“Walkable Community” Support in FY2017 Budget

The Zebulon Board of Commissioners passed the FY2017 town budget on June 15, 2016.  Included in the new budget is a one-half cent tax increase dedicated to making Zebulon a more walkable community.    The Commissioners appropriated $32,000 as Zebulon’s match for a Wake County Community Development Block Grant to complete the sidewalk on Shepard School Road from Zebulon Middle School to the Hwy 64 overpass bridge.  They appropriated $124,000 toward the design and construction of Zebulon’s first trail project.  In addition, Town staff has applied for an Open Spaces grant from Wake County and hopes to hear a decision by the end of July.  We will also be seeking other revenue sources and grant opportunities in the coming months.  If you have information on a grant program and want to share it with us, please call Zebulon Public Works at 919-269-5285.

Greenway field trip covered in the N&O

Greenway tour gives Zebulon leaders a taste of what’s to come


From left, Zebulon Finance Director Bobby Fitts, Wake Forest planning staff members Terry Savary and Candace Davis, Zebulon Public Works Director Chris Ray, Lauren Dickson of OBS Landscape Architects and Zebulon Planning Director Mark Hetrick tour the Sanford Creek greenway corridor in Wake Forest, N.C. Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. Aaron Moody amoody@newsobserver.com

BY AARON MOODY / Eastern Wake News

ZEBULON – With the adoption of a greenway master plan behind them, leaders from this town loaded up on a bus Thursday for a field trip to get a glimpse at what they can expect as Zebulon’s future trail system unfolds.

It was an opportunity for the town staff and board members to immerse themselves in the amenities they have talked about a lot lately.

“It made a real difference to go out there and see how they’re using the land, that is really almost unusable for anything else,” said Commissioner Beverly Clark. “It gives you an idea of how to plan and where to start. I almost wish I’d seen it before. I like the idea (of greenways) and think it’s wonderful, but that tour really gave me a whole new perspective of it.”

Read the full story HERE.

Greenway Master Plan Adopted October 5

On October 5, 2015, obs and the town’s Public Works department presented the final draft of the Greenway Master Plan to the town’s Board of Commissioners. The Board voted to adopt the Master Plan without modification.

What does this mean?

With the official adoption of the Greenway Master Plan, the Town now can seek out funding from grant sources, introduce greenway easement allocation and construction requirements as part of the subdivision development requirements, and begin the planning efforts for priority projects, including the allocation of funds in future budgets. With a master plan in place, the Town can market new recreational opportunities when courting new development and promoting Zebulon.

What this does not mean

The lines drawn on the map are just that … lines seen from a high perspective. The master plan serves as a guide for future development. As the planning process for each project progresses, the lines will change as more detail comes into focus. Some lines will move, others might be eliminated and new ones could be added.

The adoption of the Master Plan does not signal the start of a construction spree of greenway trails. The first two trails are expected to be completed within the next 3-5 years. Some trails could be 10, 15, 20 years off. And not every corridor will be built in its entirety at one time. A project might consist of a portion of one corridor and a portion of an adjacent corridor.

As each project is developed, public input will continue to be part of the process. Your opportunities to participate in the process will be designed on a project-by-project basis and each project might incorporate different methods of participation. The Town will work with the selected designers to develop the appropriate process.

Download the Master Plan

The final Greenway Master Plan is available for download in PDF form. The book has been broken up into chapters for easier and customized downloading. Click each link below to begin the download for that chapter.

00 – Cover
00A – Letter, Acknowledgements, Table of Contents
01 – Executive Summary
02 – Introduction
03 – Planning Process
04 – Inventory & Analysis
05 – System Components
06 – Trail System
07 – Implementation Strategy
08 – Funding Sources
09 – Design Guidelines
10 – Maintenance & Management


The design team and the Town greatly appreciates your involvement in this process. We are excited to the present this guide and begin the process of bringing new recreational and transportation opportunities to the Town of Zebulon. Please feel free to email Chris Ray, Public Works Director, with any questions or comments: cray@townofzebulon.org.

The Eastern Wake News continues to cover progress on the Greenway Master Plan

Zebulon’s first greenways likely to come on north side of town

By Aaron Moody / Eastern Wake News
If town leaders follow recommendations of consultants overseeing Zebulon’s Greenway Master Plan, greenways are likely to pop up first in two locations on the north side of town.

The consultants presented a draft of the plan to the town board at a meeting July 22 and expect to have a finished product by the Sept. 7 board of commissioners meeting.

Of the 10 corridors in the proposed trail system, two stood out based on several factors, including access to nature, the possibility of immediate use, construction and easement costs and the potential for public/private partnerships.

To read the full article, please click HERE.

Draft Master Plan released

During the past month, we have been hard at work drafting the final Greenway Master Plan document for the Town of Zebulon. It’s been a long and thorough process, where our recent attention has turned from creating maps to writing, editing and organizing. We are proud to present a draft copy of the Master Plan to you, the community that has helped form the vision and shape the framework of the Greenway System.

Cover_shadowWe know there are still holes to fill and content to be edited. The draft report is in the hands of the Greenway Advisory Committee and the Public Works Department and while we await feedback from them, and from you, we’ll continue to keep working, making this report the best it can be. The draft report also was presented to the Town of Zebulon Commissioners on Wednesday, July 15. Our next big milestone is presenting the final draft of the report to the Commissioners on September 8.

… And if luck is in our favor, we hope to see at least one trail (if not two)get built within the next few years.

Below you will find links to PDFs of each section of the draft report. We look forward to hearing your feedback. As always, you can get in touch with us by commenting on this post or by sending an email to cray@townofzebulon.org.

