seldom stand still; they are continually growing, changing, and evolving as places of human interchange and capital investment.
Int roduc t i on to the Communi t y Pl an | 5
Introduction Introduction to the Community Plan The Community Plan Continuing a Tradition of Planning T his Community Plan marks a major new phase of the Town of Wake Forest’s planning program—reinvigorated in the late 1980s and con- tinuing to this day. During the rapid growth era of the past quarter centu- ry, a number of important community-wide plans, special area plans and development ordinances have been prepared to help manage the town’s growth and development. These documents have included plans and ordi- nances addressing transportation, land use, economic development, parks and recreation, bikeways and pedestrian systems, downtown revitalization, greenways, historic preservation, and highway corridors and streetscapes, to name a few. In recent years, the Northeast (East End) Neighborhood Plan and the Renaissance Plan for the Heart of Wake Forest have each won special recognition awards for excellence from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association. In addition to award-winning planning initiatives, the Town of Wake Forest was one of the very first municipalities in the state to be certified as a Tree City USA , a designation that the Town has held continuously for several decades. The Town of Wake Forest has also been designated a Main Street City ; as such, it is one of a select number of small towns in North Carolina participating in this proactive program to support and improve its downtown area.
6 | Wake Fo r e s t Commun i t y P l an
Collectively, all of the Town’s plans, ordinances and programs make up a growth management system intended to properly guide quality develop- ment. These efforts have combined successfully with a generally enlight- ened development community to produce new growth of which the Town and its residents can be rightfully pleased. With the Town’s sustained commitment to good planning, Wake Forest has emerged during the past two decades as a model in the region for suc- cessful small town community planning. In particular, Wake Forest has earned recognition for its efforts in historic preservation, downtown re- vitalization, community appearance, neighborhood improvements, parks and recreation, citizen participation, public-private partnerships, and a number of other community improvement initiatives. This Community Plan is intended to build upon the successful town plan- ning that that has been the hallmark of Wake Forest for many years, while adding some of the most current and effective planning principles and methods to the Town’s growth management system. Need for This Plan Communities seldom stand still; they are continually growing, chang- ing, and evolving as places of human interchange and capital investment. Wake Forest is no exception. This Community Plan, therefore, addresses a number of pressing issues facing the town that require considerable at- tention and concerted action. Among these issues are: Slowing the growth of traffic congestion onmajor streets—currently • increasing at a pace well in excess of population growth. Improving neighborhood areas hampered by poor housing and • associated social problems. Discouraging leapfrogging, single purpose subdivisions, isolated • from services and jobs. Encouraging development densities that promote walking and get • away from over-reliance on the individual automobile. Finding ways to provide for the expansion of walking and biking • facilities, and inter and intra-town mass transit services. Encouraging downtown area revitalization and reinvestment, while • protecting the historic character of development that gives the area its inherent value. Expanding currently fragile water supplies in the face of projected • continued rapid growth in the region.
Int roduc t i on to the Communi t y Pl an | 7
Creating new parks, recreation and open space facilities to keep up • with growth-induced demand. Ensuring that new commercial development is supportive of the • town’s natural and historic resources, unique sense of place, and quality of life.
Community Plan Steering Committee
Preparation of this plan involved an informed and active group of citi- zens, the Wake Forest Community Plan Steering Committee. Appointed by the Town Board, this 11-member committee represented a broad cross section of Wake Forest’s people, from several geographic, economic and social perspectives. Through the efforts of the citizens’ committee, every policy statement considered for this plan was reviewed and discussed, en- dorsed, set aside, or amended. In addition, the Plan Steering Committee received considerable support from the staff and consultant to the Town of Wake Forest, and input from the many civic leaders, board members, and citizens who attended work sessions and town meetings held during the planning process.
Community Input Guided Vision and Policy Development
Early in 2007, work began in earnest on the Wake Forest Community Plan. The Steering Committee held a joint kick off meeting with the Town Board of Commissioners and the Town Planning Board. Plans were set in
8 | Wake Fo r e s t Commun i t y P l an
motion immediately for the three groups to co-host a special town meeting for the plan. In April of that year, over 200 Wake Forest citizens crowded into the Community House building and voiced hundreds of concerns, hopes and ideas for the future of their town. As a result of that first town meeting, a number of priority topics were identified for use in drafting a new Town Vision for Wake Forest. Later, in November of that same year, a second town meeting was held to affirm the results of the first Town meeting, share the new Vision, and to move forward into the policy de- velopment stage. Over the ensuing months, the Community Plan Steering Committee pored over the many growth issues identified by the public. The Committee then developed the Policies and Actions set forth in this plan. The results of the Committee’s work are presented in three parts: Vision Statements and Policies • (policy document)—the most important part of the plan, setting forth policy statements to guide Town decisions. The Growth Factors Analysis • (data document)—a compilation of statistical information that describes population, housing and economic conditions influencing the growth of Wake Forest. The Action Agenda • (implementation document)—a listing of many different potential actions that could be undertaken by the Town to help implement the Vision Statements and Policies. This Community Plan represents an important new benchmark in plan- ning for the future of Wake Forest. The intent of the plan is to create a shared vision for the Town to preserve its natural and cultural heritage and to give appropriate direction for desirable growth and development. The Community Plan presents an opportunity to demonstrate that Wake Forest residents, businesses and elected officials are committed to working together for the best possible future for the community.
