Annexation Showdown

Is anyone watching (or attending) the Carrboro Board of Aldermen's public hearing tonight? They are expected to have a large number of people speaking about the proposed annexation of their northern transition area.

Please post reports on the meeting or your own comments here.

Issues: 

Total votes: 288

Comments

Mary--according to the statutes the public informational hearing (which I didn't attend) assured "all persons resident or owning property in the territory described in the notice of
public hearing, and all residents of the municipality, shall be given the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers regarding the proposed annexation." *Answering questions* was not required at the public hearing. At the informational hearing, I wonder if anyone asked your question and what answer was given? I'm not sure if that meeting was recorded, but it might be interesting to review the tape.

You may be forced to participate in the water and sewer if OWASA decides to do the project:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Todd Spencer [mailto:TSpencer@owasa.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 12:09 PM
To: Nancy Kramer
Subject: RE: water/sewer for Fox Meadow neighborhood

Dear Ms. Kramer:

Thank you for the opportunity to provide information about OWASA policies regarding the extension of water or sewer mains through the assessment process.

1. Timing of petitions to OWASA for water or sewer extensions.

I want to begin by addressing a point in your first paragraph, which indicated that “residents of the affected areas have the option to petition OWASA for water and sewer service (separate from the annexation) for 5 days following the hearing on November 16th”

Please be assured that property owners in a neighborhood in OWASA's service area may petition OWASA for a water or sewer main extension at any time and whether a neighborhood is in or outside of municipal limits. This process is independent of Carrboro's annexation. (The proposed annexation areas are in our defined service area.)

Because of a provision in State law regarding annexation, the Town of Carrboro annexation plan states that “Property owners who desire water and sewer extensions to their property may submit written petitions to the Town Clerk (for subsequent transmittal to OWASA) no later than 5 days after the public hearing.”

2. Under what conditions would OWASA Board of Directors undertake a water and/or sewer extension project?

In the past, the OWASA Board has approved sewer extension projects with assessments when petitioned by owners of a majority of lots in a neighborhood with septic systems. Although State law permits sewer extensions and assessments without a petition, OWASA has not done so.

As you may already know, OWASA does not do assessment projects in new developments. Developers are responsible for the cost of water and sewer extensions in a new development.

3. How many residents need to request these services for the board to decide in favor?

Under State law, the Board could at its discretion pursue an assessment project with or without a majority petition from property owners as indicated above, but I am not aware of any circumstance where the Board has elected to proceed with an assessment with only a few or no petitions.

4. Please provide more detail on OWASA's decision criteria and process.

I would be glad to mail you a copy of the OWASA Board's policy on assessment projects if you would like. Hopefully, this will provide you with the information you are seeking.

5. What opportunities are there for influencing the decision - can residents speak at the meeting where the decision will be made?

Under State law, a public hearing is held before a decision on whether to proceed with an assessment project. The public would have the opportunity to speak at this hearing.

6. What is the timeline for the decision?

There is not a specified timeline under OWASA policies. This is dependent upon various circumstances such as complexity of project, costs, questions raised by property owners, etc.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about this information. We appreciate the opportunity to be of assistance.

Todd Spencer, P.E.

Engineering Manager - System Development

Orange Water and Sewer Authority

400 Jones Ferry Road, P.O. Box 366

Carrboro, N.C. 27510

919-537-4244

919-968-4464 (fax)

email to : Tspencer@owasa.org

www.owasa.org

-----Original Message-----
From: Nancy Kramer [mailto:Nancy.Kramer@Siebel.com]
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2004 2:25 PM
To: Todd Spencer
Subject: water/sewer for Fox Meadow neighborhood

Todd,

Thank you for representing OWASA during Carrboro's public information meeting on November 1, regarding the Northeast annexation. I live in Annexation Area 'B', in the Fox Meadow neighborhood. As I understand it, the residents of the affected areas have the option to petition OWASA for water and sewer service (separate from the annexation) for 5 days following the hearing on November 16th.

