Wake Forest Community Plan - April 2022

TOWN OF WAKE FOREST Community Plan

Adopted April 19, 2022

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Board of Commissioners Vivian Jones , Mayor Adam Wright , Commissioner Bridget Wall-Lennon , Commissioner (through December 2021) Steering Committee Ann Welton

Thanks to Those Who Participated A special thank you goes to everyone who participated in the planning process for the Wake Forest Community Plan. This Plan was made possible by the contributions and insights of the residents, business owners, property owners, developers, and representatives from various groups and organizations.

Planning Staff Courtney Tanner , Planning Director Jennifer Currin , Assistant Planning Dierctor Brad West , Long Range Planning Manager Dylan Bruchhaus , Planner II - Long Range Melanie Rausch, Planner I - Long Range Michelle Michael , Senior Planner - Historic Preservation Ben Coleman , Zoning Enforcement Officer Josh Michael , Planning Administrative Assistant Kari Grace , Senior Planner - Development Services Patrick Reidy , Senior Planner - Development Services Emma Linn , Planner I - Development Services

Jacob Anderson Joseph Lassiter Kenneth Christie Leeann Tedder Ryan Akers Sheneque Duncan Shipman Northcutt Shynese Hockaday

Chad Sary , Commissioner Jim Dyer , Commissioner Keith Shackleford , Commissioner Liz Simpers , Commissioner (through December 2021) Nick Sliwinski , Commissioner Planning Board Joe Kimray , Chair Karin Kuropas , Vice-Chair Colleen Sharpe , Board Member (through December 2021) Christopher Joyner , Board Member Michael Siderio , Board Member Michael Hickey , Board Member Sheila Bishop , Board Member Thomas Ballman , Board Member

Stacey Mortiz Timothy Shail Zee Khan Town Departments Administration Communications Downtown Development Economic Development Finance Fire Human Resources Inspections Information Technology Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Police Public Works Wake Forest Power Wake Forest Renaissance Centre

Project Consultant

We are an innovation-based urban planning and design firm. We pride ourselves on creativity, collaboration, and delivery of quality. Our team approach is built on strong relationships, the exchange of ideas, and a commitment to the integration of technology. Our priorities are to do good, have fun, work hard, and provide responsive, visionary, and viable solutions to our clients and partners.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 2 3

4

Plan Context

2

Additional Considerations

62

What is the Community Plan?

3 4 6 7 8

Housing Affordability Residential Character

63 64 65 66 67 68 68 69 70 70 71 72 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 86 88 89

Regional Setting

History

Senior Housing

Planning Area Existing Land Use Current Zoning Overlay Districts

Commercial Development

Minority & Women-Owned Businesses

10 12 14 22 24

Setbacks

Parking Lots

Demographic Snapshot Past Plans & Studies Community Outreach

Screening & Buffering Community Character Historic Preservation Community Facilities Utility Lines

Public Transit

Vision & Goals Vision Statement

28

S-Line

Capital Boulevard Street Connectivity

29 30

Goals

Sidewalks & Multi-Use Paths Bikeways, Greenways & Trails Local Food Systems Conservation Design Green Space Preservation

Tree Canopy

Sustainable Development

Tourism Gateways

Downtown Wake Forest

5

Land Use & Development Why is a Land Use Plan Important?

32

Implementation

90

33 33 34 35 36 48 50 54 58

Next Steps Partners Action Matrix

91 92 93

Sustainable Growth Planning Jurisdiction Growth Strategy

Land Use Plan

TOD & ACtivity Center Areas Residential Areas Plan

Commercial & Industrial Areas Plan

Downtown Area Plan

1 PLAN CONTEXT

The Town of Wake Forest is a fast-growing community positioned just north of Raleigh and northeast of North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. Incorporated in 1909, the Town grew as a community of rich heritage, small-town character, home to a vibrant and historic Downtown, festivals and events, and scenic natural areas cherished by its residents. Over the past two decades, the Town has experienced unprecedented growth reflective of the surrounding region, prompting new development that has been primarily residential. Today, residents enjoy attractive suburban living with access to nearby urban amenities.

In August 2020, the Town initiated an update to the Wake Forest Community Plan to address Wake Forest’s continual growth and ensure future development supports a thriving community with a high quality of life. The planning process included an extensive analysis of existing conditions and robust community engagement to identify unique issues and opportunities within the Town. Together, these components formed the vision, goals, and recommendations of this Community Plan. The Plan establishes a roadmap for how Wake Forest should develop and grow over the next 10 to 20 years to achieve its vision along with the critical steps necessary to do so.

2

WHAT IS THE COMMUNITY PLAN?

The Community Plan and Future Land Use Map (Community Plan) is Wake Forest’s new comprehensive land use plan that creates a long-term vision for the Town to implement over the next 10 to 20 years. The Community Plan is built off past planning efforts, existing policies that remain relevant, and at its core, community input from a wide-ranging outreach process. It presents a cohesive vision that is representative of Wake Forest’s residents, business community, and community stakeholders. The Community Plan outlines the critical steps essential to ensure future growth and development in the Town aligns with the community’s priorities. The Community Plan is a product of an 21-month planning process that included considerable community engagement. It began in the summer of 2020 and ended spring of 2022. The planning process included the seven steps below:

PROJECT BRANDING To better brand the Community Plan, the logo above was created for the planning process.

