|White Laurel landslide, 2004|
Now comes the Templeton/Soucek assault on Boone's extra-territorial jurisdiction, which will benefit a few individual developers while ringing Boone's steep slopes with a potential for unregulated, wide-open (not to mention dangerous) chaos.
The "local act" scheme for depriving Boone of its ability to manage growth on its surrounding steep slopes applies only to Boone, because -- hey! -- some powerful men desire it. (Apparently, the other municipalities in Dan Soucek's district didn't have either the a. steep-slope regs or b. a sufficiently rich developer to get Mr. Soucek's attention.) Another Republican-sponsored bill (drafted but not yet introduced in the General Assembly) seeks to outlaw extra-territorial jurisdiction generally across the state. More precisely, the draft language of the bill would prevent the state's municipalities from extending their ETJs into areas currently zoned by county government. That's an interesting distinction ... "areas currently zoned by county government." Since Watauga County has no zoning, we assume this particular assault on towns would not actually apply to Boone, but a lot of assumptions about our General Assembly get suddenly bumped askew after midnight. Just sayin'.
The Wake County town of Knightdale, at least, ain't waiting to see. Their town council has already passed a resolution opposing the ETJ draft power-grab. And we're glad to see that they (along with other Wake County municipalities) recognize the economic impact of stripping away ETJ laws: “ETJ is a critical tool to entice developers. Many businesses and individuals have purchased property in reliance on existing ETJ framework .... Removing the option to extend ETJ and the assumed zoning and ordinances may threaten the viability of their investments at a time when the economy in our state is just starting to recover.”