You may recall that I asked a number of questions about the proposed water and sewer project. Specifically, I would like to know under what conditions the water and/or sewer projects would be pursued by OWASA's board. How many residents need to request these services for the board to decide in favor?

Can you please provide more detail on OWASA's decision criteria and process? What opportunities are there for influencing the decision - can residents speak at the meeting where the decision will be made? What is the timeline for the decision?

Thank you, Nancy

Lawyer up, the town and the neigborhoods that don't want to be annexed, Is it going to be worth it?
My take on it is that eventually as both Carrboro and Chapel Hill keep growing one of them is going to annex those neighborhoods, to me they seem to be closer to Chapel Hill than Carrboro, but I'm sure that can be argued.
If it is the good and just fight for Carrboro to force these neighborhoods to be annexed against their will I want someone who believes it to lay out that argument, any takers?

I'm disappointed and a little amazed that this discussion about annexation has dedicated so much space to a discussion on homosexuality.

Terri Buckner's first comment lists out 10 of the major points brought up at the hearing. Are the Mayor and/or aldermen going to attempt to address any of these or was the public hearing just a legal necessity that they had to bear? Were they listening at all?

If Mr. Nelson's comments here are any indication of what he heard at the meeting I guess not. In three hours with 44 speakers (myself included) there was one comment that referred to sexual orientation - he chooses to focus on the one comment. Mr. Nelson, do you feel it is more important to discuss sexual orientation and what other people think about it than to address the single issue that this forum was set up for?

Regarding Mr. Chilton's driving directions: This is a trivial detail, I know. But according to the Orange County GIS maps, turning right on Homestead from Rogers will still bring you through a piece of Chapel Hill. I hope the link below works for everyone. There is a tiny portion of Homestead Rd (the extension of High School Rd) that is in the CH town limits.
OC GIS Map
Again, I know that it's trivial, but there are 2 points here:
1) the shortest, most direct route to Carrboro from the houses in the annexation areas is down Seawell School Rd - a large portion of which is solidly in CH.
2) Technically, no one can drive from area A or B to Carborro without going through some part of CH (unless they go north on Rogers to Eubanks). So technically, when I made that statement, I was correct. (no hard feelings about the interuption though)

One other correction to Terri Buckner's first comment. Highland Meadows was well represented with 7 speakers - a few of us in the first half of the hearing.

Summary: Let's discuss annexation here, not other stuff and pre-election tiffs. Somehow, someway, I want to hear the Board members' thoughts/defenses to the issues raised - either here, in the news, or in direct meetings.

1) It is only faster if you are going to downtown Carrboro, which apprently none of you want to do. I often use Hillsborough to Homestead to go up your way, and I'm not even coming from Carrboro. It's a perfectly good route depending on your destination.

2) That map does actually disproves your point, Arne. The gray shaded part coming in from the northwest of your linked map is actually the town of Carrboro. The only blue (Chapel Hill) that even touches that route is the tip of High School Road. (As a member of the Chapel Hill Planning Board, I have some pretty good maps that are very clear about territorial lines and they are consistent with this GIS.)

Thanks for the corrections Arne. Since it's clear that Carrboro officials are not going to respond to the issues raised at the hearing, I've been trying to speculate about what could be behind their decision to proceed and what those intentions mean for those of us who are in other annexable areas.

Clearly money is the issue here, but just saying that doesn't really explain much. The state, Orange County and both Chapel Hill and Carrboro advocate for controlling sprawl by means of high density urban areas. Is it possible that high density just can't pay for itself in Carrboro with its inner city area of (primarily) small houses (outrageously priced by still small), few developments or complexes and no significant commercial area? Are the aldermen being forced into annexation in order to adapt to new state and county planning and zoning policies?

Terri, I don't get why you think this represents a "new" policy. Carrboro created the zoning that enabled your neighborhoods to be built.

