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Greenway advocate helps spur more of the same.
By David Leone
WAKE FOREST — The town honored one of its stalwart greenways supporters, the late Tom Stoddard, Tuesday during the board of commissioners meeting.
Stoddard, along with his wife, Marge, daughter, Virginia, and grandsons Bradley and Sean formed the Dunn Creek Greenway Rangers long before construction on the trail was completed, picking up trash, studying birds, reporting trail hazards, vandalism and other safety issues.
The effort have since been duplicated throughout the town, as other groups take part in what Wake Forest officials now call their adopt-a-trail program.
The Stoddards, Mayor Vivian Jones said, “were dedicated participants for several years, sharing their love of nature, community values and making lasting contributions to the maintenance of town greenways.”
The Dunn Creek Greenway Rangers, “set the standard” for promoting civic responsibility and community pride, she added.
“The trail extends across the creek from our house. We just decided, since it’s so close, we would enjoy helping to maintain it,” Tom Stoddard said in 2011. “It gives us a chance to teach our grandsons about picking up and cleaning up so everyone can enjoy the trail.”
•Making history: Commissioners approved without hesitation a request to add to the national historic register the South Brick House, 112 E. South Ave. Owned by James ad Alexis Cooke, who have put a lot of TLC into restoration, the residence is the oldest surviving building that was part of the Wake Forest College campus, according to Wake Forest Planner Agnes Wanman.
“If there’s a house in town that deserves it more, I’m not aware of it,” said Commissioner Frank Drake.
•UDO in action: Commissioners gladly approved a rezoning change along 13 acres in the Bowling Green subdivision along Main Divide Drive to a mixed-use designation allowed by the recently enacted Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The change allows for a greater diversity of housing, along with some small offices or retail businesses.
“I think this is a really great thing,” Commissioner Margaret Stinnett said.
Added Drake, “This is the first iteration of the UDO.”
•Towering legislation: The board also unanimously adopted a recommendation by The Center for Municipal Solutions, a Wake Forest-based telecommunications consultant, that allows the town to partially sidestep new state regulations governing cellphone towers.
Wake Forest’s tower ordinance was partially gutted by the industry-friendly legislation, but the town can move some of its rules over to permitting, so long as they reflect public safety and property value issues.
•A way out: Though several commissioners balked at what they perceived to be an uneven trade, they still unanimously approved a request by the developers of Holding Village to swap out a .22-acre piece of land in the corner of the town’s public works center off Friendship Chapel Road, with a half-acre of the development's watershed-protected borderland.
The property will be used to put in a road, which will also benefit the town, providing a back entrance to the center. When Holding Village is built out, Friendship Chapel Road will be closed at the railroad crossing.