Vision Statements, Policies and Actions: What’s the Difference?
This Policy Document and the Action Agenda that supports it, contain three different types of statements, each serving a special purpose:
VISION STATEMENTS describe a future condition for the Town the way we would like to see it. They are the foundation for Policies and Actions. One of the best ways to evaluate the Policies and Actions is to understand the intent of each Vision Statement and
Int roduc t i on to the Communi t y Pl an | 9
see whether the Policies and Actions will help make it happen. It is important to remember that the Vision Statements, unlike the Policies and Actions, are written as if it is 15-20 years from now and we are looking back at what came about as a result of the 2008 Wake Forest Community Plan. are officially adopted positions of Town government with regard to preferred or required courses of action. Their primary purpose is to provide guidance to decisions and actions today. When a policy is applied, it does not go away. Policies can and should be used over and over again in support of the Vision Statements. There are normally several policy statements lending support for each vision statement. While polices may be amended occasionally, such changes should be infrequent to provide for consistent, predictable decision- making over a several year period. POLICIES ACTIONS are a to-do-list of things that could be done in support of the Vision Statements and Policies. Unlike a vision or policy, once an action is completed, it goes away; it gets checked off the list. The Town may consider actions as potential work program items for imple- mentation in subsequent fiscal years. It should not be expected that all or even most implementation items could be completed in the first fis- cal year. Priorities must be chosen. Implementation actions should also be updated each year in concert with the Town’s work program and budget process. For this reason, the Plan’s Action Agenda works best if it is printed under a separate cover.
How to Use the Community Plan Policies The Policies contained in the Community Plan have been designed for regular use in guiding public decisions at the Town level as well as in providing information for private sector decisions. As officially adopted policies of the Town, they are to be used primarily in managing growth and development and as a foundation for decisions on Town facilities and services. The following paragraphs detail how various parties involved in local decision-making may use the policies set forth in the Community Plan.
As Used by the Town Staff
Reviewing Development Proposals —Town staff should consult the Vision Statements and Policies in reviewing development proposals. Such development proposals would typically include rezoning requests, (see
10 | Wake Fo r e s t Commun i t y P l an
section entitled Zoning Amendments and Consistency …), subdivision reviews, site plan reviews, driveway permits, special use permits, sign per- mits, and the like. All Policies are given a unique identification number allowing them to be referenced by “chapter and verse” in staff recommen- dations to Town boards. Suggesting Changes in Town Services —Town staff should consult the Vision Statements and Policies before making recommendations about changes in Town facilities and services. Recommendations to be presented to the Town Manager or Board of Commissioners should first be evaluated according to their consistency with the adopted policy positions of the Community Plan. All Town department heads should periodically review the Vision Statements and Policies, becoming familiar with their content. This is especially important during preparation of the annual work pro- gram and proposed budget request for each department.
As Used by Appointed Boards and Committees
Before their regular meetings, members of appointed boards of the Town should review proposed agenda items in light of the Town’s adopted poli- cies. For example, the Town Planning Board should review development proposals with regard to how well they match up with the Town’s poli- cies on transportation, housing, community appearance, and so forth. The Town Planning Staff should assist the Planning Board by pointing out policies applicable to each agenda item when preparing staff recommen- dations. Board members should then draw their own conclusions as to the consistency of a particular proposal with the Town’s adopted Community Plan Policies.
As Used by Wake Forest Board of Commissioners
In their authority to rezone properties, approve proposed developments as well as changes in Town facilities and services, the Town Board of Commissioners have the final word on the actions of Wake Forest govern- ment. As customary, the Commissioners should take into account and weigh the interpretation of Policy as provided by all interested parties, the Town staff, and advisory boards and committees. Decisions on programs and capital improvement expenditures are also made with greater confi- dence when they can be evaluated for consistency with the Town’s long range Vision. Over time, a track record of policy interpretation forms a reliable foundation for decision-making.
As Used by Other Local Governments and the State
The Town should put forth an effort to make elected and appointed boards of nearby municipalities, as well as those of Wake and Franklin Counties,
Int roduc t i on to the Communi t y Pl an | 11
aware of the Community Plan. They should be encouraged to consult the plan when considering plans and projects under their authority. Decisions by municipalities concerning water and sewer extensions, transportation, and land use planning, in particular, should be done, to the extent possi- ble, in concert with the polices of the Town’s Community Plan. Similarly, the Town should call the Plan to the attention of State officials, particularly with regard to transportation investments, environmental standards and economic development initiatives under the authority of the State.