Sorry I am being such an attack dog today, I'm just not very convinced by many of these arguments.

Ruby--Are you calling Carrboro's EJT area to the west/northest Carrboro? I'm sure most people think of it as Orange County or Chapel Hill. I've never seen a Carrboro town limit sign on Homestead.

Since the town (and you) think these citizens should help pay for the services/amenities of Carrboro, I think the argument of how to get to those services/amenities is the point--not how to get to some boundary. I don't see any direct way to get to the shopping, commercial, or social areas of Carrboro except going down Sewell School Road to Estes. They could of course, as Mark C recommended, go north to Homestead and then back down, but why go so far out of the way?

Maybe the planning and zoning folks in Carrboro need to start considering access to town services when they review development plans for the EJT.

Ruby,

On your, P.S., I was addressing my comments to Chilton, not Mark K.

On your P.P.S., you need to ask the Carrboro leadership to post their response to my first letter to the GA. They did send it to the GA and press as well, so I can't imagine why they would not post it here.

Regards,

Mark

Mark G., can you please explain what you were referring to as "Chilton's ridiculous statements?"

Ruby - See below.

Regards,

Mark

--------------------------------

Terri, you can drive down Rogers, turn right on Homestead and enter Carrboro and then go further into Carrboro via either Stratford Drive or Hillsborough Road - all without entering Chapel Hill.

I pointed that out because you and others are falling victim to the trick of repetitious falsehoods becoming “truths.”

Still not getting it, Mark G. What is so ridiculous about that? I looked at my very detailed map (showing local jurisdictions, town limits, etc.) and you can do what Chilton says.

Please!!!!! Let's drop the driving directions argument. It is stale. Let me ask some questions, for the Aldermen to answer.

1. How is going from 5500 gallons of tanker truck (New Hope) to 3500 gallons of tanker truck (Carrboro) going to help those that are not near a fire hydrant? How is this improving their services????? Please don't answer that New Hope will still respond, there is no way they can do that with the 50% income cut you are proposing. Yes, right now they get $35,000 from us and you are going to pay them something like $17,000.

2. What are your plans to provide bus service to the areas proposed to be annexed?

3. What are your plans to provide free wireless internet to the areas proposed to be annexed?

4. What is the basis for the claim in the FAQs you published that you are losing revenues to outsiders?? Certainly this statement is based upon some sort of financial fact. Let's see it.

5. Why is Carrboro changing from its history of voluntary annexation?

As was mentioned, the purpose of the hearing was to ask questions and hear answers. Since no one heard any answers, here is your chance, Aldermen- have at it, please!

Thanks for your response.

Mr. Kramer--sorry you think the driving directions are 'stale.' However, since your neighborhoods are not the only ones who will face annexation, this issue of access to town services becomes an important design criteria for future developments in the EJT.

Terri- I know, as well as you, that Carrboro is a bit of a ride from where I live. I don't care whose corporate ines I drive through. Throw your map in the recycling bin.

My point is that there are bigger issues than how do I get there.

Like, the whole "ETJ" plan is a joke. I do not mean to insult the planners, but as an engineer, I have been involved in my share of schematic and conceptual plans. The whole plan for annexation smells of "design by committee". I need speak no further than the awful injustice done to our neighbors on Rogers Road to make my point. As an engineer friend of mine once said, "if you miss the point at the concept level, the rest is a disaster".

It is abundantly clear to me that no one considered the Rogers Road neigborhood when they drew the line. Rogers Road was obviously a convenient north-south divider, nothing else.

If anyone on the ETJ group had bothered to actually look at what they were doing, the Rogers Road neighborhood would have been put into one town or the other, but not split in two.

So, I am not worried about future plans, but rather disturbed by the existing ones.

