28541: Our Winning Number

Editor’s Note: As relative newcomer to the Town of Leland, Harry Blakeslee is naturally curious about his new home. Over the last several months Harry has been chronicling his investigations into his new home in a series of articles. We love seeing an area we’ve know for decades through Harry’s eyes and hope that as he answers his questions, he’s satisfying your curiosity as well. This month Harry looks into the Town of Leand itself, its growth and its future plans.

The number above is the USPS zip code for Leland, named after the nephew of Citizen Joseph W Grady, leader of the town’s incorporation effort. The community was called Woodburn until 1989 when it was incorporated into the Town of Leland. Surprisingly, there are also properties with postal service addresses in Winnabow that are, in reality, within the Leland town limits. Leland encompasses approximately 22 acres and is much like a patchwork quilt.

The above zip code number is lucky because Leland is currently a relatively young, prosperous, professionally-managed community with managed growth. Citizens can thank our Mayor Brenda Bozeman and the Town Council as well as Town Manager Dave Hollis and his staff of professionals. These people have successfully promoted Leland into the fastest-growing community in North Carolina and 17th fastest in the nation. According to census numbers, our population was 13,614 in 2010, growing to 23,544 in 2019. At that rate, we ought to hit 28,000 in 2021.

Leland has a lot to recommend it to potential transplants, and current residents, with a temperate climate, a modern community, top-drawer services, and many recently-built homes and apartments at reasonable prices compared to the Northeast and Upper Midwest. Adding to Leland’s current attractiveness are abundant medical services and general services providers, national food purveyors, well-managed traffic and roads, proximity to additional shopping in Wilmington and Shallotte, and a low tax rate.

O

ur geography puts us several feet above high water, so we have not had any general flooding in the last 10 years, according to Emergency Service Director, John Grimes, even with several hurricanes. Of course being near several rivers and streams, occasionally very low flood-plain areas can flood.

Leland also provides attractive water and sewer services which seem to be encouraging both residential and light commercial properties to petition to be annexed from Brunswick County into the Town of Leland, further enhancing Leland’s growth.

One example of voluntary annexation into the town spurring growth is the new Leland Innovation Park on US 74/76. The area, the first to feature the town’s new Innovation District zoning, will add 250 acres of residential and light industrial space to the Town of Leland. Gary Vidmar, Director of Economic and Community Development, stated in a press release that Leland Innovation Park is Leland’s current primary focus for adding commercial/industrial property tenants within the town. They also stress that Leland is seeking “high-paying job for residents . . . not smoke-stack industries.”

The current Village Road Fire and Rescue Station #51 will be relocated nearby the Innovation Park on US 74 to better serve the north and northwest areas of Leland. This will be joined by a new station #53 on Lanvale Road (off U.S. 17) and the existing station #52 on River Road (Hwy. 133).

Leland has plans annually updated by our town personnel in a report called Leland 2045. The plan sets forth growth goals to guide the town’s elected officials and professional staff as the community continues to see rapid growth. Of course budget constraints affect the timing of various elements of the plan. Since there is an annual review, citizens can, and are encouraged to, participate.

Future developments are confidential until approved and announced by the town and the developer/builder. Announced projects under construction include a Tractor Supply Co. store, Wendy’s restaurant, Five Guys restaurant, and two breweries, one in Brunswick Forest and another behind Town Hall. Large developments like Brunswick Forest, Mallory Creek, Compass Pointe, Juniper Creek, and Magnolia Greens look to continued expansion, as are many other smaller neighborhoods.

Leland Parks and Recreation is also looking to the future with several park improvements and new park plans in progress. A master plan for improvements to Founders Park is under development and accepting citizen comment. The Cypress Cove Park Access project would construct a direct access road into Cypress Cove Park from Village Road and make improvements to the park entrance and parking areas. Another park, Sturgeon Creek Park, is in the early investigation and evaluation phase.

Some of the additional capital projects planned include: the Leland Greenway (a project to construct a multi-use path connecting Westgate Nature Park, which is owned and operated by the Town of Leland, to Brunswick Nature Park, which is owned and operated by Brunswick County.), enhancements to the municipal campus, and a project on Old Fayetteville Road to develop a roadside multi-use path along the north side of the road from Town Hall Drive to North Brunswick High School.

With Leland’s strong, experienced, and dedicated town staff, mayor, and town council, I expect that Leland will continue to be a model for managed growth in both population and quality of life.

Details of Leland’s Budget and Finances are available at the town website:

https://www.townofleland.com/sites/default/files/uploads/2020-2021_budget_manual_approved.pdf

https://www.townofleland.com/finance/audited-financial-statements

Many thanks go to Ms. Hilary Snow, Communications Officer, for the Town of Leland, for her assistance in compiling this information.

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