1. Project Initiation This step included project kick-o meetings with Town sta , the Board of Commissioners, and Town Department Heads to discuss the overall direction of the Community Plan and any policy issues facing the Town.

3. Existing Conditions This step included data collection from the Town, community service providers, local agencies, and on-the-ground reconnaissance, which provided the foundation for analysis of existing conditions in Wake Forest.

5. Vision & Goals

7. Plan Adoption

This step included a virtual Visioning Workshop where community members worked together to cra‚ a long-term vision for Wake Forest. The results of the workshop provided focus and direction for subsequent planning activities, including the Plan’s vision statement, goals, and key recommendations.

This step included the development of an implementation program utilizing the recommendations completed in Step 6. Upon revisions from Town sta , o icials, and public input, the final Community Plan was presented to the Planning Board and Board of Commissioners for consideration and adoption.

2020

2021

2022

Step #1

Step #2

Step #3

Step #4

Step #5

Step #6

Step #7

2. Outreach & Engagement This step included collecting feedback from members of the community on their recommendations, concerns, and ideas through meetings, workshops, and a variety of online tools. A focus group, interviews, and Community Advisory Panel meetings were conducted to gain a diverse range of input from key community stakeholders.

4. Fiscal Impact Analysis This step included a fiscal impact analysis which involved a review of current costs to estimate future expenditures related to growth in population and employment resulting from future development. A fiscal impact model was developed to help the Town analyze future individual rezoning scenarios.

6. Land Use Plan & Map

This step included the preparation of the Plan document and policies that address land use and growth. It established key considerations for housing, economic development, character, transportation, natural resources, community facilities, and tourism. This step is the core of the Community Plan, reflecting the collective community vision for the Town.

3

TOWN OF WAKE FOREST | COMMUNITY PLAN

157

501

HILLSBOROUGH

REGIONAL SETTING Part of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, Wake Forest is located on the periphery of one of the fastest-growing research and development hubs in the United States. The community is connected to the surrounding region by the major routes US 1, NC Hwy 98, I-540, and US 401, with access to destinations across the world via the Raleigh-Durham International (RDU) Airport located just 17 miles away. According to the Wake County Planning, Development, and Inspections Department, Wake County has grown by 80% over the past 20 years, with a net average increase of 62 residents per day. The County is projected to gain another 250,000 residents over the next decade with a need for an additional 125,000 to 175,000 new housing units over the next 10 to 15 years. As Wake Forest is among the top 10 fastest growing municipalities in North Carolina, it presents considerable potential for future expansion and development.

86

DUKE UNIVERSITY

501

DURHAM

CHAPEL HILL

147

54

40

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK

751

540

64

APEX

RESEARCH TRIANGLE The Research Triangle is the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill metro area in North Carolina that is anchored by three major research universities: Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University. It includes Research Triangle Park (RTP), the largest research park in the country at 7,000 acres, which contains hundreds of companies including science and technology firms, government agencies, academic institutions, start ups, and non-profits. RTP has stimulated major growth in high-tech and research industries, drawing significant employment and business opportunities to the region.

1

RALEIGH-DURHAM-CARY COMBINED STATISTICAL AREA

4

COMMUNITY PLAN | TOWN OF WAKE FOREST

15

BUTNER

56

85

FRANKLINTON

LOUISBURG

96

1

YOUNGSVILLE

401

WAKE FOREST

98

50

96

ROLESVILLE

540

1

64

RDU

MORRISVILLE

440

ZEBULON

264

54

NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY

KNIGHTDALE

WENDELL

RALEIGH

CARY

GARNER

40

401

HOLLY SPRINGS

42

CLAYTON

50

70

42

FUQUAY-VARINA

95

5

TOWN OF WAKE FOREST | COMMUNITY PLAN

The Royall Cotton Mill Building ca. 1910, courtesy of the Wake Forest Historical Museum

HISTORY The Town of Wake Forest began as a rural and forest district in northern Wake County, North Carolina with its earliest surviving building dating back to circa 1800. In 1820, Calvin Jones purchased a 615-acre plantation from Davis Battle, coining the name Wake Forest when he was postmaster of what was known as the “Forest District of Wake.” The North Carolina Baptist Convention purchased his plantation in 1834 to develop the Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute, which would become Wake Forest College in 1838. The area witnessed growth due to the College, the relocation of the railroad depot from Forestville to Wake Forest in 1874, and the establishment of the Royall Cotton Mill in 1899, one of the State’s largest cotton mills and a major local employer. In 1909, the North Carolina General Assembly rechartered the community as the Town of Wake Forest, giving the Town authority to sell bonds to build a generator and electric system. US 1’s relocation west of town in 1952, Wake Forest College’s move to Winston-Salem in 1956, and the closure of the mill in 1976 brought significant changes and economic hardship, but the Town persevered. Beginning in the 1990s and continuing today, Wake Forest has experienced a considerable increase in population together with the surrounding region, prompting new residential and economic growth across the community.