Here's a suggestion for the elected leadership in Carrboro----why don't you approach the residents of these areas you want to annex from the point of view that you really really want them, and here's why. Here's what Carrboro can offer in return. You have the opportunity to inspire and motivate them, rather than bringing out the "heavy hammer" of City Hall. You might get a better reception than you think.

What I hear is that the residents don't feel respected in this process, don't feel heard, and don't really have a grasp on what becoming a Carrboro Town resident can do for them.

I was at a meeting today where James Harris (town of Carrboro) was, and I was really impressed with all the wonderful things he told me Carrboro is doing to promote a sustainable community, to nurture desirable businesses, to support the arts, and to generally look out for what is a very diverse citizenry. I was impressed, and maybe these Rogers Road residents would be too.

The Carrboro Town leadership has a tremendous opportunity to transform this discussion if it's willing to talk to residents directly and give them some straight answers.

John Kramer, would you like for the Board of Aldermen to carefully consider the issues involved?

Sorry that you have not received a response to every question. Maybe, the Board is thinking about the issues, rather than making the kind of knee-jerk response that so many have confidently predicted will come of this process.

On a side note, planning by committee is a good thing. It has served Orange County well.

To Mark Chilton John Kramer asks a lot of good questions. Let's hope you were listening,to John and to all the speakers the other night( except for me of course) although it does not sound like it.We feel like you have already made your mind up, as has Mike Nelson. I hope we are wrong. Prove us wrong. Please. I would, as I said in some comments last night, love to eat my words at the hearing and find you against a hostile annexation of areas where 99-100% of the residents do not want this, and do not want to pay up to $2000 or more a year for services we already have. I would love to come before you and apologize for my comments if you prove me wrong by not voting for annexation.Mark, I cannot believe you would want to pay these high amounts of money for services you already had.Come visit us to talk and see our homes and families and talk to us on a one on one basis about this. Highlands North extends a cordial invite as I said last night to you, Mike and the other alderman. Be a stand up elected rep as you were when you were on the Chapel Hill Town Council and come and see us. The Mark Chilton I knew on the C. Hill Town Council would have come to see us and he would have never voted for a forced annexation against the wishes of entire communities. You know I speak true on this Mark. Have you changed so much in 10 years? I want to believe you haven't. You stood up to prevent things like this before. That the Mark Chilton I would like to see again. Sincerely, Ken Rudo

Just because elected officials don't vote your way (and we don't know how they will vote yet) doesn't mean they haven't heard you. I think the Board of Aldermen is seriously trying to find a solution that will meet everybody's needs.

Mr. Chilton- I appreciate your response. Yes, planning by committee is often a good thing. The Rogers Road thing is really bad, though. You have to admit that.

It is sad to hear so many say that this is a done deal. I am optimistic that it is not-that your words will ring true.

We (Highlands North) will invite you out, formally, to meet our families and show you around our neighborhood. And, hopefully, give you some insight into why we are so vehemently opposed to this annexation.

I appreciate your open mindedness on this. It is a hopeful sign to me. I look forward to meeting you soon.

Thanks for your response.

In the CHN tonight Nelson says,

"The reality is that the town has grown out to those neighborhoods. If annexation doesn't happen now, it will happen soon. We can't put our heads in the sand and pretend the town limits haven't grown out to those neighborhoods. That's just reality."

I'm glad to hear that Nelson is open to the idea that annexation doesn't have to happen right now.
And he does have the right to his own perception: that Carrboro is here already.

And Jackie Gist says,

I am a little confused hearing people say, ‘Don't annex us because it costs too much," and in the same breath saying they've signed a petition to be annexed into Chapel Hill…

It is my understanding that only the Highlands and Highlands North signed petitions. I'm curious about the petition. When homeowners got the knock on the door, what was said to convince them to ask for any annexation at all right now?

Clarification: Highlands North (and Fox Meadow) did not ask to be annexed; Highlands Meadow did. Since I live in HN, I don't know why the other subdivisions asked to be annexed.