As Used by Development Interests
Developers, property owners, builders and others involved in the develop- ment community should consult the Vision Statements and Policies when formulating their own development plans. By making their plans consis- tent with the Town’s long range Vision and Policies, the chances of plan approval should increase, thereby saving guesswork, time and money. The quality of the plans drawn up for review may also improve if the developer knows that the effort put into the design is more apt to receive a favorable response.
Key Words Often Used in Policy Statements
encourage : to favor or foster (also see support ) may : provides the option, but not required; permissive preferred : the favored course among alternatives but does not preclude other options prohibit : not allowed, period; to totally prevent promote : to proactively encourage, to take positive steps reasonable : practical, just enough to do the job; not extreme require : to mandate something shall : mandatory, not optional; a more formal term for “will” should : preferred or recommended but not mandatory in all cases significant : important; determined by quantity or relative impact support : to foster; may imply financial support
As the plan is used over time by the various parties identified above, a consistent decision- making pattern will evolve. Also, users of the plan will find it helpful if they employ a consistent vocabulary when interpreting the meaning of the policy statements. Certain key words are used frequently in policy statements. The glossary below conveys the specific meaning of these key words as used in Policy Statements for the Wake Forest Community Plan . adequate : sufficient to achieve the intended purpose or prevent harm allow, authorize, permit : official action to let something happen control : to regulate or direct discourage : to not favor; to dissuade
12 | Wake Fo r e s t Commun i t y P l an
As Used by the General Public
Residents of Wake Forest can and should reference specific Community Plan Vision Statements and Policies, when speaking in favor or in opposi- tion to a particular proposal before the Town Commissioners or other appointed Town boards and committees.
The Vision Statements and Policies of the Wake Forest Community Plan begin on page 30.
Zoning Amendments and Consistency with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan Effective January 1st, 2006, North Carolina General Statute 160A-383 requires that “prior to adopting or rejecting any zoning amendment” each lo- cal governing board “shall adopt a statement describing whether its action is consistent with an adopted comprehensive plan and explaining why the board considers the action taken to be reasonable and in the public interest”. For the purposes of this statute, this Community Plan constitutes Wake Forest’s comprehensive plan . This relatively new law requires that the Town Planning Board review of proposed zoning amendments include written comments on the consis- tency of the proposed amendment with the comprehensive plan and any other relevant plans (such as a small area plan, a corridor plan, or a trans- portation plan) that have been adopted by the Town. Further, the Town Board of Commissioners is also required to adopt a statement on plan consistency before adopting or rejecting any zoning amendment. These written comments are required, but do not limit the Board’s discretionary power to adopt or not adopt zoning amendments. In other words, the Town Board retains the power to approve a zoning amendment that, on its face, is not consistent with the comprehensive plan . At the same time, the Board’s decision to approve an “inconsistent” zon- ing amendment must not be taken lightly; the Board’s approval must be justified by reasons written into the permanent record as to why a zoning amendment found to be inconsistent nonetheless warrants approval. There may be fundamentally sound reasons why a particular zoning amendment should be approved— reasons that meet the overall intent if not the pre- cise language of particular provisions of the Community Plan.
Int roduc t i on to the Communi t y Pl an | 13
Amending the Community Plan Given the official status of the Community Plan as the policy foundation for guiding zoning decisions, as well as a broad range of other decisions of Town government, it is appropriate that some provision be made for amending the plan as necessary. Even so, it is important that the plan’s essential elements—the Policies and Growth Strategy Map—should re- main substantially unchanged during the plan’s tenure. Frequent changes to these elements would undermine the plan’s effectiveness in directing a steady course for the Town’s growth and development over the long haul. Nevertheless, future developments involving unanticipated conflicts with the plan may warrant amendment of the plan in some instances. The guidelines that follow are intended to provide criteria to determine when an amendment to the Community Plan may be necessary. Conflicts with the plan related to unique situations that come up only 1. occasionally, and that can be justified in the public record, would nor- mally not warrant amending the plan. Conflicts with the plan related to situations that come up repeatedly, 2. and that represent good planning, may warrant amending the plan. Conflicts with the plan that arise from new development forms or tech- 3. niques, and represent good planning, may warrant amending the plan. Conflicts with the plan that arise from new concepts in municipal 4. services or practices, and that better serve the public interest, may war- rant amending the plan. Changes to proposed implementation actions associated with various 5. policies do not warrant amending the plan. (In fact, implementation actions are designed to be updated at least annually as an administra- tive function related to development of the Town’s work program.)
