MEBANE, N.C. (WGHP) — The City of Mebane is planning to welcome almost 1,000 new homes to the northern part of town. It’s the largest residential expansion they’ve ever seen.

“It’s like an explosion,” said Frank Idley, a resident and business owner in Mebane.

It’s an explosion not everyone is prepared for.

“I would like to see it grow in a different way instead of just bulldozing and building,” said Bill Barnes, a Mebane resident.

The rural portion of North First Street between Mill Creek and Stagecoach Road could be the future home of five new single-family developments.

“We’re a beneficiary of growth in Wake and Durham and Orange. Taxes are high, and they’re coming to Mebane,” said Ed Hooks, mayor of Mebane.

Hooks tells FOX8 the expansion is not just happening in the Triangle and Triad. Commercial and industrial development in Mebane has brought around 10,000 jobs in the last 10 years.

Between job growth and the opening of the Highway 119 Bypass, he believes these homes are right on time.

“We’ve prepared for this. We’ve had studies. We’ve had long-range planning. We’ve had citizen involvement,” Hooks said.

City leaders say making these developments cohesive is a top priority.

Developers agreed to put in sidewalks, bike paths and greenways to connect the neighborhoods and make it easier for people to get to local parks in the area.

“All these businesses are going to benefit from it. The community is going to benefit from it. Hopefully, it will ring other businesses here, too,” Idley said.

Idley opened Big Time Fitness near the development site two years ago and hopes more homes means more people walking in his door.

“The growth and expansion of our tax base, keep our tax rate low,” Hooks said.

Developers and city officials are thinking ahead about traffic concerns and studying areas for new stop lights and turn lanes.

Some Mebanites want a more firm answer on how this kind of influx could affect the rest of the town.

“I’m a teacher, so I’m seeing it affect the schools, and they can’t get these kids in these classes,” said Katie Barnes, a Mebane resident.

City leaders tell FOX8 that they have an extensive review process before developers submit their plans to be sure schools and public works can handle the influx.

A public input meeting for the first two developments is on July 11 at 6 p.m.