The Guilford County Board of Commissioners announced on Friday, Nov 5 that the board has scheduled a public hearing to hear both sides of a controversial request from the Town of Summerfield to establish an Extra Territorial Jurisdiction along a section of the town’s border. 

An “ETJ” – a designated strip of land that extends outside of a municipality’s town or city limits – allows that town or city to enforce its zoning ordinances, erosion control measures and other development regulations within the zone.

Summerfield Mayor BJ Barnes told the Rhino Times earlier this year that establishing the ETJ would be a positive for Summerfield since it would help the town prevent undesirable development around Summerfield’s border – and it would also help maintain consistent density just outside of that border.

Early in 2021, the Summerfield Town Council voted to have town staff develop an ETJ map for consideration by the town’s zoning board.  The Town Council has now sent its final request (map shown above) to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners.

The Greensboro City Council has already offered its opinion of Summerfield’s ETJ request: On Monday, Nov. 1, the City Council voted unanimously to oppose the move.  The council sent that message in the form of an official adopted resolution to the Guilford County commissioners, who often – but not always – put a lot of weight on Greensboro’s wishes.

The proposed ETJ would extend two miles east and south of the town’s corporate boundary.

Even though the final proposed map of the ETJ was adopted and approved by the Summerfield Town Council, some Summerfield residents and affected residents in the ETJ zone, don’t want the change. 

Some say it’s unfair to those who live in the ETJ.

After hearing the arguments, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners can grant the request, turn it down or allow a revised version.

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners will hold its public hearing on the matter on Thursday, November 18 at 5:30 p.m. in the county commissioners’ meeting room in the Old Guilford County Court house at 301 West Market St. in downtown Greensboro.

The purpose of the hearing is to “receive public input regarding the Town of Summerfield’s request to establish extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) in an area where Guilford County currently applies zoning and subdivision regulations.”

The proposed map above is available in complete form for public inspection in the Guilford County Clerk to Board’s Office in the Old County Courthouse at 301 W. Market St. in Greensboro.

The public is invited to review the document between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Statewide authority for municipal extraterritorial land use regulations was approved by the NC General Assembly in 1959.