Calvin Jones House ca. 1820

Ailey Young House, construction in the mid-late 1800s

6

COMMUNITY PLAN | TOWN OF WAKE FOREST

YOUNGSVILLE

PLANNING AREA Wake Forest’s planning area includes all properties within the Town’s municipal boundary, Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ), and urban service areas. The ETJ contains properties that are subject to Wake Forest’s development regulations but are currently unincorporated. The Town maintains annexation agreements with the communities of Raleigh, Rolesville, and Youngsville, delineating the extent to which the Town can plan for annexations and utility extensions.

1

O

96

98

98

RALEIGH

Ra i l road P l an n i ng Area

1

Wi th i n Town L im i ts Unincorporated Area Town L im i ts

ROLESVILLE

M i l es

0

0. 5

1

2

NORTH

Map created on 1/1/2022

7

TOWN OF WAKE FOREST | COMMUNITY PLAN

EXISTING LAND USE Wake Forest is a unique place to live and work in the Research Triangle region. Existing land uses provide insight into how the Town has grown and developed over time and inform what type of development will be appropriate in the future. The Town’s existing land use was inventoried based on field reconnaissance and research conducted in October 2020. All parcels within the planning area have been categorized into one of the following 15 land use classifications:

Single-Family Detached Includes single-family homes occupying individual lots. This is the predominant residential development in the Town. The single-family detached land use includes newer planned subdivisions as well as older established neighborhoods. It also includes manufactured homes and mobile home parks, where detached single-family homes are constructed on a permanent chassis. Single-Family Attached Includes single-family attached homes where dwelling units share an exterior wall with at least one adjacent unit. Each dwelling unit has a separate dedicated building entrance. This land use includes townhomes and duplexes. Multifamily Includes structures containing multiple dwelling units stacked vertically and/ or horizontally. Multifamily housing often features shared building entrances, stairways, hallways, and occasionally amenities. This land use includes apartments, condominiums, two-over-twos, congregate care, and assisted living facilities. Mixed Use Includes buildings with two or more distinct uses vertically stacked. Developments usually contain commercial on the ground-floor and residential or office uses above. Mixed Commercial Includes properties with a mix of commercial retail, commercial service, or office uses. This use contains individual free-standing structures with different uses on a single property, such as at the southern corner of S Main Street and Rogers Road, as well as large commercial strip buildings containing multiple tenants with varying uses, such as at Gateway Commons.

Commercial Retail Includes commercial establishments that sell a product, such as grocery stores, gas stations, clothing stores, pharmacies, and home goods stores. Commercial Service Includes commercial establishments that sell a service, such as hair salons, auto repair shops, restaurants, drive-thru dining options, and cafes. Heavy Industrial Includes facilities involved in the processing of chemicals and plastics, refineries, and industrial machinery. These uses are larger in scale and typically have environmental, noise, and visual impacts on adjacent areas. Light Industrial Includes facilities involved in the manufacturing, processing, storage, and distribution of goods and materials. Light industrial uses typically have a minimal impact on surrounding areas and are generally clustered together within established industrial parks. Office Includes offices used for professional services as well as medical office uses. Individual small offices, legal firms, and family physicians are included. Public/Semi-Public Includes local government uses, municipal facilities, Town-owned parking lots, community service providers, schools, nonprofit organizations, and religious institutions. Examples include Town Hall, fire stations, libraries, places of worship, and Wake County Public Schools.

Parks & Open Space Includes designated public park spaces managed by the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Department, as well as private parks and recreational facilities located within traditional subdivision developments. This category also includes preserved natural areas, greenways, active golf courses, detention and retention ponds, and designated open spaces areas within private developments. Agriculture Includes land that is actively being used to produce crops, livestock, and other farming- related activities. Utility Includes utility infrastructure, such as electrical substations, power line rights-of-way, and water treatment facilities. Utility uses are dispersed throughout the Town to support existing development . Redevelopable/Vacant Land This category includes areas that have not been developed for any use and are not designated open space. This includes land that has yet to be cleared for development, as well as land that has been cleared and primed for development, potentially with connections to one or multiple utilities, including water, sewer, electric, gas, and telecommunications. This category also includes land that contains vacated existing structures that can be reasonably considered available for redevelopment.

8

COMMUNITY PLAN | TOWN OF WAKE FOREST

YOUNGSVILLE

1

V

96

98

98

RALEIGH

ROLESVILLE

1

EXISTING LAND USE

Single-Family Detached Single-Family Attached Multifamily M i xed Use M i xed Commercial Commercial Reta i l Commercial Servi ce

Offi ce Public-/Semi-Public Parks & Open Space Agricu ltu re U ti l i ty Redevelopable/Vacant Land P l an n i ng Area Ra i l road

RD

M i l es

Heavy Industrial L i gh t Industrial

Map Created On 1/1/2022 0 1 0. 5

2

NORTH

9

TOWN OF WAKE FOREST | COMMUNITY PLAN

CURRENT ZONING Development controls such as the Town’s municipal zoning code and sign ordinance provide the legal framework to regulate the built environment. Wake Forest’s zoning regulations are outlined in its Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), which dictates land use and guides development within the Town. Note: The following section and Current Zoning Map only identify zoning districts within the Town’s existing Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). Each property within the Town’s jurisdiction is designated as one of the following 16 zoning districts:

