Roger L. Stancil, Town Manager


Bill Webster, Interim Director of Parks and Recreation


Possible Development of a Park along Little Creek


February 26, 2007


This report presents recommendations to the Town Council related to a proposal to develop a park along Little Creek. The attached Resolution would authorize the Manager to include an option for funds needed for development of a concept plan in the Manager’s Capital Improvement Program budget for FY 2007-08.


In 1989 the Town purchased a 50-acre tract of land along Little Creek, just east of the junction of Booker Creek and Bolin Creek and west of Pinehurst Drive. In 2001, the Town purchased 10 additional acres in the same area.

In the early 1990s the Town started work on a concept plan for a park within the original 50-acre tract that would have been accessed primarily from Cleland Drive. The concept considered at that time was of a nature interpretation park consisting of interpretive signage, boardwalks and a parking lot. At that time residents of the surrounding neighborhoods expressed concern with the idea of the proposed new park and especially the related parking facility. In response to the level of concern expressed by the public, work was stopped on the project.

On November 6, 2006, the Council received a petition from Mayor Foy requesting that the staff and the Parks and Recreation Commission provide guidance related to development of the Little Creek Park property.


The Town-owned 60 acres of property is bounded to the south by Cleland Drive, to the east by Pinehurst Drive, to the west by properties owned by the University of North Carolina, and to the north by residential neighborhoods. (Please see the attached map). The property can be accessed at Cleland Road, Brigham Road, Emory Drive, and Little Street.

The property is mostly low-lying floodplain surrounding Bolin Creek, Booker Creek, Little Creek, and various smaller tributaries. There are likely significant wetland areas throughout the property. At this time beaver dams have flooded large portions of the property near Brigham Road and Pinehurst Drive. A large portion of the property is also encumbered by a flowage easement controlled by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers as part of the Jordan Lake project.

We believe that most traditional park uses, such as buildings, ballfields, athletic fields, and play structures, are impractical and would most likely not be allowed by regulatory agencies due to floodplain and wetland issues. We believe that uses such as protected open space, a wetlands interpretive park and/or a greenway corridor are probably the best uses of the property.

The only reference to this area in any of the Town’s long range plans is in the Greenways Master Plan which identifies the area as a future greenway trail corridor.

We believe that work on a concept plan would require adequate funding for a design team. The design team would be responsible for floodplain modeling, delineation of wetlands, determining feasibility of bridges and other structures, and exploration of other regulatory issues. If the Council agrees, we will prepare an option for design funds in the Town’s Capital Improvement Program budget for FY 2007-08.


Greenways Commission Recommendations: On January 24, 2007, the Greenways Commission voted unanimously (4-0) to support the concept of building a park along Little Creek. Please see the Commission’s attached recommendations.

Parks & Recreation Commission Recommendations: On January 17, 2007, the Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously (9-0) to make a number of recommendations if the Council decides to go forward with the proposed Little Creek Park. See the Commission’s attached recommendations.

Staff Recommendation: We recommend that the Council adopt the attached Resolution that would authorize the Manager to prepare an option for Little Creek Park design funds in the Manager’s Capital Improvement Program budget for FY 2007-08.


  1. Mayor Foy’s Petition concerning Little Creek Park (p. 4).
  2. Map showing Town property along Little Creek (p. 5).
  3. Greenways Commission Recommendations (p. 6).
  4. Parks and Recreation Commission Recommendations (p. 7).