Is This Area Growing Too Fast? Follow Up


Jan Morgan-Swegle, Editor






In the February issue of Cape Fear Voices/Teen Scene, I asked the question, “Is this area growing too fast?”

According to some of our readers and most of those I have spoken with since, the answer is “Yes.”  I also heard, “We don’t have the infrastructure in place to support the growth that the town leaders are proposing.”  And, “you can’t develop all of Leland,’ as town leaders are suggesting.”  Still others referred to Leland as “Strip Mall Hell.”

The general feeling, I got was that the residents are seeing more and more housing developments than infrastructure related planning and building.

Increased traffic was a major reason why some residents are saying, “slow development down.”   One reader compared driving on Rt. 17 as being in “bumper cars.”

Another reader wanted to know if Leland has a “master plan” that accounts for road construction, traffic flow(s), secondary access to major roadways, handling of storm water and utility requirements.

Adding open spaces like parts and recreational areas as wells as new schools and existing school updates was also mentioned.

A few worried about the wildlife and eco system in the area; asking where are the animals going to go if their habitat is taken away and saying that we need trees and wildlife to keep our “green” eco system in place.

According to the Town of Leland’s website, (,) there are active projects that suggest that there is an awareness of the concerns mentioned above.

Under the Active Projects listed on the webpage, you will find a detailed description of the project, start and completions dates and a progress chart.  Information regarding funding and rezoning are also detailed.

  • Baldwin Drive Improvements
  • Founders Park New Amenities
  • Leland Fire Station, Number 51
  • Leland Resilient Routes
  • Leland Town Hall Expansion
  • Leland Unpaved Roads Improvement
  • Mallory Creek Drive Drainage Improvement
  • Ocean Gate Plaza Intersection Improvements
  • Olde Waterford Way Extension
  • Streamflow Rehab Assistance Program
  • Sturgeon Creek Park – Phase I

You will also find a “master plan” in  the 2045 Town of Leland Plan on the website,   A former Town Council person talked about the 2045 plan saying, “This Plan was created with the input of Leland citizens wishing to participate in the process to develop it. This information provides the answers to many questions concerning how Town officials are approaching the issues going forward to 2045.”

Regarding residents seeing more housing structures and the perceived absence of infrastructure planning, the Council person continued, “When a private landowner decides to sell their property to a developer, the buyer then has rights to use the land according to local and state zoning laws.  For example, in the case of annexations, most people don’t realize that the developers of these properties first got approval for their projects from Brunswick County meaning these developments were already approved. When they decide to seek annexation into Leland, they must abide by Leland’s zoning regs, not the less restrictive County regulations.”

After looking at the Town of Leland website and hearing the comments from readers I think the question becomes, is Brunswick Country growing too fast?

But I understand the concerns of the residents of Leland.  Looking across Rt. 17 from the Harris Teter Plaza, all I see is construction.  The trees that used to grow there are a memory.  Stores seem to be on top of each other, fighting for space.  “No Turn on Red” signs now hang over parts of the highway because of the many accidents that have happened in that area.  I see schools who could use a major overhaul in terms of updating the facility and equipment.  And I see the remains of deer on the side of the road, who should be running in the woods.

There just seems to be this frenzy in terms of adding more and more “things” in Leland.  All of a sudden, Leland is starting to look and feel like the places that we left in search of a slower, quieter lifestyle—and then, the question becomes, is it worth it?

As residents of Brunswick County, we have a voice.  We need to use our collective voices and raise our concerns through our local government resources who can then share those concerns at the county level.

Will we see a halt to growth in Leland?  Probably not, progress is progress, but as long as we actively stay in tune with what’s going on and voice our opinions through the appropriate channels, we have a better chance of being heard.