WAXHAW – Mayor Ron Pappas said Waxhaw was “growing forward” after hearing the news that the town has surpassed Stallings as the third largest municipality in Union County based on the 2020 Census data. 

Waxhaw’s population grew from 9,915 people in 2010 to 20,534 people in 2020. The 108.5% growth over the past decade puts Waxhaw as the ninth fastest-growing municipality in North Carolina and the only one in the top 10 with over 10,000 residents, according to Planning Director Lisa Thompson. 

“With all this growth, we need to continue to analyze and survey the wants and needs of our residents,” Thompson told commissioners during the Aug. 24 meeting. 

Waxhaw has developed four key growth strategies based on feedback from the public: improve traffic congestion, maintain small-town charm, increase opportunities for local commerce and improve bicycle and pedestrian connectivity. 

Pappas noted how Waxhaw has more than 4,000 more residents than Stallings. 

“That’s recognizable and certainly all the more reason to have a plan and follow the plan,” he said. 

He credited colleagues for spending the past year developing growth strategies and updating its land development code, which he said provides leaders a playbook to follow. 

Waxhaw leaders say they have created strategies that will help attract a blend of land uses that  has tried to broaden its tax base and reduce its reliance on residential growth on its tax base. Leaders have created strategies they say will help attract a blend of land use. 

“We have grown,” Pappas said. “We are no longer the small little sleepy town that we once were.”

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