• Some Harrisburg residents feel left out of discussions on town's growth

    By: Blaine Tolison

    Updated:

    HARRISBURG, N.C. - Residents in Harrisburg said the town is taking on more than it can handle.

    Those residents also said they have no input on what is happening.

    The Stallings Farm subdivision, which will have 192 homes, is one of five developments that have residents worried.

    Harrisburg's vision and core values say, "Harrisburg will be the best small town in North Carolina based on low-density housing."

    The town’s plans also pave the way for “future metropolitan growth.”

    The four other developments could bring nearly 500 homes to the town at the following locations:

    • Tom Query Road
    • Ruth Fidler Dr.
    • Lower Rocky River Road
    • Stallings Road

    "How are we going to manage that and how does that impact our daily lives?" resident Patrick Rhyne said.

    Residents said they don't need more traffic on Stallings Road.

    Overcrowding in schools is another issue.

    Town documents show three schools are already about to go over capacity, including Hickory Ridge High School at 30 percent.

    "If you're not adjacent to a proposed subdivision, you're not getting a letter to inform you about what's happening," resident Jessica Fava said.

    Three town leaders, including the mayor, spoke positively about how they notify residents about development.

    The mayor didn't argue against why residents are getting mixed signals regarding terms such as “small town.”

    "What is a small town?” Mayor Steve Sciascia said. “That's the million-dollar interpretation that council's going to have to decide. What does that actually look like going forward?"

    Those proposed developments still have to go before Planning and Zoning Department.

    Residents are also concerned because an outside private company is handling the town's planning and zoning until the town hires staff.

    The mayor said the company is experienced and he's confident in its performance.

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