Wake County Commissioners Betty Lou Ward and John Burns expressed an appropriate amount of skepticism as the board of directors considered a change to the land use plan that governs development in the rural area between Garner and Fuquay-Varina.
The 300-lot subdivision would sit on a relatively small portion of a 116-acre tract of land with much of the remainder set aside for open-air spray fields that will be used to get rid of the waste from the cluster of new homes.
Burns and Ward questioned whether it was wise to make it possible for a developer to build that many homes on land that would not be served by public water and sewer. Ward suggested turning to Johnston County, but our neighbors to the east have already said they weren’t willing to sell water across the county line.
One can debate the merits of that decision, but it is Johnston County’s decision to make.
Planners told Wake County Commissioners that the proposed development is a response to development pressures and it is almost surely one of the first known projects that intends to benefit from its proximity to N.C. 540, which will be under construction in the not-too-distant future.
Developers say they hope one day to have better access to public water and sewer and when that happens, they will be willing to join the system and turn the remaining land into more houses.
But there is no timetable for that to happen and in a quickly-urbanizing place like Wake County, we aren’t sure open space set aside for spray fields instead of recreation is really the highest and best use of land in Wake County, even if developers hope that is only the case temporarily.