Expand the ETJ as far as legally possible…and then some

Fuquay would like everyone to believe that the only reason they want to extend the ETJ is for planning purposes.  At the meeting on 9/24/18 I tried to explain that it is pretty clear that the town is extending it’s ETJ as far as it possibly can simply to defend/claim its territory for a future tax base.

Most people are unaware that the towns of wake county have already made agreements in which they have divided most all of Wake county up among themselves.  They are called Municipality Annexation Agreements and they are intended to prevent territory arguments between the towns.  The issue is, these agreements have expiration dates, and once they expire town “A” can then take land from town “B” if town “B” has not expanded into the territory yet with either an annexation or an ETJ.

Here is a 2006 map that wake county made of all the Annexation Agreements in place in 2006

Agreement bndry Index map

In 2008 Holly Springs included some sections of Bass Lake Rd and James Slaughter road on their planning maps despite the Annexation agreement already in place.  This made Fuquay angry and they decided they would simply annex the area before Holly Springs could take it.  This was of course before the 2011 NC law changes that made forced Annexation much more difficult.  See the following articles and video.



Fuquay Varina lost the annexation attempt and a new agreement was made with HollySprings in 2008/2009.  I am unable to find the actual text of this document so I don’t know when it expires.  Can anybody find this?

The new boundary was slightly different as Holly Springs took some property on the west side of town that was previously on the Fuquay side of the line.  The current boundary lines up exactly with the current ETJ request from Fuquay.  The map below was made by overlaying the 2006 Annexation agreement map with the current Fuquay ETJ expansion request.

etjcompared to agreements

The grey area between Fuquay and Holly Springs basically shows the area that Holly Springs expanded beyond the annexation agreement that was in place in 2006.

OK enough of the history lesson already 🙂

I tell you all of this to make my point.  Fuquay is attempting to take a small piece of our freedom, simply to protect its own interest in its tax base/territory.  Even with the current growth it will be many years before the town can expand its contiguous territory to the edges of this territory but the town can’t afford to wait because the other towns are growing rapidly as well and Fuquay could lose additional territory.  This is especially true in the North side of town on sunset lake where Holly Springs technically has a stronger claim based on contiguous city limits.

To find proof for this claim, that this is all about territory, all you need to do is look at the places where Fuquay can use the full 3-Mile ETJ limit without hitting a boundary already defined by the Annexation Agreements.

In the meeting I used the example of 6235 Wimberly Rd.  It is a house in the middle of a field in Southern Wake county.  This house is at the extent of the 3 mile limit and it was included in the ETJ.  The field that surrounds the house, owned by the same person, could not be included because the back of the field is beyond the 3 mile limit.

ETJ extent 2

etj extent 1

There is no way anybody can say that including this house in the ETJ provides Fuquay with better “planning” capabilities….at least not with a straight face.  This next picture to me really shows the true intentions.  The parcel that is being used as the closest contiguous city limits starting point for the 3-mile radius is a satellite annexation across the road from the town limits.  This extra piece of land allows for hundreds of acres of additional ETJ that would otherwise be out of reach.

etj extent 3

In conclusion, just because NC law “allows” for a 3 mile ETJ doesn’t mean that it is a mandate that all towns should force it’s jurisdiction on the county citizens.   This law was intended to be used for counties that do not have zoning and ordinances in place.  Wake county has many zones and ordinances in place and according to NC law that is the reason that Fuquay needs to get the counties permission to extend the ETJ in the first place.  I think it is shameful that Fuquay is trying to disguise this as a planning necessity rather than admitting the obvious.  It is protecting it’s future tax base from its neighbors to the north, east and south.  I guess they feel that protecting it’s future tax base is not a compelling reason to allow the ETJ and might be a difficult sell to the county commissioners.  In that… they are correct.

5 thoughts on “Expand the ETJ as far as legally possible…and then some

  1. As I mentioned before, the mayor of F-V pulls no punches about becoming the ‘biggest game in town’, and maximizing the ROI on infra investments they have made well into unincorporated areas.

    These people are ’empire building’.

    This is all about money, control, and influence, and it is shameful.

    Insofar as planning purposes, the town has no right whatsoever to influence anything outside of it’s legal jurisdiction, and therein lies the problem and the solution.