Updated Maps

Based on great feedback from the community open house in April and meetings with the Greenway Advisory Committee and Town staff, we’ve made adjustments to the corridor maps. While the general routes from point to point have not changed much, the corridors in which the routes associate with have changed.

For example … You made it abundantly clear that you want a recreational loop trail that gives you access to nature. We listened and reorganized a couple of the corridors so that Corridor #6 now starts at the Community Park, follows a sewer easement along the railroad corridor and Little Creek and loops back to the park via an electrical transmission line easement. This corridor provides access to different types of “nature,” from the open meadow to the wooded creek.

Corridor 6 probably saw the biggest change. Some corridors saw moderate change while others saw zero change. For example, Corridor #3 now includes bicycle and pedestrian improvements that we feel are essential to the success of the corridor, while Corridor #10 remained the same.

We also took a closer look at downtown and started to make some distinctions about bicycle and pedestrian improvements. Not every street needs bike lanes and 8′ sidewalks. Our downtown map organizes the streets into a hierarchy, with different improvements for each tier.

The updated maps are posted below. Please feel free to leave a comment on the web site or send us an email at cray@townofzebulon.org. We would love to hear your continued feedback.

Click on the links to see the full-size maps.
Downtown Map
Corridor 1
Corridor 2
Corridor 3
Corridor 4
Corridor 5
Corridor 6
Corridor 7
Corridor 8
Corridor 9
Corridor 10

Maps, maps and more maps

On Tuesday, April 7, the Greenway design team and the Town of Zebulon hosted a public open house to present and discuss the proposed Greenway System. The turnout was excellent and the enthusiasm displayed by the public was astounding. We learned a lot from talking with everyone and hopefully we gave you a better sense of how we arrived at the proposed system. We know it’s not perfect and there is still some work to be done. We’d like to hear from you about where we need to make improvements.

At the end of this Master Plan process, we will have picked out 2 or 3 projects that we think we will be successful, with the intent of getting them built within the next 3-5 years. But, we need your input to help prioritize. Which corridors do you like? Which ones don’t you like? Which routes would you use most often and why? Is there an aspect of a particular route that you love … or hate?

We look forward to hearing from you! Drop us line at cray@townofzebulon.org. Or leave a comment on the web site.

Greenway System Map

This map shows the Greenway system in its entirety. Sections along existing utility easements and other public land are colored green while sections along routes that require new easements or property acquisition are colored yellow.

Corridor Map_Initial Concept
Click the map to see a full-size version in a new tab or window

Corridor Key Map

Each corridor is color coded on the Greenway system map and relates to maps of individual corridors.

Base with aerial
Click the map to see a full-size version in a new tab or window

Individual Corridors

Maps of individual corridors at a smaller scale so you can see more detail.
Click the maps to see a full-size version in a new tab or window


Corridor 1


Corridor 2


Corridor 3


Corridor 4


Corridor 5


Corridor 6


Corridor 7


Corridor 8


Corridor 9


Corridor 10


Downtown Map

Greenway Maps on display – Tuesday, April 7

Please join the Greenway design team and Town of Zebulon staff for the next public open house on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, in the Town Hall lobby. Stop by anytime between 5pm and 7pm to discuss proposed Greenway corridors and connections. This will be a great opportunity to see and comment on maps of the proposed Greenways and to see what we have been up to since the last open house. Let us know what we did right and, more importantly, let us know where we can improve. We need your input … after all, this is your Greenway system.

Feel free to email us with any questions you might have at cray@townofzebulon.org or leave a comment at the bottom of the page. We hope to see you at the open house and look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Sewer Easement field trip

On arguably one of the coldest days of the year, we set out on an adventure in open-air utility vehicles traversing wet, remote areas of Zebulon. The Public Works department and members of the Advisory Committee led the design team on a tour of the town’s sewer easements.

As much fun as tooling around in the mud with four-wheel drive utility vehicles is, this was an opportunity for the designers to see parts of Zebulon that cannot be easily seen by car or on foot. Public sewer easements present good opportunities for greenway locations. Easements are already cleared, publicly owned, lead to important destinations and often contain some beautiful scenery.

Tayrn Meadows to Weaver’s Pond

We arrived at the Public Works office bright and early that morning, all bundled up in our wool hats, heavy gloves and thermal underwear. We met with the Public Works staff, loaded up the trucks with the utility vehicles and headed out to our first stop … the sewer easement that connects Taryn Meadows with Weaver’s Pond. This has the potential to be a strong connection between these two neighborhoods as well as Wakelon Elementary School and Park. (click on the photos to see them larger)

Future reservoir area

Next, we explored part an area on the west side of town near the location of the future reservoir. This area provides one of the few opportunities to cross US 264 and has the potential to be a strong connection between the Riley Hill Road area and Little River Park. However, the area nearest US 264 is extremely wet … so wet that we managed to get one of the utility vehicles stuck. Oops.

Zebulon Community Park to 5 County Stadium

After warming up and grabbing lunch at the Community Center, we headed out along the sewer easement that runs between the Community Park and the sewer treatment plant near 5 County Stadium. Like the other trips, this was a very wet area and most likely would require a fair amount of boardwalk. But the view is worth it! Along the trip, we spotted deer, hawks and a variety of other wildlife. This easement follows Little Creek, which surprised us with a beautiful rock outcropping and waterfall.

Wedgewood to Gannon Ave.

Our last stop for the day followed sewer easements that connect Wedgewood to Gannon Ave. These easements have the ability to connect multiple neighborhoods together and provide a bigger connection to downtown and possibly Little River Park. When we got stuck for a second time, it was time to call it a day.

Overall, the trip was a fantastic experience! We learned a lot about the town and its hidden treasures. We also reaffirmed some of our initial thoughts on potential greenway locations. Stay tuned for the next round of maps that will detail some of our top priorities for corridors.