Mr. Nelson thinks the town has grown out to us, and yet, there is no money in the town budget for non-automotive connectivity to our area. The three-year plan shows no money for transit, sidewalks, or bike paths to our neighborhoods. There are no Parks and Rec facilities on the horizon. I'll know that Carrboro is here when those things are at least planned.

Because of what's between us and downtown, such planning will require a lot of coordination between Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and probably UNC. I believe that coordination like that happens now only on a project-by-project basis. There needs to be a formalized process in place to expedite cross-jurisdictional planning.

Fox Meadow residents would prefer not to be annexed at all, but at least wait until you've done the planning necessary to connect us to the town.

Bling, Bling.

They want the money before they have to spend it on us.

This has NOT been a well- thought out plan, I am sorry to say. Just because we abut the town limits does not mean they have planned for us.

I have still not heard any responses from the questions I have posed. Perhaps we will hear them in the one on one we hope to have later this year.

Charlie is right on when he says there are no plans (evident) to provide these northern neighbors the same walkability, bikeability, and public transit that Carrboro prides itself on. Where were Carrboro and Chapel Hill planners when Homestead Road was widened and a bike lane wasn't put in even though this is a heavily travelled bike route and easily within walking/biking distance to the elementary, middle, and hishschool that our kids attend.

The Carrboro web site boasts of nine parks "conveniently located throughout the community." Convenient to whom? The vast majority of these parks are less than 1/2 mile from Main Street and/or Greensboro which are generally agreed to be the hub of Carrboro. Only the Smith Middle School soccer field is even within 4 miles of our neighborhood and it is available for free play on Fridays from 4pm 'till dark...whoopeee! There probably won't be $$ available to add parks out this way anytime soon since the Martin Luther King Park construction will soon be under way and the Adams Tract purchase was just announced (and yes, they are both within 1/2 mile of Main Street/Greensboro St).

I'm feeling a bit like the old spinster aunt (my apologies to the old spinster aunts out there) that no one pays any mind to until they find out I have money and am ill. Perhaps if some of the above were addressed we wouldn't feel so strongly that this relationship provides a one-way benefit.

To Mike and Mark: Though you may not have addressed the thorniest issues, by contributing to this Blog you are, at least, showing that you are hearing us and I do appreciate that.

Response to the previous Chapel Hill Herald editorial on General Assembly intervention on Annexation. See letter to the editor titled, "Old Laws Need Amending."

http://www.heraldsun.com/opinion/chhletters/

Who wants to do a commentary about this whole Carrboro annexation deal? Mark Gill? Mary Rabinowitz? I think these opinions need to be on the radio, as well..so that our listeners will know what's going on. Anybody feel like doing a 90-second piece in the next week or so? We have a different local commentary every day, but so far, ZERO about this particular issue. Email me if you're interested in recording one. RStutts@wchl1360.com. Thanks.

There are folks in North Carolina who have been working hard to put a stop to forced annexation.

Here are two websites:

http://www.stopncannexation.com/

and ...

http://www.freedomworks.org/informed/issues_template.php?issue_id=1790

Just checked out the websites...not much information there...not my team...

Nevertheless, what does the NTA need from Carrboro right now? Bus service, maintenance of the future sidewalk on Homestead Rd., anything else?

Mary- here is what we need. Our money's worth. Right now, for area A at least, here is what I spend:

Trash- $30 or less per month if you don't haul it yourself.

Okay, I realize that is a short list. But we are already getting fire and police protection, at least to the level that will exist after the annexation if not more. ( I cannot see where cutting New Hope's funding in half will help, but I am not a math major).

Yes, you will hear from some that insurance rates will drop, to which I say, shop your insurance, mine will not change-it is already low.

Okay, we also have water and sewer, Carrboro forced our neighborhood's developer to do that. Don't get me started on who maintains our sidewalks, installed as mandated by Carrboro (hint- Carrboro refused). I will give you another hint. The company's name that is in charge of maintenance is John Kramer. Had to do this to get NCDOT to sign off.