Open Space (OS) This district is intended to preserve and protect environmentally sensitive lands, such as floodways or wetlands, and properties that are already under public ownership and/or otherwise restricted for use for passive or active recreational use. Rural Holding District (RD) This district includes areas where the principal uses of the land are restricted due to lack of available utilities, unsuitable soil types, or steep slopes. General Residential (GR3, GR5, GR10) These districts are established to maintain previously developed suburban residential subdivisions for their existing or approved low- to medium-density single-family dwellings and related recreational, religious, and educational facilities. Intended to act as a transitional zoning district between rural development in the County and the urban development of the Town, these districts discourage any use which would be detrimental to the predominately residential nature of the areas in the district. Urban Residential (UR) This district is intended to establish residential districts in which a variety of housing types are permitted. Permitted housing in this district includes single-family and duplex residences, small apartment buildings, and townhouses. Residential Mixed Use (RMX) This district is intended to provide a mix of small residences and multifamily structures in relatively high density neighborhoods within walking or biking distance from mixed use centers. This district also allows limited commercial uses in pedestrian-scaled, residential-style structures.

Neighborhood Mixed Use (NMX) This district is intended to create pedestrian- scaled, mixed use areas that cater to the everyday needs of nearby neighborhoods, stressing accessibility by automobiles, bicycles, and pedestrians. Urban Mixed Use (UMX) This district is intended to promote an active, pedestrian-friendly area of community-scale commercial, residential, office, and civic uses in both vertically mixed use, as well as free-standing buildings. This district encourages retail at street level, with residential uses in rear or upper stories. Renaissance Area Historic Core (RA-HC) This district is intended to support the sensitive continuation of the “Main Street” environment of S White Street and its secondary streets. The ground floor of buildings on S White Street should feature active storefronts, such as retail or restaurants, with office and residential located on second stories. Side streets east of White Street may have a greater variety of ground-floor uses . Neighborhood Business (NB) This district is intended to provide areas for lower intensity retail trade and services such as cafes, childcare facilities, and small scale grocery stores that reduce trips to major commercial areas for residents. Such districts are generally located near residential areas and cater to the everyday needs of nearby residential neighborhoods, stressing accessibility by automobiles, bicycles, and pedestrians. Highway Business (HB) This district supports retail, service, and office uses. It is intended to accommodate the predominately auto-oriented pattern of existing development while encouraging the creation of new pedestrian-friendly, mixed use areas that avoid strip commercial development and establish more resilient land development patterns. This district is generally located on major thoroughfares in Town.

Light Industrial (LI) This district is intended to accommodate externally benign industrial and office uses that pose minimal nuisance to adjacent residential or mixed use areas. Heavy Industrial (HI) This district is intended to accommodate those industrial, manufacturing, or large-scale utility operations that are known to pose levels of noise, vibration, odor, or truck traffic that are considered nuisances to surrounding development. Institutional Campus Development (ICD) This district is intended to allow for the continued and future use, expansion, and new development of academic and religious campuses and of governmental and health facilities, where the campus or facility has a total development size greater than 10 acres. The goal is to promote the many varied uses associated with such institutions while maintaining the overall design integrity of the campus setting and minimizing any adverse impacts on the neighboring residential and historic areas. In the attempt to meet this goal numerous requirements are included, such as buffers, landscaping, outdoor lighting, parking, signage, building height, and setbacks. Planned Unit Development (PUD) This district is intended to promote a compatible mix of uses to instigate an integrated and sustainable development consistent with the Town’s unique character. This district encourages design flexibility; multi-modal connectivity between uses; sensitivity to natural resources and environmental features; and the efficient provisions of infrastructure, utilities, and adequate public facilities.

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COMMUNITY PLAN | TOWN OF WAKE FOREST

YOUNGSVILLE

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V

96

98

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RALEIGH

ROLESVILLE

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CURRENT ZONING

U rban Servi ce Area Ra i l road

Neighborhood M i xed-Use U rban M i xed-Use Renaissance Area H i stor i c Core Neighborhood Bu si ness H i ghway Bu si ness L i gh t Industrial Heavy Industrial Institutional Campu s Development P l an ned Un i t Development

RD

Town L im i ts Open Space

Ru ra l Hol d i ng D i str i ct Genera l Residential 3 Genera l Residential 5 Genera l Residential 10 U rban Residential Residential M i xed-Use

M i l es

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Map Created On 1/1/2022

11

TOWN OF WAKE FOREST | COMMUNITY PLAN

OVERLAY DISTRICTS An overlay district is a zoning tool that applies an additional set of regulations on top of an underlying zoning district(s) to establish stricter standards for development. The following overlay districts aim to manage certain environmentally sensitive or visually important areas, establishing design, use, or other standards in addition to the requirements of the underlying base district(s).

