Fastest-growing city in North Carolina gears up to triple its population by 2045

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LELAND, NC (WWAY) – Leland is one of North Carolina’s fastest growing cities, nearly doubling its population since 2010, potentially tripling it by 2045. But is it ready to welcome that many people? and the effects that could result from it?

According to the ongoing Leland 2045 plan, more than 6,700 new homes will need to be built by 2045 to accommodate Leland’s growth. And that’s not all they do.

The Town of Leland is looking to become the Cape Fear version of a Savannah, Georgia or Charleston, South Carolina, and they need your input to shape how that will happen.

“That’s what makes this plan really cool,” said planner Ashli ​​Barefoot, “can we look at all of these things and figure out which direction the public wants us to go? “

And since the opening of the public comments, residents like Nicole Evans have expressed their opinion on what they would like to see added.

“We need a Lowes,” Evans said. “Like a Lowes home improvement. We’re still doing home projects and going all the way to Wilmington because that’s a problem. I think a movie theater would be really nice to have here. certainly times when, if it was more convenient, we’d probably just go see a movie. “

Barefoot couldn’t say exactly which companies will be coming to the area, but she said one of their goals will be to fill Leland’s Innovation Park and Gateway District, Leland’s future downtown area.

“We focus on high-tech jobs and high-paying jobs,” she said, “but we also want to continue to see the service industry (grow) because we know it’s what the public also wants to see. “

Problems with circulation are often accompanied by rapid growth. That’s why Barefoot said the Leland 2045 plan emphasizes a pedestrianized city and interconnectivity, which means more connected side roads and sidewalks.

Barefoot explained, “The more opportunities people have to get from point A to point B, the less traffic we take on existing roads. “

Another goal of the project: to protect existing parks and hopefully add more green space throughout Leland.

“We want to provide more opportunities for people to be healthy, to go out and interact with each other, and just provide opportunities for recreation.”

Leland continues to accept public comment until October 15. City council will vote on the Leland 2045 plan in November.

In response to the Leland 2045 plan, Mayor Brenda Bozeman responded in part, “New residents bring new perspectives and can help diversify the demographics of our population, which is beneficial for everyone. We are excited about the opportunities our growth has provided us with and look forward to serving existing and new Leland residents.

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