Form of Application
Requests for an amendment to the Community Plan must be submitted in writing to the Wake Forest Planning Department. Applicants shall specify the reasons why the proposed amendment is in the public inter- est. Applications for revisions to the Growth Strategy Map shall include a site map that clearly indicates the area in question. The Town shall be reimbursed for administrative and advertising costs in accordance with the Town’s published fee schedule.
Form of Review
All proposed amendments shall be reviewed first by the Town Planning Board (after receiving a staff report) and then forwarded with an advisory recommen- dation to the Town Board of Commissioners for approval, denial or no action.
14 | Wake Fo r e s t Commun i t y P l an
Town History and Growth Influences introduction I t has been said that to effectively plan for the future of a community, its past must be fully understood. Reasons for a community’s location, direction of growth, and phases of its development history provide impor- tant clues as to how future growth can best be directed and managed. In addition to local influences, a town’s growth seldom occurs in a vacuum from external factors. For this reason, it is important to consider prevailing economic conditions, technological advances, and social trends in place during each major growth phase of a community.
For the purpose of this analysis, five major historic eras for Wake Forest are identified in the chart below.
For each historic period, Wake Forest’s growth will be evaluated within the context of what was happening in America at the time. National and regional trends of the day will provide a backdrop for specific changes in the character and shape of Wake Forest..Included will be a summary of key elements of community development and form during each period.
Major Historic Eras for Wake Forest
1. Emergence as a College Town 2. Influences of the Railroad 3. Economic Diversification 4. Wake Forest College Departs 5. Wake Forest and the Triangle
“Early Focus of the Town” “Improved Access & Growth” “Industry, Commerce & Education”
(1820 to 1840) (1840 to 1900) (1900 to 1956) (1956 to 1980) (1980 to Now)
“Decline & Recovery”
“Modern Times & Rapid Growth”
Emergence as a College Town
Influences of the Railroad
Departure of WF College
WF and the Triangle
Town Hi s tory and Growth Inf luences | 15
Finally, the section will conclude with an assessment of the challenges associated with automobile-dependent developments, what the Town of Wake Forest is already doing about it, and a series of affirming recommen- dations, upon which the plan’s detailed growth and development policies may be built.
development eras described
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Much of the following description of the history of Wake Forest, particularly for the early years, is taken directly from the excellent summary provided on the Town’s website: www.wakeforestnc.gov/Visitors/History.aspx. This narrative is then supplemented with other information to place Wake Forest’s growth within the context of what was happening in the United States at the same time. These local and national influences each had a major role in shaping the Wake Forest community that we see today.
Wake Forest’s Emergence as a College Town, 1820-1840
Wake Forest was born as a college town; for more than a century the Town and the college grew up together with intertwined histories. The original 1830s campus has changed owners and names, but remains a geographi- cal focus of the community that has grown around it. Development began in 1820 when Dr. Calvin Jones from New England bought 615 acres in “Wake Forest Township” from Davis Battle. Dr. Jones may have built a sturdy, two-story frame house in the center of what became Wake Forest College. In 1832 the North Carolina Baptist Convention decided to establish an educational institute. About the same time Dr. Jones had placed an advertisement in the Raleigh papers offering his farm for sale. The advertisement described the community: “One of the best neighbor- hoods in the state, the Forest District containing three schools (one classi- cal) and two well constructed and well filled meeting houses for Baptists and Methodists, and has a lawyer and a doctor. The inhabitants, without I believe a single exception, are sober, moral and thriving in their circum- stances, and not a few are educated and intelligent.” John Purefoy, a Baptist minister, learned of the property and convinced the North Carolina Baptist Convention to purchase the farm for $2,000 on which to establish the school it had been planning named the “Wake Forest Institute”. It opened to boys in February, 1834.
