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What’s Right With Leland?

Whats Right With Leland?


 Leland’s Community Enrichment Director, Wyatt Richardson Tells Us


It seems like everyone has an opinion about Leland lately.  It’s growing too fast!  Traffic is terrible!  There are too many housing developments!  The list goes on and on.  But we decided to live here, so there has to be something that Leland is doing right.  To find out, we asked Wyatt Richardson, the Town of Leland’s Community Enrichment Director for his opinion.

Q.  So, what do you think is “right” with Leland?  What is the town doing well?

Leland, as a growing community, is seeing tremendous success in a number of ways. In recent years, the Town has built two new Fire stations, added more personnel to both the Police and Fire departments, and purchased a facility for our Public Services Department that will accommodate us for decades to come. Additionally, the Town is making progress with Founders Park renovations and expects to move forward with construction later this year. These examples show that our Town Council and Town leadership are focused on the priorities of our residents with Public Safety, Public Services, and Community Enrichment. 

Q.  Are we following the 2045 Leland growth plan?  If not, why not?  If yes, give some examples of future initiatives. 

Leland 2045 continues to be a valuable tool in guiding goals and initiatives across all Town departments. Examples of this include zoning more than 950 acres into the conservation district, developing an Age-Friendly Strategic Plan, adopting an ADA Transition Plan, and receiving a grant to provide increased connectivity to park-goers as part of the upcoming Founders Park renovations. Town staff provide quarterly updates on the progress made towards the goals outlined in Leland 2045 in presentations to the Planning Board and Town Council, and on the Town’s website.

Q.  How many residents does Leland currently have?  Q.  Of those, about how many come to planning meetings where you discuss new things happening in Leland? 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Town of Leland’s population was estimated to be 28,591 residents as of July 1, 2022.

 Planning Board meetings are open to the public, however, the number of residents in attendance is not documented. The number of attendees varies and is typically contingent on the number of and interest in the items on the agenda.

Q.  I did a story recently about the Community Engagement Team (Police Department) and didn’t realize they do so much for the Community.  What other Town of Leland department does things like that for our residents? 

Several Town departments have staff focused on community engagement including Fire/Rescue, Police, Communications, Economic and Community Development, and Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources. We always welcome the opportunity to talk with the public about what we have going on in the Town. If a group or individual is interested in learning more, a member from one of those departments would be happy to assist.

Q.   In your role, you work with all of the town departments and managers.  Can you share what they think we are doing right?   

I believe Town staff and our leadership are focused on making Leland the premier place to live, work, play, and visit in southeastern North Carolina – from the businesses we’re working to attract to the increase in commercial and residential development, as well as the priority placed on public infrastructure and public safety. Leland is becoming known as a community with top notch services managed in a fiscally conservative manner with friendly residents who are happy to be here.  




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About the Contributor
Jan Morgan-Swegle
Jan Morgan-Swegle is the Editor of Cape Fear Voices.  She has been writing for CFV for almost 3 years.  She is originally from the Cleveland area and moved down to Leland 12 years ago.  She and her husband, Tony, and their dog, Dixie, enjoy sitting on the lanai listening to music and sharing wine (Dixie likes white wine but only gets two finger tips full!!)  They have 3 children and 9 grandchildren living in Cleveland, Ohio,  Charlotte, North Carolina and Lakeland, Florida.

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