100+ acre bioscience project puts focus on rapid growth in Morrisville: ‘Traffic is horrible’

Wake County News

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A proposal by a developer to build a 109-acre bioscience project in Morrisville has put the focus on development in the town which is experiencing a lot of growth.

Everywhere you look in Morrisville, there’s construction or new residential areas popping up. All of that growth is a big concern to residents.

“Traffic is horrible,” said Brenda Yates. “It’s great (that) the equity in our home is going up, but it’s not so great when you can’t get anywhere.”

Many roads in Morrisville which were designed for rural traffic are now undergoing expansion — at a cost.

“We have about 300 million (dollars) coming in transportation improvements,” said Morrisville town councilor Steve Rao.

Until those improvements are complete there will be more congestion on the streets of Morrisville.

“We’re going to have to bear with it and balance it in terms of investments and jobs,” said Rao.

One of those investments will be a $1 billion bioscience park that will feature research facilities, labs, retail and recreation areas on 109 acres near Airport Boulevard and McCrimmon Parkway.

Rao said the council has not seen any plans for the project.

“We just saw the announcement on the news,” he said.

CBS 17 consumer investigator Steve Sbraccia asked if the council would demand changes for the new park to make it less dense.

“We always have that option,” Rao said.

Density created by too many residential areas in Morrisville is already a big concern.

“We have to grow smart,” said Rao. “In the remaining areas of Morrisville, we have to be sensitive about preserving our open space, acquiring land and preserving it.”

“Planning is the key,” said town resident Randy Yates. “They need to plan ahead. They know it’s going to get bigger and bigger.”

Morrisville does have a master plan for growth, but Rao says it can’t be ignored.

“What happens all the time is a developer comes in and says this is medium or low density and I want to build apartments and up-zone it to multi-family residential,” said Rao. “We’ve got to stop doing that. We have to say ‘no’.”

Currently, Morrisville has a population of about 35,000. Town officials believe it can’t go much beyond 45,000 without it becoming overbuilt.

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