by Julie Tisdale
City & County Policy Analyst
I love it when I find allies in unexpected places.
Last week, Indy Week ran an article about whether Wake County should spend $20 million to buy a golf course in Fuquay-Varina and turn it into a public park. This isn’t a new story. Other local news outlets have covered it. And it’s been going on for a while.
The short version is that, 20 years ago, the golf course opened and houses were built around it. Understandably, the homeowners who bought those homes did so, in part, because of the value attached to being near a golf course. It’s not really any surprise, then, that when the golf course closed a couple years ago, the homeowners were upset.
First there was a legal battle to keep the course open, which failed. Then the local residents decided a county park would be a good Plan B for the land. It’s on the County Commissioners’ agenda for August 14.
And this is where my unexpected ally comes in. Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes isn’t someone with whom I often see eye-to-eye. But on this issue, she’s spot on. Indy Week quotes her as saying,
We just told the school system that we have no additional funds available to them. We’re also in an affordable housing crisis. I would have to believe that Wake County citizens would put this park, in a middle-class community’s backyard, pretty far down the totem pole.
…Another concern I have is that the town of Fuquay-Varina had expressed no interest in pursuing this property themselves, or doing anything for this park that will primarily benefit the residents of Fuquay-Varina. I believe the county has more pressing priorities, such as supporting our schools and ensuring that our teachers, our policemen, and our firemen are able to afford to live in the communities where they work.