Where We Are Going. Courtney Tanner, Planning Director, Town of Wake Forest

Posted By Brad Walker

Courtney Tanner took the reins of Wake Forest’s Planning Department last October, succeeding Chip
Russell, who retired after 32 years of public service. The town’s exponential growth that began in 1980
continues as Wake Forest is expected to reach nearly 75,000 residents by 2050, Tanner said. Put another
way, Wake Forest has experienced a 232 percent population increase from about 15,000 to about
47,000 in the past 20 years alone. View this community profile which provides additional supportive

Such robust growth requires lots of planning, which is what the planners do in conjunction with town
commissioners, other leaders, and the public. NC General Statutes also require municipalities to
develop a Comprehensive Plan and Land Use map to guide growth and development. This short video
displays a vibrant, progressive town serving a growing and diverse population.

Through varied planning initiatives, the town looks ahead at transportation, greenways, and open space,
Northeast Community, and housing. These plans must be updated every 10 years, and public input is
critical to that effort. For the Comprehensive Plan, That opportunity is now, in 2020, and Courtney
urged all Rotarians, their families, friends, and neighbors to provide feedback.

“The Comprehensive Plan is our roadmap to the future,” Courtney said. “We need at least 3 percent of
the population to respond by filling out the survey. We need and welcome your comments!” Click here
for a link to the website with the survey.

Courtney has over 15 years’ experience in the field of public sector planning, with a concentration on
comprehensive plan development and implementation. Prior to joining Wake Forest, she worked for the
Town of Morrisville – the last three as planning director. She earned a Master’s in Urban and Regional
Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2003 and a Bachelor of Science in Science from
Virginia Commonwealth University in 2001 and is well-credentialed in many other areas of the
profession. In addition, she is a board member and Community Outreach Director with the Wake Forest
Youth Ballet.

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