Historic District & Landmarks Overlay (HL-O) This district is intended to provide additional protections and controls to preserve the special character of properties and structures located within locally designated Historic Districts as well as to individual Historic Landmarks. Historic Districts include: | Wake Forest Local Historic District and Local Historic Landmarks | Wake Forest National Register Historic District | Glen Royall Mill Village | Downtown Wake Forest National Register Historic District For more information on National Register Historic Districts, see page 71. Glen Royall Mill Village Character Preservation Overlay (MVCP-O) This district is intended to preserve and protect the specific historic and unique neighborhood character found within the Glen Royall Mill Village National Register Historic District.

Special Highway Overlay (SH1-O and SH2-O)

Watershed Protection Overlays These districts are intended to preserve water quality in the Town’s water supply watersheds to provide safe drinking water. They establish regulations that ensure the availability of public water supplies at an acceptable level of water quality for present and future residents, and include the following overlays: | Falls Lake Watershed Protection Overlay (Falls Lake-Critical Area & Falls Lake- Watershed Management Area) | Richland Creek Watershed Protection Overlay (Richland Creek-Critical Area & Richland Creek-Watershed Management Area) | Smith Creek Watershed Protection Overlay (Smith Creek-Critical Area & Smith Creek Watershed Management Area) | Little River Watershed Protection Overlay (Little River-Watershed Management Area)

This district is intended to protect and preserve the natural scenic beauty along major access corridors located in the Town’s zoning jurisdiction. It is also intended to protect the carrying capacity of these major thoroughfares by reducing the hazards arising from unnecessary points of ingress and egress and cluttered roadside development. The overlay district is also designed to reduce the costs of future highway expansions by protecting the associated highway corridors at the time of development. Required Shopfront (SF) This district is intended to implement vibrant, pedestrian-friendly areas in Form-Based Districts, or districts in which development is regulated primarily based on physical form rather than land use. It ensures that the ground floors of buildings in designated blocks are designed using either shopfront and awning, gallery, or arcade private frontage. Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) This district is intended to allow the development of fully integrated, mixed use, pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods to minimize traffic congestion, suburban sprawl, infrastructure costs and environmental degradation. This district is a planned development district as it is created through the combination of other form-based districts as subdistricts under the umbrella of the TND.

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COMMUNITY PLAN | TOWN OF WAKE FOREST

YOUNGSVILLE

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V

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RALEIGH

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ROLESVILLE

OVERLAY DISTRICTS

P l an n i ng Jurisdiction Town L im i ts Ra i l road Traditional N eighborhood Development Dr Ca l vi n Jones H i ghway Over l ay US 1 Speci a l H i ghway Over l ay Shop Fron t Over l ay D i str i ct

R i ch l and Creek Cr i ti ca l Area D i str i ct Fa l l s Lake Watershed Management Area D i str i ct Historic District & Landmarks Overlays Gl en Roya l l M i l l Vi l l age Character Preservation Over l ay Gl en Roya l l M i l l Vi l l age Nati on a l Regi ster H i stor i c D i str i ct Wake Forest Nati on a l Regi ster H i stor i c D i str i ct Wake Forest Loca l H i stor i c D i str i ct Down town Nati on a l Regi ster H i stor i c D i str i ct

I LLS R

Watershed Protection Overlays R i ch l and Creek Watershed Management Area D i str i ct

M i l es

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0. 5

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Sm i th Creek Cr i ti ca l Area D i str i ct

13

TOWN OF WAKE FOREST | COMMUNITY PLAN

725% Increase in population between 1990 and 2020

DEMOGRAPHIC SNAPSHOT The Demographic Snapshot assesses the existing demographic characteristics of the Town of Wake Forest. The snapshot helped guide the planning process to ensure the Community Plan reflects accurate demographic data and addresses existing trends, issues, and opportunities. POPULATION Wake Forest has experienced significant growth since the 1990s, with its population increasing by over seven times its size. The current population of the Town of Wake Forest is 47,601 people. Between 1990 and 2020, the Town experienced tremendous growth by 41,832 new residents, a 725% population change. This is more than four times greater than Wake County’s population growth and almost 13 times greater than North Carolina’s growth within the same period. The Town’s significant population increase is reflective of the major growth occurring in municipalities across the Research Triangle. The Town’s growth is most likely associated with the availability and lower cost of land and housing compared to the City of Raleigh. Over the next two decades, Wake Forest’s population is projected to increase by 150% to 118,912 people in 2040. This rate could increase, however, with the construction of the proposed S-Line stations that would improve transit access to and from the Town (see page 75 for more information).

Source: U.S. Census; American Community Survey; Houseal Lavigne Associates

Population Change (1990-2020)

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 800 700

725%

167%

57%

Wake Forest

Wake County (including Wake Forest)

North Carolina (including Wake Forest)

Place

Population Projection Wake Forest (1990-2040)

140,000

118,912

120,000

100,000

75,235

80,000

60,000

47,601

30,117

40,000

12,588

20,000

5,769

0

1990

2000

2010

2020

2030

2040

Year

14

COMMUNITY PLAN | TOWN OF WAKE FOREST

AGE Wake Forest’s senior population is growing in line with county, state, and national trends. The Wake Forest community is growing older. Based on U.S. Census Bureau data, the Town experienced a substantial 71% increase in seniors (people aged 65 years and older) over the past decade, and a 52% increase in the 45 to 65 age group. Wake County and North Carolina both show a similar pattern, though less significant. All three geographies align with national trends driven by the large, aging baby boomer generation, underscoring the growing need for senior housing, amenities, and services.

