The statute granting municipalities extraterritorial regulatory authority defines the area within which a city may apply its land development regulations, such as the power to zone. That statute, N.C.G.S. Sec. 160A-360, includes a detailed process that must be followed by a city in establishing extraterritorial jurisdiction.
In certain instances, county approval, required in the form of an adopted resolution by the county’s board of commissioners, must be given for a municipality to exercise its extraterritorial powers. Section 160A-360(a) requires county approval wherever a city with a population in excess of 10,000 people seeks to extend its land use jurisdiction beyond the one mile originally granted to each municipal government. Section 160A-360(e) requires county approval for municipal extension into any area over which the county is presently exercising zoning, subdivision, or building code regulations.
Just this week, the Wake County Board of Commissioners approved bids by the Towns of Zebulon and Knightdale to extend their jurisdictional reach over “Planning and Regulation of Development” pursuant to N.C.G.S. 160A-360. According to a report published in July by the Knightdale Planning Staff to the Planning Board, the extension “enables the municipality to plan for timely, efficient provision of development and associated infrastructure and urban services.”
In what is usually the case, residents of the as-yet uncovered areas spoke in opposition to the respective extensions. Such resistance is not surprising in view of prevailing anti-government sentiment; in fact, the Board denied an earlier Knightdale effort in July, which was revised for this latest consideration.
Of course, these changes will have a significant impact on those property owners over which jurisdiction will be extended. We’ll keep an eye on these stories as they unfold.
Mike Thelen is a lawyer in Womble Carlyle’s Real Estate Litigation practice group. He regularly represents a wide variety of clients in land use and land development issues, from local governments to businesses, in both state and federal venues throughout North Carolina.