16 | Wake Fo r e s t Commun i t y P l an
Seventy-two students were enrolled by the end of the first year, so archi- tect John Berry of Hillsborough was hired to enlarge the facility. Berry designed three brick buildings and one classroom structure to replace the Calvin Jones House (which was relocated) and two professors’ houses. All three buildings were constructed between 1835 and 1838. The profes- sors’ houses, known as the North Brick House and the South Brick House because of their locations, were first occupied by Professors C. W. Skinner and Amos J. Battle. The classroom building burned in 1933 and the North Brick House was demolished in 1936, leaving the South Brick House as the only survivor of the early Berry-designed campus buildings. With an increasing need for space and money, the College decided to divide the Calvin Jones farm into lots and sell them for $100 each, with those on the west side of Main Street selling for $150. Eighty one-acre lots north of the campus and west of the railroad were put on the market in 1839. The central street became known as Faculty Avenue and today constitutes the greater portion of the locally designated Wake Forest Historic District. Interestingly, the original layout of lots near the college was not particularly unique. Rather, it was patterned, like most other early American commu- nities, after the 1682 plan for Philadelphia. Philadelphia’s plan had three principle features: (1) a gridiron street system, (2) designated open space, and (3) uniform spacing and setbacks for the buildings. Historians have noted that perhaps because it was a principal port of entry, Philadelphia was widely copied by later American towns, as the settlement of the coun- try moved away from the Atlantic coastline. Thus, most early 19th century towns, including Wake Forest, took on a basic grid iron or trellis street pattern. In Wake Forest’s case, this resulted in a series of streets running generally north to south, parallel to a ridge between streams, and series of avenues running east to west, perpendicular to the north-south ridge. Within this grid iron framework, a very compact town evolved around the open spaces and buildings of the College. As envisioned by the College, most residences were built within a few short blocks from the campus. Homes of many of the faculty were quite large and lots small to keep walking distances to a minimum. Smaller houses were also kept close for those of lesser position, given the need to walk virtually everywhere. This pattern of development would largely define Wake Forest’s growth for the town’s first 100+ years.
Town Hi s tory and Growth Inf luences | 17
Influences of the Railroad, 1840-1900 During the period from about 1840 to 1900, numerous economic, so- cial, and technological advances of the industrial revolution would take America, and to a lesser extent, Wake Forest by storm. Railroad lines, which totaled 23 miles nationwide in 1830, increased to 2,818 miles by 1840. The telegraph (1844) and the telephone (1876) revolutionized the speed at which information could be transferred. The invention of the pas- senger elevator (1852) and the Bessemer steel converter (1864) paved the way for the development of skyscrapers beginning in the 1880s. Gas lights and, later, electric lights (1878), revolutionized indoor lighting, and made the fire hazards of congested buildings less threatening. 1 Wake Forest was by no means isolated from these revolutionary techno- logical advances. With the arrival of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad in 1840, Wake Forest’s future became heavily intertwined with rail com- merce and the growth it spawned. The rail line, which paralleled Main Street just two blocks “down the hill” toward Smith Creek, established the eastern border of the town. The closest depot was in Forestville, so students got off the train there and walked to the Institute. The Raleigh and Gaston Railroad was a controversial subject for Wake Forest College since the station was in Forestville. The Railroad refused to finance two stations so close together, so the College worked to move the existing station near to the campus. The relocation finally took place in 1874, though there were still no buildings east of the railroad tracks. Interestingly, smoke and ash from the coal-fired locomotives was blown by prevailing winds from the north and west to areas south and east of the tracks. As a result, a pattern of town growth was established which would see the earliest residential neighborhoods of Wake Forest located largely to the west and north of the town center. Later, when diesel-fired locomo- tives eliminated the heavy smoke and ash problem, areas to the east and south of the railroad tracks became suitable for development. Economic Diversification, 1900-1956 As America was nearing the turn of the 20th century, the influence of rail on Wake Forest was to become even more pronounced. The relocation of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad station in 1874 was the beginning of the commercial development around Wake Forest College. In the years just before the turn of the century, several of the businesses operating
1 Coke, James G., “Antecedents of Local Planning”, page 16 of Principles and Practice of Urban Plan- ning, William I Goodman, Ed. , ICMA 1968
18 | Wake Fo r e s t Commun i t y P l an
in Wake Forest were established: Powers and Holding Drugstore, W. W. Holding Cotton Merchants, Dickson Brothers Dry Goods and Jones Hardware. Later, the Bolus, Wilkinson, Keith and Joyner families estab- lished businesses between 1910 and 1920. In 1909 the community previ- ously known as the Town of Wake Forest College was re-chartered and renamed, Wake Forest. Also, at the turn of the century, the Wake Forest area saw its first industrial development—a significant departure from the college-dominated local economy. The Royall Cotton Mill was completed in 1900 on a site just north of Faculty Avenue. W.C. Powell, R.E. Royall and T.E. Holding es- tablished the mill to produce muslin sheeting. Though the mill village was largely self contained, the industrial style buildings and adjoining workers’ housing changed forever the character of this area north of town. At the same time, the college grew and employed more people, as did the various other businesses in the area ñ two foundries, a number of grocery and other stores, etc. This was the time when cotton truly was king in the area and Wake Forest served the surrounding farms. The impact of this growth was made evident by contrasting trends in the town’s population in the decades immediately before and after 1900. U.S. Census records from the time show a slight decline in the town’s popula- tion from 1890 to 1900, followed by two decades of growth from 1900 to 1920. During the first two decades the 20th century, the town grew from 823 to 1,490 residents. The next major surge in population was not to occur until the 1940s. In 1950, Wake Forest had reached 3,704 residents or more than twice the population of the town just ten years earlier. Wake Forest College Departs: Decline and Recovery, 1956-1980 Wake Forest College moved to Winston-Salem in 1956, selling the cam- pus to the Baptist State Convention for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. US Census records for the period show that with the departure of Wake Forest College, the population of the town dropped by nearly a third, from 3,704 in 1950 to 2,664 in 1960. It wasn’t until the 1980 Census that the town’s population recovered to the pre-college departure population of the town in 1950.
