Local News

Chatham commissioner opposes Cary annexation

Posted July 3, 2007
Updated May 7, 2008

— The latest United States census results show Cary is the fastest-growing town in Wake County. In fact, the town is the eighth fastest-growing municipality in the nation with more than 100,000 people.

Census results show Cary grew 5.1 percent in the past year, although the town says that figure is closer to 4.3 percent.

But a town-initiated annexation of part of Chatham County has one leader there angry.

"They're limited to the north by Research Triangle (Park), they're limited to the east by Raleigh," Chatham County Commissioner Patrick Barnes said. "They're limited to the south by Apex and Holly Springs, so the only direction they can grow is west. And the west doesn't want them."

Cary officials say there has not

"Cary still has a lot of vacant land, particularly out west in what we consider our utility service area," town spokeswoman Susan Moran said. "And we have some development that's occurring in Chatham County, too."

And it's that potential to grow west that has one Chatham County commissioner fighting mad.

Cary representatives say Barnes is fighting a one-man battle on the commission. But you don't have to go to Chatham County to find folks who oppose Cary's annexations.

"The cities can force property owners to be part of the city without any negotiation, without any discussion," Catherina Heath, with Stop NC Annexation. said.

Cary officials say there has not been that kind of "town-initiated" annexation since 2003 and the people who come in want to be part of Cary.

"And even if you count the folks that came in with that, town-initiated annexation only represents 2 percent of all the annexations we see in Cary," Town spokeswoman Susan Moran said.

Heath also says new developments bring environmental concerns. Anytime there is a new subdivision, it means trees have to be uprooted.

"And we can demonstrate that in a million different ways from our clear-cutting laws to the millions of dollars worth of open space that we try to purchase every year," Moran said.

And Cary officials say that commitment is part of the reason why the town is growing so quickly.

There is a temporary agreement between Cary and Chatham County that Cary will not annex any land there until August...and that deadline could be extended.


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  • puckerup Jul 4, 2007

    That is just it. I would probably have a bigger coronary over allowing an insurance company to have more power over me than the local government. At least I stand a chance of voting in or out candidates. With insurance companies all you can do is shop around and with the advent of the C.L.U.E. Reports its just too much power in the hands of insurance.


  • Steve Crisp Jul 4, 2007

    I would contend that no one would want to build such a structure that is in danger of blowing up. And the codes today are more driven by single incidents of stupidity than anything else. Let me give you an example.

    Look at your wall outlets. I suspect that the ground prong is in the down position. New code requires that the prong be in the up position. That way if you drop a metal chain onto a plug that is not completely inserted into the outlet, it will ground out and throw the breaker rather than completing the circuit across the two prongs and starting a fire.

    Now just how many times do you think that has happened? I've asked around and can not come up with one single instance of that occuring, though perhaps it has happened once or twice. But someone (read insurance agency trying to eliminate all hazards to reduce their payout) thought it would be a good idea to force it on everyone so it is now code.

  • puckerup Jul 4, 2007


    IF there was an insurance requirement to be carried on the property that would completely cover the losses and damages of other homes around you then I might could agree with your point. But Im not sure that any amount of insurance can cover a loss of life. If my neighbor's home was not built to code and a gas leak in it caused the death of my child, I would probably want the neighbor go to jail. So I would almost want to see some kind of criminal in addition to financial liability before supporting a lack of mandatory building codes. Im still not sure I could though.

    As it stands now though there is no insurance requirement at this time on any home, except if you carry a bank note on the property. So minimum building codes have gotta be there.

  • Steve Crisp Jul 4, 2007

    To puckerup:

    This is where you and I have to disagree. If someone wants to build a firetrap to live in, that is their choice. But there should also be a requirement for them to carry mandatory homeowners insurance so their neighbors would be protected. Just like for automobiles. And if the house is not built to code and carry a seal of certification then I can assure you that their insurance premiums would be through the roof. In any case, it is a voluntary decision, though one with strong pressures from (say) insurance companies. At least, though, it is not mandated.

    It's the same pricing model currently in force with health insurance. If I want to engage in high-risk behaviors, that is my right. But I'm gonna pay for it in health and life insurance premiums. It is still my decision, though. I can elect not to carry coverage for getting mangled in a bungie jumping accident nad my premiums would go down. But if I got mangled, I'm on my own.

  • Steve Crisp Jul 4, 2007

    And I don't see anything wrong with voluntary restrictive convenents, though I would never live under one. But how's this.

    If there are fifty homes in a given development and fifteen of those neighbors demand that a covenent be written to mandate all people in their backyards must wear underwear on their heads, then they should buy up the other 35 houses and sell them to people who will abide by their rules. But what is now happening is that a handful of homeowners are going to city councils and forcing further restrictions on their neighbors either in the form of direct changes in ordinances or via neighborhood overlays that are imposed with the force of ordinance.

    I've even got a real problem with Raleigh's water restrictions that they put in place this week. If they want to declare an emergency, then fine. But to tell me after I have bought my home that I can no longer water as I choose is a crock.

    The need to keep their social engineering off my property and lifestyle.

  • FragmentFour Jul 4, 2007

    likemenow -- How about if all the municpalities surrounding that egotistical town suddenly decided it was in their best interest economically to annex Cary to tap into the wealth of property taxes there?

    Now THAT I would dearly love to see!

  • puckerup Jul 4, 2007

    Mr Crisp I would disagree with you on the building codes. The first time a house is built, it HAS to meet basic codes, if nothing other than for fire protection of the building and those surrounding it. After it meets it the first time, then its sold its up to the new buyer to get it inspected and determine what they are willing to pay for or not.

  • Steve Crisp Jul 4, 2007

    No, I didn't say that there should be no codes. What I stated is that codes should not change in a more restrictive manner for a given property once someone owns that property and without their consent. It is the same thing as building codes. Once the structure is erected, no one can come in and force me to upgrade systems because the building code changed. Actually, I don't even believe in mandatory building codes so that is not a good example. But to continue that one thought.

    I think building codes should be recommendations, not mandatory. But cities should have a certification program such that if you build to code, the will certify as such. Without certification, it may be tough to sell your house. On the other hand, you may have plenty of buyers who do not want to pay a premium and who are willing to accept any "danger" due to "substandard" construction. There just needs to be full disclosure with fraud penalties for trying to hide something.

  • puckerup Jul 4, 2007

    I'm not sure that is what Steve Crisp is trying to say. What he is trying to say is that its wrong for the government or neighbors to change a propertys zoning after it has been bought.

    For example if after you bought your home, the city suddenly said effective immediately all garages must be side entrance garages and can not face the street, and then required you to follow the new code at your expense. That would be wrong. Very wrong in my opinion.

    If there was an undeveloped property beside you that was R40 and the land owner wanted to rezone it to R20 to get more homes on it, it would not be wrong of them to enforce the new code on the property beside you as a condition of their rezoning.

  • elcid89 Jul 4, 2007

    "Its kind of like if you own a home and your next door neighbor paints their house in multiple shades of pink and purple. Unless the city code forbids it, or there is a neighborhood covenant prohibiting then as a homeowner you are in a bind. You can sue, but Im not sure a judgment would go your way."

    But according to Steve, there can be no such covenants or codes. He can do whatever he wants with his property without restriction and without regard as to how it affects those around him.