Knightdale to update planning document with new Census data

mhankerson@newsobserver.comNovember 29, 2013 

— The town’s planning department will edit Knightdale’s Comprehensive Plan to reflect changes in residents’ education, age and income levels.

Knightdale’s Comprehensive Plan is a document that details the demographics of the town to help the planning department determine what residents would like to see in their town. The last time the town updated the plan in 2011, the most recent census data wasn’t available.

Now, with the most recent results, the town is updating the plan with that information.

“It’s the town’s plan for the future,” said planning director Chris Hills. “It takes stock of the existing infrastructure, growth and where infrastructure might have to go up.”

Hills said the data has been available to the town for about a year, so there aren’t any surprises, but there are critical changes in the Knightdale population he said he thinks will play a key role in the town’s future decisions.

He said the town is younger than previously thought and, compared to other towns the same size, more educated than average.

A little more than 4,000 of the 11,401 residents in Knightdale are estimated to be between 25 and 44 years old, according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey’s estimates.

Out of the population over 25 years old, 2,819 hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.

“When you look at those factors it helps you understand what ... ideals citizens may have as far as community amenities and growth patterns,” Hills said.

He said one example of demographic data informing the town’s direction can be seen in the age of residents: younger people tend to want more mixed-used living options.

The town has started in that direction with the planned Knightdale Station development, an 835-home development near the new Knightdale Station Park. The development will have space for retail and office space, a YMCA and possibly a branch of the private school Thales Academy.

The new data also reported the town’s average income was higher than expected: the average household income is $79,781.

The town’s comprehensive plan is usually completely updated every eight to 12 years and Hills said it is almost time to update the whole plan again.

“The update we did a couple of years ago was something that reflects the community of the time,” he said. “This updated data reflects how much the town has changed.”

Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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