Even so, the town did not stop growing after the college left. Instead, sev- eral new industries moved into the area, bringing workers and the need for
Town Hi s tory and Growth Inf luences | 19
additional housing. Among the new industries that came to Wake Forest were Schrader-Bellows, Athey Products, Huyck-Formex, Burlington Industries (1950s), Neuse Plastics (1960s) and Walter Kidde (1980s). Wake Electric was also up and running in the 1950s, and people were beginning to have enough money, thanks to the industries and electricity, to afford new homes in town and on the farms. Of note, most of the industries that came to the area in the latter half of the 20th century closed their doors during the first decade of the 21st century. Today there are few large-scale manufacturing enterprises still operating in the Wake Forest area.
Wake Forest and the Triangle, 1980-Present
During the 1980s and 1990s, several factors came into play that would have a profound impact on the growth of Wake County and the Town of Wake Forest in particular. The City of Raleigh, along with several other communities in Wake, Durham and Orange Counties, began to experi- ence the full economic impact of the Research Triangle Park, which was established in 1959 but experienced slow growth in the first years At the same time, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and Duke University were rapidly emerging as institu- tions of higher learning with a powerful array of research capabilities to support the growth of one of the nation’s leading high technology econo- mies. In addition to a high technology business environment, the Triangle region also offered an excellent quality of life, a mild year-round climate, competitive wage rates and a steady supply of skilled workers. While development activity was quite modest in Wake Forest during the 1960s and 1970s, new residential and commercial development blos- somed during the 1980s and accelerated further during the 1990s and much of the 2000s. During the twenty-five year period from the early 1980s to the mid 2000s, northern Wake County and the Town of Wake Forest have experienced some of the most intensive growth of anywhere in the Triangle region. Another huge factor set in play decades earlier would find its greatest influ- ence during the 1980s and 1990s: the relocation of US 1 around Wake Forest. Constructed in the early 1950s and located a mile and a half west of downtown Wake Forest, this new route paralleled Main Street (the for- mer Route 1). Ultimately, the four lane highway, also known as Capital Boulevard, caused a dramatic shift in the location of significant new com- mercial developments to this major travel corridor west of the downtown area.
20 | Wake Fo r e s t Commun i t y P l an
The new US 1 also prompted commercial development near the intersec- tion of South Main and the new highway. At the time the new highway was constructed, South Main Street was a residential, tree-lined street ac- commodating traffic coming north from Raleigh and headed for down- town Wake Forest. During the mid to late 1990s, properties along South Main near Capital Boulevard gradually converted to automobile oriented development. Old houses were sold, torn down and replaced with fast- food restaurants and other commercial services. Pressures remain to this day to continue stripping commercial development along this important entryway into the heart of Wake Forest.
challenges presented by automobile dependant developments
Much has been said in the previous sections about the sudden interest in Wake Forest as a place to live starting in the 1980s and continuing to the present day. Of note, a disproportionately large percentage of the new de- velopment in Wake Forest during this period has either been automobile- oriented commercial within the Capital Boulevard corridor, or large lot residential development away from the highway corridor. This pattern of development echoes what occurred throughout America during the past half century, as overt dependence on the automobile and emphasis on “separation-of-uses” style zoning has led to a number of challenges which towns like Wake Forest are now dealing with. These challenges are sum- marized in the paragraphs below. Existing policies and standards of the Town of Wake Forest (prior to the adoption of this Community Plan ), relative to mitigating the undesirable aspects of automobile-oriented de- velopment, are noted at the end of each paragraph.
To have a minimum amount of communication and sociability in this spread-out life, his wife becomes a taxi driver by daily occupation, and the amount of money it costs to keep this whole system running leaves him with shamefully overcrowded, understaffed schools, inadequate police, poorly serviced hospitals, underspaced recreation areas, ill-supported libraries.
The gradual separation of residential and commercial land uses, which began in the 1910s and ’20s, became complete in the suburban develop- ments of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Large tracts of land were (and still are) routinely developed exclusively for single-family residential purposes. Residents of these areas are totally dependent upon the automobile to take them to shopping, work, or social affairs. Children too must be chauf- feured by their parents to virtually all activities. Bicycles, once the child’s ticket to getting around their community or running an occasional errand, now seldom leave their street. Not only are residential areas separated from non-residential areas, but in recent years there has been an increas- ing exclusivity of single-family residential areas from other single-family residential areas by the use of development walls and fences.
