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The Boone Ready-Mix plant, located adjacent to the Seven Oaks neighborhood in Boone's extraterritorial jurisdiction, was recently cited with several Boone code violations, but the violations will be nullified if state legislation that eliminates Boone's ETJ is approved.
Anna Oakes | Watauga Democrat



Board of Adjustment delays cases involving ETJ
By Anna Oakes

As a result of legislation introduced in the N.C. General Assembly that, if passed, would eliminate the town of Boone’s powers of extraterritorial jurisdiction, the Boone Board of Adjustment has acted to continue cases involving property in Boone’s ETJ.

The BOA is a quasi-judicial board that hears and makes decisions on applications for conditional use permits and special use permits, applications for variances and appeals of code violations and other staff actions.

An appeal hearing of code violations occurring at 110 Seven Oaks Road, the site of concrete plant Boone Ready-Mix in an area in the ETJ located off of Roby Greene Road, was scheduled for Thursday’s BOA meeting but was granted a continuance from BOA Chairman Rich Crepeau May 31.

Senate Bill 949, introduced by state Sen. Dan Soucek of Boone, would specifically revote ETJ powers for the town of Boone. The ETJ is an area that extends one mile from town limits over which the town has zoning authority.

Crepeau acted following an email from Boone town attorney Sam Furgiuele.
“It is my opinion that if passed, the bill would render this case moot,” Furgiuele said in the email.
In a subsequent email, Crepeau said, “I grant a continuance based on the circumstances of pending state legislation that, if passed, will render the Board of Adjustment’s jurisdiction in what we now know of as the ETJ to be void.”

Last year, the town received a written complaint from residents of the Seven Oaks residential subdivision adjacent to Boone Ready-Mix, referring to concerns about safety, aesthetics and pollution.

The town and representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources inspected the property in January, and a notice of violations was sent in March.

Delta Holdings LLC has appealed the notice of violations.

According to the Watauga County register of deeds, Delta Holdings began leasing the property in June 2011 from Michael and Geraldine Perry, owners of Perry Concrete Pumping Inc., or Boone Ready-Mix.

Delta Holdings is represented by attorney Nathan Miller, the Republican chairman of the Watauga County Board of Commissioners. Miller is among several men who accompanied Soucek to a meeting with Boone Mayor Loretta Clawson, Planning & Inspections Director Bill Bailey and Boone Town Manager Greg Young to discuss ETJ issues the day before Soucek filed Senate Bill 949.

For more information about Senate Bill 949, visit http://bit.ly/MdzZX5.


Originally published: 2012-06-06 12:16:20
Last modified: 2012-06-07 16:01:57

Boone water group opposes ETJ bill

by Anna Oakes

The town of Boone's Water Use Committee voted unanimously to oppose Senate Bill 949, a bill introduced by state Sen. Dan Soucek of Boone that would abolish the town of Boone's powers of extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Since 1959, all North Carolina municipalities with populations exceeding 2,500 have had statutory authority to regulate land use in areas within one mile outside of town limits. These areas, referred to as extraterritorial jurisdictions, are subject to a town's zoning regulations, which place specific restrictions on the way land can be used and the types of property uses permitted.

The committee also voted to approve a recommendation to the Boone Town Council that, should Senate Bill 949 pass, the town should immediately suspend all new water connections or extensions into areas outside the Boone town limits.

Although the town has no obligation to extend water and sewer service outside of its borders, the town's ordinances permit the extension of services outside town limits if requested. Those requesting water and sewer service must petition the town for voluntary annexation, but the town does not always proceed with annexation immediately.

Last year, the Boone Town Council voted to allow staff to approve the allocation of water requests in the ETJ up to 500 gallons per day without council review.

Boone Public Utilities Director Rick Miller said the town currently has about 375 water and sewer, water-only or sewer-only customers outside of town limits, of which 315 are in the ETJ.

“We have preferably wanted to take our water into areas that are zoned,” said Boone Mayor Loretta Clawson.
 
Clawson and all five Boone Town Council members are members of the Water Use Committee.
Properties connected to the town's water system but not compliant with its regulations, including storm water management rules, could have major impacts on the town, Councilwoman Lynne Mason said.

“You don't run water and sewer into areas that aren't zoned unless you're asking for total chaos and no regulations,” said Pam Williamson, a Water Use Committee member.

Committee Member Patrick Beville cast the lone dissenting vote on the motion, arguing it was inappropriate for the Water Use Committee to act preemptively before the bill passed or failed. He said little about the town's current water allocation procedures would change if the bill passed.

“There is nothing this law would change that would require the town to provide water to an entity it doesn't want to,” Beville said. “I feel like we're reacting to something that hasn't happened yet.
“A moratorium sounds like bully politics,” he said. “It's the same thing the county has done in their approach to us: ‘If you're going to do this, then we're going to do this.' It should be fought politically by the town council. This is the Water Committee.”

Discussion ensued over whether the town could enforce its land use regulations as part of the conditions of approved water and sewer requests.
 
Town attorney Sam Furgiuele said it is not clear whether the legislation would bar the town from enforcing its regulations in this way.

“I think you will find the answer in the courts,” he said.

A committee member asked about the “abuses” in the ETJ to which Soucek referred in an interview with the Watauga Democrat.

Bill Bailey has been Boone's Planning & Inspections Department director since February 2010.
 
“For the most part … I get very few complaints. It's usually a complaint of a neighbor against another neighbor,” Bailey responded. “There are a few businesses who don't comply or don't want to comply, and we have issues with those.”

Senate Bill 949 has been referred to the Senate Committee on State and Local Government. The committee is scheduled to consider the bill during a meeting that begins at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 7.

For more information about Senate Bill 949, visit http://bit.ly/MdzZX5.