The Guilford County Board of Commissioners didn’t have to think very long at all before rejecting a request from the Town of Summerfield to establish an Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ).
The commissioners voted unanimously to deny the town’s request for the “buffer” zone that would have allowed the town control over development that took place outside of the town’s borders but inside the ETJ area.
The board took the 9-to-0 vote on Commissioner Carlvena Foster’s motion to deny after holding a public hearing on the ETJ request at the Thursday, Nov. 18 meeting.
The county commissioners had also heard a lot of information on ETJ’s in general, and Summerfield’s request in particular, at an afternoon work session held just before the regular evening meeting.
At the public hearing that evening, proponents of the ETJ argued that this would allow Summerfield to assure continuity of development principles just outside of the town’s borders.
Opponents told the board that the ETJ would put the homeowners in the affected zone in a state of “regulation without representation.” If the ETJ had been approved, property owners in the zone and outside the town limits would have been subject to Summerfield development ordinances but would not be able to vote for Town Council members.
Two speakers against the ETJ were former Summerfield Mayor Gail Dunham and Dwayne Crawford, a former Summerfield Town Council member who is an outspoken critic of the current council.
Summerfield Town Manager Scott Whitaker, as well as the town attorney, spoke in favor of the move.
A contingent of citizens from Summerfield didn’t speak but came to the commissioners’ meeting room on the second floor of the Old Guilford County Court House to show their opposition to the move.
One thing that likely had a good deal of influence on the Board of Commissioners’ decision is the fact that the Greensboro City Council was solidly against the move and made that known by passing a resolution opposing the resolution unanimously and sending to the county.
Once the public hearing closed, Foster immediately made her motion to deny and the chorus of commissioners who called out to second the motion made it clear that the vote was going to go against implementing the ETJ.