Growth in Clemmons: Acquisition of land adjacent to Village Point lake and greenway provides future increased outdoor entertainment options

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 18, 2024

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By Jim Buice

CLEMMONS — Ask Mayor Mike Rogers about Clemmons, and the superlatives flow: “Clemmons is a special community with a small-town feel with big-city services and amenities that makes us the most desirable place in Forsyth County.”

And news that broke in March regarding the village acquiring more than 12 acres of land from Novant Health adjacent to Village Point lake and greenway in the middle of the village for an exciting addition to the landscape further enhances what’s ahead.

“I am thrilled to envision the future possibilities that come with the acquisition of the property,” Rogers said. “As we embark on this journey, it’s clear that ensuring safety and providing restroom facilities are imperative. However, what truly excites me is the prospect of collaboratively shaping the amenities with our community. 

“Over the years, we’ve consistently heard the desire for increased outdoor entertainment options, and this newfound space presents an ideal canvas for realizing those dreams. Its natural beauty and serene ambiance make it a perfect setting for a venue that not only offers aesthetic charm but also enriches the community’s recreational experiences. The potential for creating a vibrant, inclusive space is boundless, and I can’t wait to see where our collective creativity takes us.”

Village Manager Mike Gunnell said that the property holds immense potential to enhance the offerings available to both visitors and residents of the village — and adds another element of excitement to the future of the town.

“For me as well as staff, there’s an undeniable buzz surrounding the prospect of acquiring the land adjacent to our existing greenway and lake,” Gunnell said. “The steady rise in usage of our greenway over the years underscores the growing demand for outdoor spaces that foster community engagement and recreation, appealing to individuals of all ages.”

In addition to possibilities of the best use for the land across from Village Point lake and greenway, where the announcement was made in a September council meeting in 2023 regarding Clemmons receiving $4.8 million in state funding from the House Bill 259 Appropriations Act that will go to that project, the Drone as a First Responder program continued to pay dividends for safety in the community with increased response time.

The council continued to focus on improving traffic flow, particularly around schools, along with progressing with transportation plans and updating UDO (United Development Ordinances) regulations. Events also continued to be added throughout the calendar year to go along with the Clemmons Farmers Market and other mainstays.

Regarding any concerns, new or ongoing, Gunnell stressed the importance of keeping Clemmons safe.

“Safety remains a paramount concern within our community, and we are grateful for the enduring partnership we maintain with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office,” Gunnell said. “While growth is essential and brings forth numerous benefits for our community, we must remain vigilant to ensure that any associated crime and safety issues do not escalate.

“Over the past year, our dedicated staff and council have collaborated extensively with various agencies in the region to address traffic safety concerns, particularly in the vicinity of our schools. We are optimistic about the potential improvements that may result from the implementation of new traffic patterns and other measures.”

However, Gunnell acknowledged that this is an ongoing process, requiring continuous monitoring and the willingness to adapt and implement changes where necessary.

He also brought up feeling fortunate to be surrounded by a team of highly qualified staff and colleagues who consistently demonstrate unwavering dedication to the community. 

“Together, we share a common goal of tirelessly striving to enhance the quality of life for all residents,” Gunnell said. “What truly sets our team apart is not only their expertise in their respective fields but also their unwavering commitment to excellence. Each member wholeheartedly contributes their skills and knowledge to the betterment of the village, going above and beyond to ensure that every decision and initiative reflects our collective aspiration for greatness.”

Rogers said that his vision as mayor for the village revolves around fostering smart growth while warmly embracing new residents and businesses, adding the rapid influx of people and enterprises into the area underscores a significant draw – community.

“In my view, community forms the very heart and soul of any locality,” he said. “Having been a resident here for over 32 years and a 70-year Forsyth County resident, I’ve developed a profound affection for this place that only deepens with time. My commitment is unwavering. I never want to leave. I am dedicated to ensuring that decisions regarding safety, development and the overall ambiance of our village are made thoughtfully, so that every individual feels the same sense of belonging and contentment that I do.”

Rogers said that there’s always something happening in Clemmons, “whether it’s vibrant live music, family-friendly events, community-driven initiatives, youth sports programs, or gatherings that unite our residents in fellowship. 

“I also urge you to consider shopping locally in Clemmons first. Our town boasts fantastic restaurants, businesses and shops, and every dollar spent here contributes to enhancing our collective quality of life.”

He added that anyone with any questions or concerns, should reach out to Village Hall at 336-766-7511.

“We value feedback of all kinds, including compliments,” he said. “Your active participation and support in Clemmons not only enrich your own experiences but also plays a vital role in making our community an even better place to live, raise a family and work for everyone.”