Sneads Ferry community weighs in on future of village

Published: Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 02:38 PM.

SNEADS FERRY | Melvin Shepard Jr. likes Sneads Ferry just the way it is, he said.

Residential growth on N.C. 210, N.C. 172 and Old Folkstone Road and commercial newcomers along N.C. 172 has left unblemished the historic fishing village — which he calls “the old Sneads Ferry” — and its waterfront heritage. 

Shepard, who soon will celebrate his 80th birthday, owns New River Nets on Charles Creek Road in that historic hub east of areas hit hardest by recent growth.

He said his biggest concern is “to make damn sure nothing causes the water to be polluted,” he said. 

The water, he said, “defines Sneads Ferry.”

He represents the business community on the Sneads Ferry Community Plan’s Blue-Ribbon Panel, a group seeking a management guide for the area. The Sneads Ferry Community Plan is a collaborative effort by the Jacksonville Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and Onslow County. The plan will blend future transportation needs with a realistic land use vision for the area, according to a release by the consulting team.

The group hosted an interactive open house recently at Dixon Elementary School to showcase its findings and glean more ideas, said Jonathan Whitehurst, a senior planner at Kimley-Horn and Associates, which also is working on the plan.

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