Age Distribution (2018)

Wake Forest

Wake County

Median Age 39 North Carolina

Median Age 36

Median Age 36

0-5 (6%) 5-19 (19%) 20-24 (7%) 25-44 (26%) 45-64 (26%) 65+ (16%)

0-5 (7%) 5-19 (26%) 20-24 (5%) 25-44 (27%) 45-64 (24%) 65+ (11%)

0-5 (6%) 5-19 (21%) 20-24 (6%) 25-44 (30%) 45-64 (26%) 65+ (11%)

Age Distribution Change (2010-2018)

80%

71%

60%

52%

49%

46%

38%

40%

27%

22%

13%

20%

13%

11%

7%

7%

7%

6%

2%

1%

3%

0%

-5%

-20%

0-5

5 - 19

20-24

25-44

45-64

65+

Age

Wake Forest

Wake County

North Carolina

15

TOWN OF WAKE FOREST | COMMUNITY PLAN

INCOME Like Wake County and North Carolina, Wake Forest’s

Change in Household Income Percent Composition (2010-2018)

higher-income households have grown over the last eight years while lower-income households have decreased. Wake Forest’s largest household income group is the $150,000 and over group, followed by the $100,000 to $149,000 group. Wake Forest, Wake County, and North Carolina each show similar trends, highlighting a higher-income population that is growing, and simultaneously, a shrinking lower-income population. This could indicate an increase in higher paying jobs in the area for existing workers and/ or new residents moving in with higher incomes.

≥$150,000

$100,000-$149,999

$75,000-$99,999

$50,000-$74,999

$35,000 - $49,999

$25,000-$34,999

≤$24,999

-8% -5% -3% 0.0% 3% 5% 8% 10% Percent Change Wake Forest Wake County North Carolina

Household Income Wake Forest (2018)

25%

22% 22%

20%

17%

14%

15%

10%

10%

10%

5%

5%

0%

Income

16

COMMUNITY PLAN | TOWN OF WAKE FOREST

RACE & ETHNICITY Wake Forest is less diverse than Wake County and North Carolina. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, most of Wake Forest identifies as White (77%) and the second largest racial group is Black or African American (15%). The Town is less diverse than Wake County (66% White and 20% Black or African American) and North Carolina (69% White and 22% Black or African American). Wake Forest also has a lower proportion of people who identify as Hispanic, an ethnicity which can be made up of any race, at 6% compared to Wake County at 10% and North Carolina at 9%. The Hispanic population has increased as a percentage of the total in Wake Forest, albeit at a minimal rate.

Race Distribution

(2018)

Wake Forest

Wake County

North Carolina

White (77%) Black or African American (15%) Asian (2%) Some Other Race (2%) Two+ Races (5%)

White (66%) Black or African American (20%) Asian (7%) Some Other Race (4%) Two+ Races (3%)

White (69%) Black or African American (22%) Asian (3%) Some Other Race (25%) Two+ Races (3%)

Change in Hispanic Population Wake Forest (2000-2018)

0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7%

6%

6 %

2%

2000

2010 Year

2018

17

TOWN OF WAKE FOREST | COMMUNITY PLAN

EMPLOYMENT Wake Forest’s corporate community and expanding business environment has created a variety of job opportunities over the past decade. The Town has experienced a 66% increase in total primary jobs between 2013 and 2017, reflecting the fast-paced economic development occurring throughout the Triangle Region. The Town’s largest industry is Retail Trade, which makes up 23% of its employment base, followed by Accommodation and Food Services (18%) and Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (11%). While Retail Trade currently provides the most jobs within the Town, Accommodation and Food Services experienced the largest growth between 2013 and 2017 (993 new jobs), followed again by Retail Trade (968 new jobs) and Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (422 new jobs). Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services and Healthcare and Social Assistance fall within the Town’s, County’s, and State’s top five growing industries. This corresponds with the significant growth in the research, technology, and medical-related businesses in the larger region, including in Research Triangle Park (RTP).

Job Growth (2013-2017)

Wake Forest

Real Estate and Rental and Leasing Healthcare & Social Assistance Professional, Scientific & Tech Services Retail Trade Accommodation and Food Services

0 200 400 600 800 1,000 1,200 Number of New Jobs

Wake County

Healthcare & Social Assistance Professional, Scientific & Tech Services Public Administration

Construction

Educational Services

0

5,000

10,000

15,000

Number of New Jobs

North Carolina

Construction Accommodation and Food Services

Retail Trade

Professional, Scientific & Tech Services

Healthcare & Social Assistance

0

20,000

40,000

60,000

Number of New Jobs

Change in Total Primary Jobs Wake Forest (2007-2017)

0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0%

66 %

39%

11%

Wake Forest

Wake County

North Carolina

Place

18

COMMUNITY PLAN | TOWN OF WAKE FOREST

EDUCATION Wake Forest’s population is slightly more educated than the State’s but trails the County’s. Between North Carolina, Wake County, and Wake Forest, the County has the highest educational attainment levels, though there is not a substantial disparity in between the three geographies. This is likely due to Raleigh’s urban nature and universities located in the County that provide greater access to higher education institutions. The Town has the second highest rate of graduate and professional degrees (14%) and second lowest rate of residents aged 25 or older without a high school diploma (10%).

