Housing, Bypass Fuel Rolesville’s Growth

Triple-Digit Growth, Building Permits Up

By Jeanne E. Fredriksen

“For the last five or six years, Rolesville has been one of the top two or three fastest growing towns in North Carolina,” Town Manager Bryan Hicks said.

Caveat: That means percentage-wise rather than in total number of people. The number of people moving into Rolesville in a year may be the same as the number of people moving into Raleigh in a day, but when looking at growth on a percentage basis, Hicks said, “Rolesville is growing by leaps and bounds.”

In the first decade of this century, Rolesville experienced an increase in growth that topped 300 percent. The majority of that growth has been residential, which in turn fosters commercial growth. The Town of Rolesville issued 321 building permits in the last fiscal year, which is huge when compared to the pre-recession high of 227.

“Most of the recent growth can be attributed to Heritage East, Drayton Reserve, and the new apartments,” Hicks explained, “so there’s a lot of interest in Rolesville.”

An additional indicator is the recognition of the need for a senior complex. Right now, a senior housing project – which may be a 40- to 60-unit building – is in the preliminary talk stage. Nothing has been submitted or shown to the town’s Planning Board other than interest by one group of developers. A possible location for such a complex could be near the newly completed apartments behind the post office. When and if the project appears on the Planning Board’s agenda, it will take its first steps toward realization.

Even more growth is expected to occur along the U.S. 401 Bypass when completed. The need for the Bypass was first brought to the attention of the N.C. Department of Transportation in 1985 when traffic issues began to surface in town. In 2004, NCDOT approved a route, and that route should be ready for use in September.

The September opening date does not mean full completion of the project; however, people will be able to drive on it while the construction crews finish off-pavement projects. Full completion of the Bypass should be, according to Hicks, at the end of 2015 or early 2016. After a “warranty” period, NCDOT will return with a punch list to put the final touches on it.

“The Bypass is going to open up a whole commercial area for Rolesville,” Hicks said. “We envision commercial growth all along this Bypass, which will be the commercial-economic engine for town. Rolesville will end up developing on both sides of the Bypass.”

To accommodate this continuous growth, Rolesville has applied for and received grants to help defray costs of projects around town. In 2013, the Planning Department secured a bicycle plan grant. According to the Town’s website, this grant will “help Rolesville improve its cycling environment in terms of safety and the encouragement of more cycling.”

Another grant allows the town to install a sidewalk on the northbound travel side of East Young Street between New Bethel Baptist and Rolesville Baptist churches. This will include the installation of the sidewalk, curbs, gutters and crosswalks that will connect residents along that route to the downtown area. It is hoped that the project will begin as early as this fall or as late as next spring.

“I applaud our employees for working to get those grants for the town and reduce the cost of improvements for the taxpayers,” Hicks said. “Grants are getting harder to get. It’s a real challenge.

“Our goal is to meet the needs of the community, and do it efficiently and effectively,” Hicks continued. “I’m very careful with how we spend taxpayers’ money, and I want to make sure that what they see is that we pinched every penny and did the best we could.”

For details and updates on the U.S. 401 Bypass, go to http://rolesvillenc.gov/town-departments/planning/401-bypass/.