Finally week’s assembly of the Surry County Board of Commissioners, a matter being mentioned introduced again up a subject from final 12 months: ETJ.
ETJ means extraterritorial jurisdiction. For a few of the people who appeared earlier than the county officers final 12 months, it was extra of a four-letter phrase than three letters.
The late Rawley King and J.T. Henson spoke to the county board at a January 2019 assembly.
“Town has jurisdiction over 7,000 to eight,000 individuals who reside in a no man’s land with no direct illustration,” stated Henson. “Metropolis officers will not be accountable to ETJ residents by way of the poll field.”
Individuals who reside in that one-mile boundary must get permits from the town and are affected by choices made by the town like water and sewer charges, stated King. And but, people like him can’t vote in metropolis elections.
When the ETJ was established, compelled annexation was nonetheless allowed, stated King. Now that such annexation isn’t allowed, he feels the ETJ is ineffective.
Effectively, right here is the place it helps to be previous. I began at The Information in 1995. After a fellow reporter left a 12 months later, I started protecting conferences of the Mount Ethereal Board of Commissioners.
King, Henson, your complete county board: none of those people had been at these conferences when the town employees first introduced up the thought of an ETJ. However I used to be.
A number of occasions final 12 months through the arguments for and towards an ETJ, the time period compelled annexation got here up. You recognize the place it didn’t come up? On the workshops I attended the place the town deliberate for an ETJ.
That’s proper, all this discuss abolishing the ETJ as a result of the town can’t do compelled annexations? Town employees wasn’t pushing for that within the first place.
In truth, the way in which annexation got here up is that if the town did its job of planning out development, individuals would come to the town asking to hitch.
The phrase that did come up typically was “city sprawl.” Town planning board defined that some cities have a plan for a way development ought to happen outward, and a few don’t. No planning can result in random areas of growth unfold round an space with poor definition between business and residential utilization.
The sprawl half additionally refers to how typically development is unfold out and makes it arduous to supply metropolis providers simply corresponding to hearth and police safety and rubbish service.
One other half that was talked about was that some residents really feel like buildings and development simply exterior the town limits harm their property values. If the town had some management over what may occur proper up towards its borders, then landowners might be protected.
And let’s face it, there’s a large distinction between dwelling in a metropolis and dwelling out in a rural county.
I used to be at a gathering as soon as 22-23 years in the past the place a metropolis committee was debating the precise peak grass might be earlier than it was too excessive and must be towards metropolis regulation. If the grass is just too excessive, then the property itself might be a public well being hazard due to the danger of vermin and snakes that pursue vermin, the committee members stated.
Cities have guidelines associated to rubbish pickup and canines on leashes — some locations have guidelines on canine poop pickup.
If people reside in shut proximity to one another, some concerns must be made. Bear in mind, one of many pillars of our authorized system is that I’ve all types of freedom — proper up till they infringe in your freedoms.
Having a celebration is authorized, but when the noise from the social gathering upsets your neighbors, then you definitely’ve infringed on their proper to not be disturbed.
I reside out within the county and occur to love it that approach.
I’ve 4 neighbors with goal taking pictures ranges inside half a mile of my home. On fairly days, it may well get just a little noisy exterior. I’ve a neighbor with roosters that don’t know when to stop crowing. One other neighbor likes to have get-togethers (social distancing be damned).
I don’t thoughts. Stay and let reside.
In the future I visiting a neighbor when he talked about that he may hear me the day earlier than wailing away on my electrical guitar all the way in which over at his home.
I began to cringe and apologize, however he shrugged and stated, “Sounded fairly good.” And that was that.
One factor that bugged me final 12 months was that we don’t actually know the way the plenty felt about abolishing the ETJ.
As a reporter, I simply inform the details. I report the information, not make it, so I didn’t query the method.
Nonetheless, it stunned me that the difficulty didn’t come to a vote. Why not put the query on the poll for people within the metropolis limits and people in voting districts inside the ETJ?
Even in a non-presidential 12 months when turnout could solely be 1 / 4 or a 3rd of the inhabitants, that’s nonetheless a greater indication of how individuals really really feel than simply letting a dozen or two dozen disgruntled people communicate out.
Did they actually communicate for the numerous? Or was it a case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease?
Commissioner Eddie Harris introduced up an attention-grabbing level final week when he identified that there have been three residents complaining a couple of neighbor’s nuisance property. No county ordinance applies to the place in query, but when the ETJ had been nonetheless in place, then the codes enforcement officer may go take a look at the location and see if the town’s stricter laws had been being violated.
As a substitute, the neighbors could also be compelled to pursue a lawsuit towards the property as a public nuisance, which they may lose.
— to www.mtairynews.com