Educational Attainment (2018)

Wake Forest

Graduate or Professional (14%) Associate or Bachelor’s (24%) Some College, No Degree (23%) High School and Equivalent (30%) No High School Diploma (10%)

Wake County

Graduate or Professional (16%) Associate or Bachelor’s (29%) Some College, No Degree (23%) High School and Equivalent (24%) No High School Diploma (9%)

North Carolina

Graduate or Professional (10%) Associate or Bachelor’s (24%) Some College, No Degree (21%) High School and Equivalent (31%) No High School Diploma (14%)

19

TOWN OF WAKE FOREST | COMMUNITY PLAN

HOUSING TYPE & TENURE Wake Forest’s housing stock is mostly owner-occupied single-family homes. Single-family homes are the most common housing type in the Town at 69%, which is a greater proportion than the County (65%), but less than the State (78%). Single-family attached and multifamily housing make lower proportions at 16% and 15%, respectively. Homeownership rates among the housing types in Wake Forest are 90% for single-family detached, 54% for single-family attached, and 1% for multifamily. Since most of the Town’s single-family housing is owner-occupied, multifamily housing will continue to be a critical rental option.

Housing by Type (2018)

100%

78%

80%

69%

65%

60%

40%

24%

16%

15%

15%

20%

12%

6%

0%

Wake Forest

Wake County

North Carolina

Place Single-Family Detached Single-Family Attached Multifamily

Housing by Type & Tenure Wake Forest (2018)

99%

100%

90%

80%

54%

60%

46%

40%

20%

10%

1%

0%

Single Family Detached

Single Family Attached

Multifamily

Housing Type Owner-Occupied Renter-Occupied

Housing Age

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%

55%

39%

36%

34%

27%

24%

23%

15%

11%

8%

5%

5%

5%

4%

3%

3%

2%

2%

Wake Forest

Wake County

North Carolina

Place

1939 or earlier

1940-1959 2000-2013

1960-1979

1980-1999

2014 or later

20

COMMUNITY PLAN | TOWN OF WAKE FOREST

HOUSING AGE & VALUE Most of Wake Forest’s housing was built in the last 20 years and there is a lack of new middle to lower income housing. The majority of homes in Wake Forest were built between 1980 and 2013 (82%). The Town’s rate of new housing construction was particularly high between 2010 and 2013 (55% of the housing stock)—more than double the County’s. Wake Forest’s homes are mostly valued between $200,000 and $499,999. Less than 1% of homes are valued at over $1,000,000, and only about 2% of homes are valued under $50,000, which shows the lack of housing on the extreme ends of the price spectrum. From 2010 to 2018, homes valued at $300,000 to $499,999 increased the most at 1,700 new units, followed by the $200,000 to $299,000 range with 1,113 new units. Homes valued between $50,000 and $150,000 experienced a decline or a small increase, highlighting the lower number of new housing options for middle to lower income residents.

Housing Value Wake Forest (2018)

10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45%

39%

32%

13%

7%

6%

0% 5%

2%

0%

Housing Value

Change in Housing Units by Value Wake Forest (2010-2018)

2,000

1,700

1,500

1,113

1,000

500

244

219

109

0

-31

-345

-500

Housing Value

21

TOWN OF WAKE FOREST | COMMUNITY PLAN

PAST PLANS & STUDIES It is important that the Community Plan respects relevant past planning efforts that have shaped the Town into what it is today. The review of the Town’s past plans and studies ensures existing community policies and goals are carried forward within the Plan where relevant. The following section contains an overview of some of the Town’s local past plans and studies. The overview is not a comprehensive list of the Town’s past plans and studies as there may be other important plans relevant to land use planning.

Community Plan (2009)

Comprehensive Transportation Plan (2019) The 2019 Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP) is a long-range plan that provides recommendations to address the Town’s multimodal transportation needs for the next 25 to 30 years. This includes improvements to highways and streets, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and transit that will steer the Town towards providing a safe, efficient, flexible, innovative, and inclusive transportation system with a multitude of options for residents and visitors. Recommendations within the Plan include specific locations for new multi-use paths, bicycle lanes and sharrows, rail service, and a “reverse route” of the existing Wake Forest Loop bus service. This Community Plan takes into consideration recommendations of the CTP where applicable to help guide land use and development that is supportive of the Town’s goals for improved multimodal accessibility.

Renaissance Plan (2017)

The 2009 Community Plan establishes direction for community planning and growth management in Wake Forest for the following 10 to 15 years. The Plan addresses topics like residential, commercial, and industrial development; parks, open space, and greenways; transportation; quality of life; and Town appearance. The Plan’s goals include maintaining the community’s small-town character, revitalizing the Downtown, improving its multimodal transportation system, and enhancing access to parks and recreation. The Plan also addresses strategies for supporting affordable and quality residential neighborhoods, balanced and compatible commercial development, and local businesses and employment opportunities. Further, sustainable growth is an important component of the Town’s vision in the 2009 Community Plan, with an emphasis on discouraging leapfrog development patterns, single purpose subdivisions, and neighborhoods isolated from services and jobs. A Growth Strategy Map is included, which identifies future growth areas to better plan for the provision of municipal services, preservation of open space, and the density and character of new development. This new Community Plan will serve as an official update to the 2009 Plan.