  2. It’s no accident that I don’t live in Cary. I moved away from it to be free from its control-freakish nature. I thought I’d be safe. Now, Fuquay-Varina, the little town down the road, as I was growing up, has delusions of grandeur and wants to swallow-up every community it can, so it can increase its revenues, get more money from the Feds for schools and infrastructure and no doubt exercise eminent domain power taking land for ‘public use projects’. ETJ may not immediately become Fuquay but they clearly have designs on it. Despite their ‘marketing’, ETJ expansion has nothing to do with making our lives more convenient. From others who have had direct involvement with F-V’s permitting office, they were not remotely ‘convenient’ to work with. Restrictive was more applicable, as well as complicated, and obstructive. I don’t need some Clayton-like “Zoning Patrol” officer driving around my neighborhood, looking for issues to cite and fine for. We already have our HOA management company doing this ‘policing’ of our covenants. Covenants are at times annoyingly restrictive, as is.

    I moved to Willow Bluffs because it was not terribly restrictive, and looked nice, and I was able to have a large yard in the woods where I can shoot, legally. Being in the ETJ and subsequently, being annexed into F-V city limits later is a non-starter for me. I know that they claim that they don’t forcibly annex, yet reality tells a different tale. I see zero benefits and many negatives. I hope others see this land and power-grabbing effort for what it is and fight it with the Wake County Board of Commissioners, whom ultimately have the power to approve or deny the application. From this point on, we will have to remain vigilant to keep them out of our wallets and off our properties.


    1. I wrote to Frann Sarpolus and asked her position and for her support, if elected to combat this power and land grab by Fuquay. I received her email response. She took the time to attend the Oct. 25th meeting and she is against the ETJ expansion. That is a definite NO vote in 2019 when Fuquay will likely have its plans up for a County Commission vote. I don’t see any reason to support a County Commissioner who is sitting on the fence when we have a potential replacement who is absolutely on our side in opposition to this ETJ Expansion. Frann Sarpolus’s email to me:

      Hi Robert,
      Thank you for contacting me about this important issue.
      I attended the Oct. 25th Community Meeting on these concerns, and can say that I definitely agree with the consensus that there is so much unclear about how each person’s property could be affected.
      I can say that because of the much needed county representation with a voice for the citizens, I will be voting “No” on this ETJ in 2019.

      I believe that those potentially affected are doing effective research and making their information readily available on the StopFuquayETJ.com site.
      Thank you and thank all of those participating.

      I do understand who opposing this passage sets me in opposition to, but I am not a “career politician” and do not intend to pay to play, or hide ambiguously to gain votes.
      “I have a voice and I’m available”.
      If I am elected, I will serve as the “Citizens’ Advocate” that I have activity been for all the years that I have lived in Wake County.
      I am certain that there are those who could benefit from the expansion. I believe that their needs can and will be met going forward even without the ETJ expansion.
      Thank you for your time and your input. And if you decide to vote for me, your doing what you can to reach as many voters as you can to do the same.
      “Ask 10 to Ask 10 to Vote!”

      Best regards,
      Yours for Wake County Commissioner, Frann Sarpolus


  3. I moved to FV in 1987 & lived across from a sweet potato field. When the owner died his daughter, who lived in Alaska, sold the property to a Pentecostal church who erected a green roofed metal building across from my residence. Neighbors tried to stop it but the Planning Board was determined to allow it. The Planning board is a joke who has no representative from the ETJ & only wants to control your rights. If you vote to allow FV to include you in the ETJ you give up your rights to this board. What do you gain by voting for this? No water, No sewer, you still get law enforcement from the Sheriffs Office not FV Police. Its worse than any HO A you can imagine. Want to build a fence, you have to get a permit & are controlled by the board for permission. I moved to the county to avoid this crap. To live free & enjoy my rights as a citizen of this country, not submit to this board control. What happened to my sweet potato field? Its now controlled by the BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT. I can’t change my living conditions but I can help you to change yours. Vote NO on ETJ or suffer the consequences & say I TOLD YOU SO!


    1. James,

      Thanks for your comment. Although i understand the point you are making in your post. You should be aware that this issue is not something we have the ability to vote on. Due to NC law a town can request this expansion directly to the county commissioners and they are the only people who can approve or deny it. So in affect the only vote we get is for the county commissioners themselves. Besides voting for Commissioners that we think might be sympathetic to our cause, we will get an opportunity at a meeting to plead our case to the commissioners that have been elected.


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