Editorial: When rules make no sense

February 7, 2014 

It’s hard to believe any reasonable person could view Tom Wall’s plight as anything more than government being obstinate.

The Knightdale resident has been trying for more than a decade to market property he owns off Hodge Road. But a town rule that essentially requires Wall to extend an existing road well past the boundaries of his own property has made it next to impossible to ever develop the property.

The town’s contention is that the Mingo Creek subdivision needs two entrances. Following the town’s rules at the time, developers of that neighborhood established a single entrance called Mingo Bluff Boulevard.

That road extended through the neighborhood all the way to end of the property.

Now Wall must extend the road through his property onto land owned by others. And the cost – nearly $500,000 – makes it financially burdensome on anyone who would consider developing the land.

In many instances Knightdale, like many other towns, requires property owners and developers to make improvements to their own property as part of the development process. It seems like overkill to require a property owner to gain access to other people’s property before he can make use of his own land. Towns frequently require developers to build roads at their own expense. They must also provide streetlights and sidewalks, but only within the confines of the property they are developing.

Knightdale’s rules in this matter are causing much more headache than any town ought to be able to impose on its residents.

We urge the town to reconsider its Draconian interpretation of the rules and help Wall – and by extension, future landowners – overcome rules that stymie growth rather than encouraging it.

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