Eastern Wake: Opinion

August 1, 2014

Letter: Board should vote for town growth

We lost the solar farm. Got it rezoned by Wake County, but neighbors in the Zebulon area didn’t want it beside the trailer park, next door or across the road. They held it up in court until Mr. Osteen moved another solar farm to Bunn where people wanted more tax base for Franklin County. He said life was too short to try to make that investment where he wasn’t appreciated. Good for us, as land has appraised for double the selling price for the solar farm and we still own it.

We lost the solar farm. Got it rezoned by Wake County, but neighbors in the Zebulon area didn’t want it beside the trailer park, next door or across the road. They held it up in court until Mr. Osteen moved another solar farm to Bunn where people wanted more tax base for Franklin County. He said life was too short to try to make that investment where he wasn’t appreciated. Good for us, as land has appraised for double the selling price for the solar farm and we still own it.

Well, now a new issue: trying to get a small hotel in Zebulon near Sheetz. Guess what? The traffic late evening and early will be a real problem according to the planning board in Zebulon and neighbors in townhomes. I got a call from a lady saying yes, there is a need for your hotel, but she’d rather have a high end hotel like Marriott or Hampton Inn with a fitness center, conference room and food service. I told her that all the folks in Wakefield Meadows and other developments of ours on Pearces Road want a Harris Teeter and Whole Foods too, but we had doors slammed in our faces on both accounts, saying Zebulon wasn’t there yet.

The need for baby steps to growth here must be realized: small hotel full, steakhouse busy, houses here selling and local businesses making ends meet. We need Zebulon folks to support local instead of going to other towns. When this happens then the big hotels and high end grocery stores will be here and this area will be the next Wake Forest. Our downtown needs revitalization really badly. Everywhere is growing except our town, and it is dying a slow and painful death. No traffic, no growth, folks. This hotel has already been approached by our neighboring towns. We will put something on Pearces Road, it’s rezoned Heavy Business and next time a special use permit will not be required because it already has the proper zoning.

Let’s hope the Zebulon Board of Commissioners votes Aug. 4 for Zebulon growth. It will have Zebulon heading in the right direction.

Betty Ray

Zebulon

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