Lewis Mumford April, 1958
Town Hi s tory and Growth Inf luences | 21
Note: The Town of Wake Forest encourages mixed use development. The Town Zoning Ordinance includes a Traditional Neighborhood District. (TND) The Town also encourages mixed use within the Renaissance Area. The Town is open to the creation of other new districts that would foster appropriate mixed use development.
Both in town and site planning it is important to prevent the complete separation of different classes of people which is such a feature of the... modern town. Mrs. Barnett in her writings has laid special emphasis on this point and has referred to the many evils which result from large areas being inhabited entirely by people of one limited class.
Housing Market Segmentation
Market segmentation in residential development has been the watchword of the past several decades. In today’s real estate market, there are devel- opments which cater exclusively to various housing market “niches” for every stage of the life cycle: i.e. (1) group housing for college students, (2) apartment complexes for young professionals, (3) starter homes for young couples, (4) larger homes for more “mature” families, (5) retirement communities for active retirees, (6) assisted care living for the ambulatory elderly, the non-ambulatory elderly, etc. and (7) nursing homes for the elderly dependent. Note: The Town of Wake Forest allows this issue to be market driven. Some de- velopments such as Shearon Farms and Heritage Wake Forest have provided for a variety of housing types, although in distinct PODs rather than mixed housing types in the same neighborhood or subdivision. The yet to be built Holding Vil- lage will be the closest to a true mixed housing development.
Raymond Unwin, 1909
In addition to the housing market segmentation mentioned above, there has also developed a stratification of new housing developments according to economic class and, by default, race. Thus, there are separate hous- ing developments for low income, middle income, upper middle income and high income residents. Square footages and home prices are care- fully guarded as the numerical gatekeepers of suburban neighborhoods, lest an inferior home of smaller size or value should be allowed to pull down property values. Despite the desegregation initiatives of the past forty years, our society has never been more fragmented in terms of the economic and racial makeup of our neighborhoods. (Note that prior to the mid-twentieth century, carriage houses, garage apartments, and small clusters of townhouses and apartment buildings readily mingled or were within close proximity of single family residences.) Note: Similar to housing market segmentation, the Town of Wake Forest feels that price points on new housing are best left to the free market system. Some developers have recognized the advantages of having different price points in a single development, in terms of offering product for sale to a broader cross sec- tion of the home-buying public.
22 | Wake Fo r e s t Commun i t y P l an
Density of Development
Though lot sizes in recent years and in some areas have been coming down in acreage, the predominant forms of development in much of Wake Forest and Wake County continue to be in one of two categories: (1) high density multi-family housing in large apartment, condo, and town house develop- ments or (2) low density single-family residential development which is neither urban nor rural (i.e. 10-20,000 square foot lots). While there are exceptions, the higher density multi-family developments have typically been marketed to lower and middle income buyers and renters while the lower density, larger lot developments have been traditionally geared to the upper income purchaser. Yet, in the face of escalating fuel prices and greater interest in mass transit and bicycling, appropriately designed high- er density development would seem to have merit for all income levels. Note: The Town of Wake Forest has no specific policy to promote high quality, higher density development. Indirectly, the planning staff encourages developers to undertake well-designed, higher density projects so as to discourage sprawl and slow down land consumption.
Curvilinear streets have been the norm for most new residential develop- ments for the past fifty years. Originally designed in the late 19th century to respond to site topography and natural forms, curvilinear streets are often employed today as much for style as for site conditions. Such street configurations can be disorienting to a visitor, unacquainted with the neighborhood. There is often no clear principle street axis for the neigh- borhood, no sense of street hierarchy, and no landmarks at street ends (e.g. a church steeple) to provide a sense of direction. Note: Street patterns in Wake Forest are largely determined by the area’s roll- ing topography, consistent with good planning. However, most developments in the area have not been successful in establishing landmarks and in terminating vistas at street ends to create a sense of orientation. The Town of Wake Forest does limit the length of blocks in subdivisions which can help with the walkability of an area.
Neighborhood streets in most post-war developments of the late 20th cen- tury are not connected to those of adjacent developments. This leaves resi- dents with no option other than to exit their neighborhood onto the clos- est major thoroughfare— even for local errands. It immobilizes children
Town Hi s tory and Growth Inf luences | 23
and makes them dependent upon their parents to go anywhere outside the immediate neighborhood. Beyond that, it is not unusual for these de- velopments to have only one or two ways out onto the major street sys- tem. This can create bottlenecks at the outlets, safety issues with regard to emergency access, as well as overloading the few main streets upon which nearly all cross-town traffic must depend. Note: The Town of Wake Forest requires that new subdivisions create street stub-outs for connections with future adjoining neighborhoods. Reportedly, the Town has been largely successful in enforcing this provision.