After annexation: $ 200 per month additional taxes. Benefits:

1. Street sweeping 8x per year - hope they don't hit my kids with those machines. Maybe they will use electric machines so they don't pollute (except of course the pollution from the electrical plant).

2. Trash collection- refer to what we already get, listed above.

3. Street lights. For what? So we can burn more electricity? For security? (I prefer a side arm, thank you)

4. Large object collection. Wait a minute, there is a fee for that. No benefit.

5. Street maintenance- we already have NCDOT on the hook for that.

6. Parks and Rec- for an additional fee,we can already do this. Of course, we can also already do this for free in the Chapel Hill Parks and Rec. department.

I could go on, but I already see your eyes glazing over. Bottom line, we are looking at " nothing for something".

I am hopeful that, after we meet one on one with the Aldermen, they will see our point of view and realize this needs further discussion.

So- back to your question-after much ranting- what else do we need?

Answer:

To be left alone.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Mary, my earlier post about the lack of money budgeted for non-automotive connectivity or Parks and Rec in our area could have been interpreted as "I want Carrboro to provide these things and then annex us". That was not my intention at all.

I was trying to illustrate our separation from Carrboro, and to counter Mayor Nelson's assertion that Carrboro has grown out to this area. Carrboro is still a distant neighbor to us, and annexation now would run counter to the values of current Carrboro residents.

By the way, in case anyone wondered, Terri Buckner and I are not wife and husband, at least not to each other. We've never met. Maybe someday we'll have a talk about common ancestors.

Mark Chilton and Joe C are probably going to regret ever encouraging me to learn more about planning and governmental operations. Since the challenge was posed, I've learned enough to question the cost analysis of annexation provided by Carrboro. According to Carrboro's presentation, their decision to proceed with annexation on the assumption that this is a revenue generating move. They expect to generate +$500,00 per year after costs. The costs they identified are fire, police and emergency services, trash collection, parks and recreation, and road maintenance with a little thrown in for making water and sewer available for connection. What they haven't included in their calculations are the other intangible services provided by the town, including the arts and entertain, town operations, debt payments, environmental impacts such as stormwater and erosion control, planning and zoning management & oversight, etc. I would also expect that the cost analysis has some sort of savings associated with it for disaster relief, future investments, etc.

I have to seriously wonder whether a more detailed cost analysis--one that includes all town operations not just those that are visible services to affected citizens-- would support the concept that annexation is profitable.

Terri,

I've been doing research too. I doubt that I'll ever have the time to read all that I'd like to.

The following was good to read about Roger's Rd.:
http://townhall.townofchapelhill.org/planning/NorthWestAreaReport.html
The report says:
‘Carrboro's 1997 Draft Small Area Plan for the Northern Study Area suggested that the neighborhood should ultimately choose whether to become part of Chapel Hill or Carrboro.'
(For some unknown reason, I can't open the actual Carrboro Small Area Plan to read the language used.)

I don't know, from reading this thread, Nelson and Zaffron seem comfortable that all the right things have been done to get us where we are now.

I would like to hear their explanation of why (if this has been as well planned as their writings in this thread seem to suggest), we have a situation of anticipating that Roger's Rd. residents may be allowed to vote on which town to become members of.

Maybe there is a good explanation?

Happy Thanksgiving! We have much to be thankful for in this community.

It's too bad the discussion on this thread dissolved. I apologize for what I contributed to the dissolution. It would be good to start over. Here's my attempt:

I think one of the biggest objections people in the NTA have to annexation is that they never saw it coming. Psychological preparation could have done a lot to alleviate some of the anger people feel.
To make future annexations easier for those affected, I would strongly urge the county and both towns to think about:
· Making mailing addresses reflect jurisdictional realities
· Putting up strategic road signs about where jurisdictions begin and end (and making annexation intents explicit on these signs)
· Requiring that realtors provide homebuyers information about future annexation
· Starting public relations campaigns ahead of the time that newspaper articles announce proposals for annexation
These small steps could help eliminate some of the anger residents feel when facing annexation.

