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Cary Population to explode

 It seems traffic and flooding aren’t bad enough, so Town Planners intend to bring 100,000 more people!

The chairman of Cary’s Planning and Zoning Board, provides a glimpse into the Town’s thinly disguised agenda for the urbanization of Cary.

In the below video, P&Z Chair, Mark Evangelista warns citizens who oppose high density rezoning that they need to reset their expectations because Cary’s future is one of high density urban life.

He describes a planning and zoning mandate to accommodate 100,000 more people in a suburb with no where to expand and already crowded with 150,000.  He goes on to warn us that we only have 18% of our space left to put these people in.  Listen……

This nearly doubles Cary’s population, into a small fraction of our space. It will be an influx equivalent to two thirds of our current population, stacked up in one sixth of the space we now share.

To accommodate 100,000 more people, the density in these undeveloped parcels will exceed 9600 people per square mile. This compares to the density of Washington DC, and double the population density of Detroit. 

Mad enough yet?

Take note of how Evangelista casts the population influx as a fait accompli.  Seems it’s already been decided that the people will starting showing up and that our Town Council now has no choice but to transform Cary into high-density urban center to accommodate them.

“Cui bono?”  Who benefits?

The Triangle has always been on a growth path.  But who benefits from building up, rather than out into adjacent areas? Certainly not the those of us who chose Cary for its character and quality of life. If the mayor and Town Council represented their citizens’ interests rather than  special interests, wouldn’t they defend the low density planning model that made Cary a destination of choice for decades, and let surrounding towns and counties share in future growth?

Who Pays?

We pay –  of course. The Council approved this plan for the large scale urbanization of Cary, but did they fund the infrastructure to pay for it?   Conversely, the Town Council’s policy is to subsidize developers who build downtown, with cash, loans, and impact fee concessions.  No road, stormwater, fire, police or utility infrastructure has been put in place for the type of high rise urban development that Evangelista is marching us toward. There are no funds in place to pay for it.  The Town Council had to borrow $6 million to build our modest downtown fire station.


It’s how they roll

Asking voters to borrow tens of millions to fund infrastructure for a population explosion of 100,000 people, would receive a quick and furious rejection by voters. The Town Council knows it’s easier to incrementally approve high density urbanization projects and then come to us with bond referendums (debt) to fix all the problems which result.

The pattern will continue.

  • Urban-scale development projects and rezoning will be incrementally approved.
  • Infrastructure “crises” like flooding, traffic, crime and school overcrowding will incrementally grow worse.
  • Public debt will be issued through one “critical” bond referendum after another.
  • Developers cash out.
  • We live with the congestion as we fund more of it – for decades to come.

Urbanization was the garden path that Imagine Cary took us down four years ago. From the beginning, Imagine Cary was designed to create the appearance that Cary citizens bought into high density development and mass transit.  Urbanization was peddled by lobbyists like Chris Leinberger to assure the funding of lucrative public-private-partnerships needed to build high density developments and public transit – all on our dime.


Looking at the numbers.

In context of the P&Z Board’s position that 18% of Cary is targeted for high density development, let’s take a look at Cary’s population transformation. (references: Mayors’ 2015 statistics,  Governing, and CLR Search,

  • Cary population: 151,700 people
  • Cary land area:  58 square miles  (37,120 acres)
  • Cary population density:  2615 people/sqm
  • Cary (18%) available land area: 10.4 sqm  (6,656 acres)
  • Cary households: 47,521
  • Cary average household size: 2.57 people

At the current density of 2615  people per square mile, Cary has already joined Charlotte and Raleigh as North Carolina’s most dense cities. By bringing in 100,000 more people, Cary’s population density jumps to a staggering 4340 people per square mile, higher than the density of Atlanta (3,154) and about twice the density of Charlotte (2,457).

But the problems our city planners have in mind for Cary are far worse. We now have a relatively evenly distributed population density. Cary’s forced urbanization will create pockets of extremely high density development scattered into our single family neighborhoods.  Population density of these high-density centers will be 9600!

Cary now has about 1.7 households per acre of land. These high density zones will house 5.8 households per acre.


It is up to  citizens of Cary to stand and stop it.

Time is running out. It is time to descend gone1 upon city hall.

If not you, who?

Does anyone recall a Town Council member who ran their campaign on 67% population growth?  

Well,  three are up for election October 2017. They funded and supported Imagine Cary, they voted for the resulting community plan that now drives urbanization, and they appointed the Planning and Zoning Board that is ushering it in.

Usually only about 10% of Cary’s population bother to show up for our municipal elections – and the politicians know it.


Evangelista’s warning and this information will help you put in context anything  you hear from the Town Staff, Council Members, Committees, Mayor, Chamber of Commerce, and most especially their mouthpieces in the local media.



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