Mayor Nancy McFarlane spoke out against bills in North Carolina State Legislature that would limit the ability of cities and towns to guide planning and zoning issues on their outskirts.
“We think that citizens in the community should have a voice in how their community looks,” Mayor McFarlane told the News & Observer, in reference to House Bill 36, which seeks to eliminate guidelines in place to prevent building of “cookie cutter” neighborhoods. If these guidelines are eliminated it is developers, and not communities, that will have the biggest say in how their communities are built.
House Bill 51 would end extraterratorial jurisdiction (ETJ), the area outside of the city limits where cities control zoning issues. McFarlane said cities need to establish ETJs to plan growth in areas that will eventually become part of the city.
“In cities where they can’t expand their borders, what you see is the strain on city services becoming stronger,” she said. “That’s when the city taxes start going up.”