I've been mulling over other issues raised on this thread...
· The whole debate about whether or not involuntary annexation should be legal is interesting. I can see both sides of the argument; but even if laws are changed, I don't think new laws will apply to what has already been planned in Orange County.
· The idea that we will actually have services that are worse once we are annexed, seems a stretch.
· The idea that Carrboro politics is extreme is exaggerated. The Mayor and Aldermen seem reasonable enough (I actually have less confidence in some Council members in Chapel Hill).

On another note…
Today I was talking with a friend who is a member of the Faith Tabernacle Oasis of Love Church on Roger's Rd. He said that he heard about a meeting at the church last week and annexation was discussed. He said that people living on the Carrboro side of Roger's Rd. want to be in Chapel Hill's jurisdiction. Does anyone have any ideas about how this dilemma will be resolved? I wonder what kind of problems we run into if we only change the jurisdiction for some on the Carrboro side of Roger's Rd? My intuition is that if we are going to change the jurisdictional line it should be either along the railroad tracks or where Winmore begins or not at all…any thoughts?

"if we are going to change the jurisdictional line it should be either along the railroad tracks or where Winmore begins"

...or along the natural boundary of Bolin Creek. (Maybe that is where Winmore begins.)

According to OWASA, many of those residences on Rogers Road are still using their wells, even though water lines have been installed along the street. I presume they can't afford to pay the plumbers to make the connections into their homes. Chapel Hill has money allocated for subsidizing OWASA connections, which may explain their preference for Chapel Hill annexation.

It's not just the plumbers they can't pay--it's OWASA. It costs thousands of dollars for OWASA to turn the tap once the home owner has paid for the pipes. If memory serves, we have one of the highest connection fees in the state.

I'm surprised no one has commented on Tuesday night's meeting. While I didn't agree with the outcome, I do think the aldermen deserve acknowledgement for the thoughtfulness of the positions they each expressed.

I also thought the discussion on providing small grants for OWASA connections, finalizing plans for the fire station, and extending bus services was very thoughtful and sincere. Of particular meaningfulness to me was the proposal to talk with Chapel Hill about keeping the Rogers Road neighborhood intact. Living in a split neighborhood myself, I know that it creates numerous problems and confusions for residents.

I came to the annexation discussion late so I don't know if similar discussions took place when the idea was first proposed, but I would hope that future discussions of annexation begin rather than end this way.

I also hope that when new developments in the northern transition area come to the planning board and the aldermen they will make a greater effort to make sure those developments are oriented toward Carrboro--in addition to Mark Chilton's proposal to hold the realtors more responsible for helping new buyers/residents understand the purpose of the transition areas.

I think there is no further discussion of annexation because reposting the topic would encourage divisiveness (although it would be fun)…

Okay, maybe I missed it, but what was the outcome? I haven't heard anything definite, but I am supposing we (both areas) were annexed by Carrboro.

By Mary's comments, it looks like perhaps some concessions were made. ??

Can anyone point to a site with more information or provide it here.. I've searched and...nothing.

Thanks-

Yes, it passed for both areas. For what it's worth, I've found that the Daily Tarheel has the best local reporting.

http://www.dailytarheel.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/01/26/41f79449d4a2a...
http://www.dailytarheel.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/01/26/41f79ac65ec84...

It appears that a new voice of reason has arrived to right the wrong of Carrboro's involuntary annexation of the Northern areas.

Newly elected Representative Bill Faison has introduced a bill to counter the undemocratic actions of the Carrboro leadership (see link). It is clear from this bill that Rep. Faison understands the importance of the founding principle of fairness, something the Carrboro leadership knew as well, but simply chose to ignore. So much for the Paris (Texas) of the Piedmont.