Construction and Maintenance of Infrastructure
Water lines, sewer lines, new roads, storm drainage, natural gas lines, elec- tricity, and phone service are all more expensive to build and maintain in large lot subdivisions. The cost of maintaining the street and highway system for a spread out, low density area can strain the ability of fed- eral, state and local governments to keep up. Governments are especially hard-pressed to find monies to build new highway facilities to serve the ever growing traffic volumes on the few overcrowded and overused main thoroughfares available Note: Once new infrastructure is created by a development and turned over to the Town, the Town is obligated to maintain it. Examples of infrastructure for which the Town is directly responsible, includes street paving and repair, side- walks, storm sewers, and electric services. With regard to the demand for thor- oughfare improvements, the new NC 98 Bypass south of the Wake Forest town core will soon be complete for its entire length. Capital Boulevard is planned for yet another redesign and reconstruction.
Delivery of Public and Private Services
Public transit, postal delivery, trash pick-up, police protection, and school buses are a few of the services that are expensive and inefficient to oper- ate in low density developed areas. A public transit system in particular becomes especially expensive to operate in such areas, where there are few identifiable concentrations of population density. Note: Once a low density development pattern is built, the Town is obligated to provide services to the occupants of the area. Examples of services for which the Town, and ultimately the taxpayer, must absorb the cost of serving a spread out community, include law enforcement, fire protection, and street cleaning. The Town’s recent establishment of a fledgling “circulator” bus service within the town also points up the importance of transit-oriented development.
24 | Wake Fo r e s t Commun i t y P l an
Scale of Development
New commercial uses have grown in scale and proportion to the point that it is not surprising that residential neighborhoods disdain them as neighbors. Retail commercial uses, in particular, with their attendant eye- grabbing signage and large, floodlit parking areas are especially disfavored. As a result, these uses are either stripped along major streets or clustered in shopping centers. In either case, they are generally only accessible by the automobile. Note: Most automobile-oriented commercial development in Wake Forest has occurred along or near Capital Boulevard. The Town Planning Department has prepared a “Village Commercial” zoning district in draft form, so as to be pre- pared for fine tuning and future application when a non-auto-oriented commer- cial development comes along.
Commercial Architecture and Building Character
“Monolithic” and “lacking detail” are two general descriptors of automo- bile-oriented architecture. Human scaled, pedestrian-oriented architecture with its associated architectural details, street furniture, and signage, gave way to modular, monolithic construction practices after World War II. New public buildings, such as post offices and schools also reflect this lack of quality in design both in terms of their undistinguished locations and their unadorned architecture. Public revenues, which might have been available in the past to create civic buildings of merit and distinction, are in- stead expended on the costs of building and maintaining the massive infra- structure necessary to support a sprawling, partially developed urban area. Note: The Town of Wake Forest has incorporated architectural and aesthetic design standards for commercial development into its zoning ordinance. These design standards address rooflines, use of natural materials, awnings, window fenestration, parking lot landscaping and other appearance issues. Special de- sign standards are also in place for the older commercial areas of Wake Forest, as established under the Renaissance Plan. The Town has also adopted special corridor plans for Capital Boulevard and the NC 98 Bypass that address design issues.
Single function, land-use zoning at a scale and density that eliminates the pedestrian has been the norm for so long that Americans have forgotten that walking can be part of their daily lives.
Peter Calthorpe, 1989
Residential Architecture and Building Character
“McMansion” is an unflattering term sometimes employed to describe much of today’s residential architecture. While overall square footage and interior appointments (i.e. entertainment rooms, luxury baths, well-ap- pointed kitchens, etc.) have continued to improve, the relationship of newPage 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 104 Page 105 Page 106 Page 107 Page 108 Page 109 Page 110 Page 111 Page 112 Page 113 Page 114 Page 115 Page 116 Page 117 Page 118 Page 119 Page 120 Page 121 Page 122 Page 123 Page 124 Page 125 Page 126 Page 127 Page 128 Page 129 Page 130 Page 131 Page 132 Page 133 Page 134 Page 135 Page 136 Page 137 Page 138 Page 139 Page 140 Page 141 Page 142 Page 143 Page 144 Page 145 Page 146 Page 147 Page 148 Page 149 Page 150 Page 151 Page 152 Page 153 Page 154 Page 155 Page 156 Page 157 Page 158 Page 159 Page 160 Page 161 Page 162 Page 163 Page 164 Page 165 Page 166 Page 167 Page 168 Page 169 Page 170 Page 171 Page 172 Page 173 Page 174 Page 175 Page 176 Page 177 Page 178 Page 179 Page 180 Page 181 Page 182 Page 183 Page 184 Page 185 Page 186 Page 187 Page 188 Page 189 Page 190 Page 191 Page 192 Page 193 Page 194 Page 195 Page 196 Page 197 Page 198 Page 199 Page 200
Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online