The 2017 Renaissance Plan establishes recommendations for the revitalization of Wake Forest’s historic Downtown. The Plan aims to create a vibrant core for the community that provides a place to live, work, and play for both locals and visitors. It also identifies key new development and redevelopment opportunities for mixed use, housing, retail, office, and dining. Mobility is a major theme carried throughout the Plan, with recommendations for enhancing the pedestrian environment, bikeability, and access to transit from within the Downtown. Further, the Plan sets the framework for urban design enhancements that promote a high quality of life, such as appropriate building height standards, continuous frontages, spatial enclosure, and gateway improvements. This Community Plan builds on the Renaissance Plan, incorporating applicable recommendations while re-examining the future land uses in the Downtown (see the Downtown Area Plan on page 58).

22

COMMUNITY PLAN | TOWN OF WAKE FOREST

Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Master Plan (2015) The 2015 Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Master Plan guides the Town in meeting the needs of current and future residents by enhancing and expanding on the community’s unique parks, recreation, and cultural assets. The Plan includes a facility inventory, GRASP (Geo-Referenced Amenities Standards Process) Level of Service Analysis, needs assessment, and operational and marketing analysis, that inform recommendations on how to enhance existing facilities while pursuing opportunities for new facilities and improvements. Issues identified include the need for better circulation systems within parks, increased connectivity to the trail system, enhanced open space integration into parks, and better provision of park facilities west of Capital Boulevard and south of Dr. Calvin Jones Highway (Hwy 98). This Community Plan supports the Master Plan and provides high-level recommendations for expanded access to parks, recreation, and cultural resources.

Historic Preservation Plan (2012) The 2012 Wake Forest Historic Preservation Plan outlines the Town’s current preservation funding and oversight mechanisms, historic preservation-related activities and projects, and lists of the Town’s historic districts and landmarks. The plan also provides a set of policies that provide the framework for the Town’s approach to historic preservation. A summary of a community workshop that was hosted by the Wake Forest Historic Preservation Commission is included in the appendix. The Community Plan promotes coordination with the Historic Preservation Plan and encourages new development and redevelopment within historically significant areas to complement the existing historic character.

Northeast Community Plan (2021) The Northeast Community Plan recommends policies and actions to address the current and future needs of the Northeast Community in Wake Forest. The Plan aims to help preserve the history, diversity, and affordability of the area while addressing issues of growth, economic health, public infrastructure, and preservation. The update to the Northeast Neighborhood Plan was underway during the development of the updated Community Plan, and the two project teams met multiple times throughout the planning process to ensure alignment of the Plans. While the Community Plan does not provide recommendations for the Northeast Community Plan, it ensures surrounding uses are supportive of the neighborhood’s vision and goals.

23

TOWN OF WAKE FOREST | COMMUNITY PLAN

COMMUNITY OUTREACH Community engagement was an essential component of developing the new Community Plan, supporting a bottom-up approach to the development of the Town’s vision, goals, and objectives. Outreach gave residents, local business community, Town staff, and community stakeholders a chance to be heard and an opportunity to take part in shaping the future of the Town. Outreach events were promoted through the project page on the Town’s website. Online surveys and an online mapping tool were available throughout the community outreach phase of the planning process.

Community Advisory Panel A Community Advisory Panel was formed to serve as a sounding board for the Community Plan and Future Land Use Map. The Panel consisted of 12 community stakeholders, most of which were residents, with a diverse range of local expertise regarding Wake Forest. The group met four times to provide valuable feedback to Town Staff and the Board of Commissioners during the planning process on key issues, overall policy direction, Plan content, and recommendations as they were developed. Board of Commissioners & Planning Board Work Sessions Four Work Sessions were conducted with the Board of Commissioners and Planning Board to discuss the overall direction and policy issues facing the community. The Work Sessions gathered ideas and feedback from Town officials to ensure that the Plan accurately captures the shared sentiments of the leaders of the community. Business Focus Group On October 7, 2020, the Town of Wake Forest and the project consultant team hosted a virtual Business Focus Group with seven participants targeted specifically to property owners, business owners, and developers. The purpose of the workshop was to gain feedback from business community members who have a unique insight on important factors facing the Town and its business climate. Key Person Interviews Key person interviews were conducted in October 2020 with 21 people to gain first-hand insight into the community from a diverse array of specialized perspectives. The project team worked with Town staff to identify which individuals and groups to be interviewed. Interviewees included a variety of stakeholders, such as representatives of the development community, business owners and operators, adjacent communities, and other institutional and civic groups.

POST CARDS Post cards were mailed to all addresses (residential and commercial) within the Town limits, ETJ, urban service areas, and areas within annexation agreement boundaries. The post cards informed community members about the Community Plan and promoted the Community Survey, Visioning Workshops, and Open House.

24

COMMUNITY PLAN | TOWN OF WAKE FOREST

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