This demonstration of character is something that voters of all parties should take note of, and pleasure in.

Unfortunately, Mark, the League of Municipalities has already stated its opposition to allowing residents subject to annexation vote and the Town of Chapel Hill is going to support that position in their legislative meeting this week. I'm not sure whether Carrboro has taken a position one way or the other.

I guess we should just stop holding elections, and let the League run the State. No thanks.

The suggestion that this legislation would make things "fair" is absurd: how is fair to people who live in a town and pay taxes to that town to have to share the voting booth with people who don't pay taxes? I don't know state politics that well, but it seems to me like the cities in this state should have enough influence with their legislators to vote this thing down. Is this just political showboating?

But Joan, isn't also much as problematic to make crucial decisions about the lives and welfare of people who have no vote?

To me, the intent of annexation makes a lot of sense and achieves the positive goal of reducing sprawl. But the process, as implemented this year, is deeply flawed. I'm more comfortable with Chapel Hill's decision to make sure the services are equivalent and present before proceeding with annexation. A referendum seems like a good compromise on first thought.

It is hard to strike a middle ground here. On the one hand, citizens in an extra-territorial jurisdiction are subject to decisions made by people these citizens did not elect. On the other, elected city officials make many decisions other than annexation and anexees don't yet pay city taxes, so why should an potential annexee get to choose candidates when the annexees are likely casting their vote only on the issue of annexation? Might a referendum process for annexation be a better solution? Maybe not because it is always been the right of cities to annex as they grow.

Herald-Sun article

Excerpts of the bill

Here's the real problem with this legislation (from an HS article):
"Cities and towns wouldn't be able to annex neighborhoods until the residents have received a chance 'to vote for each officer of the [town's] governing board,' Faison's bill said."

That suggests to me that non-residents would be voting in town elections for *years* before they could be annexed. Does that seem right to you?
I'm not sure what is right here, but I do know the proposed legislation seems very wrong.

The current approach seems less problematic (though not problem-free) because the annexation boundaries were drawn up years before, in part by county officials. (If I move to a town that has laws enacted years before I moved there, that I didn't know about, does that mean I shouldn't be subject to them?) However, I'm not suggesting a referendum is wrong, either--but, if a part of town wanted to vote themselves out, we wouldn't let residents do that. I guess I do think there are more compelling issues than what those residents specifically want.

"I guess I do think there are more compelling issues than what those residents specifically want."

The problems are they aren't residents of Carrboro--they have no rights whatsoever. Orange County won't stand up for them; Carrboro doesn't let them vote. Is that democracy? There's no point in going over the reasons for this again, it's been done ad naseum. The intent of the legislation to provide annexation powers is good; the implementation in some areas is good and not so good in others. Hopefully, Carrboro will follow a different process in the future.

I still find it interesting that there can be such passionate support of voting rights for some and not for others.

Terri, you are right, this issue is old... I was trying to address this legislation in particular. The whole two wrongs don't make a right thing.

My point was that the current approach was *less* problematic than the new legislation would be. Perhaps what I mean is that the new legislation would be more unfair.

So do you support the current legislation? That non-residents could vote in town elections for years before being annexed? If so, why do you see that as an improvement?

The legislation seems like the sort of thing proposed to make a group of constituents happy, rather than to really find the best solution to a problem.

Faison's proposal strikes me as a bit wacky. The idea is to give people the vote in a jurisdiction so that they can assert that they do not want to vote in that jurisdiction. Presumably, if they are successful in the use of that franchise, they will, within four years, overturn the annexation plan.

A better approach would be to recognize that the citizens of the area to be annexed are already represented by the county commissioners. Why not engage the commissioners more actively in the process?

One possible way to structure it would be to stipulate that annexations must have a five year lead time. If the municipality wants it sooner than that, then the BOCC must concur. That would provide those to be annexed with representatives to work with who represent them now and who will in the future regardless of the annexation.

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