Local News

Country Values, City Politics Clash in Cary

Posted May 2, 2000

— A Wake County man says he is being unfairly bullied by his big neighbor -- the town of Cary. He says town leaders are telling him what he can and cannot do with his own land even though he does not live in town.

Cary is a boomtown, with development everywhere you look. Just outside the town limits a quiet, rural life still exists. A Wake County farmer says his country values are clashing with town politics.

Arthur Carpenter was born on this land and he hopes to die here.

"62 years, been here for all of it," says Carpenter. "Just a lot of memories here, a lot of memories."

Memories from his childhood, like curing tobacco, fishing and simply taking in the beauty.

Carpenter wants his two daughters and grandchildren to share the splendor. But Cary is denying his request to build a house for his daughter on the 53-acre farm.

"It's not a development. All I'm trying to do is give my children land to build on," he says.

Carpenter's land is not in Cary's town limits, but it is just over the line in an area called the extra territorial jurisdiction.

This means Cary has a legal right to control development here because it is land which could be annexed in the future.

"These rules protect the property owner more than anything else," says town manager Bill Coleman. He says rules about things like road access help guarantee that the homeowner can get emergency services and utilities.

"We want very much to work with Mr.Carpenter and make sure his interests are served as well as ours," says Coleman.

In the meantime, Carpenter must wait to fulfill his family's dreams.

"I think it's wrong, I think it's wrong," he says.

Carpenter's request will be discussed again by town leaders on May 25. He says if he does not get the permit, he may consider a lawsuit.


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