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Wake-Franklin County Line to Move After Lying Still for Nearly 100 Years

Posted January 17, 2008

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— After lying still for nearly a century, the Wake-Franklin county line might be moving soon, raising concerns among some homeowners about possible tax increases.

The shift could affect a total of 68 homeowners. At least 26 might have to switch counties completely, moving from Franklin into Wake or visa versa.

When surveyors mapped the county line in 1915, they used markers that included rocks, tree stumps and fences. Many of those markers have disappeared, making it hard to pinpoint the boundary in some places.

"The uncertainty of the county line, as to where the county line or boundary actually is on the ground, over the years has become more and more of a problem," Jim Wrenn, Franklin County tax assessor, said.

The news that they might really be living in a different county caught some homeowners by surprise.

"It was kind of a shock to us," said Ray Bailey, a current Wake County resident. "We always thought we lived in Wake County, as far as I know ever since I've lived here. I went to Wake County public schools."

For the past 17 years, Tracy Hales has lived in Franklin County, and her neighbors have lived in Wake County.

"The sign's always been at the other side of our driveway," Hales said.

Local leaders, however, said the county marker is in the wrong spot and should be pushed back one house. And with that one move, Hales will become a Wake County resident.

Many homeowners want the boundary issue fixed because property taxes are higher in Franklin than in Wake. Some homeowners said they will be fine with the move, as long as their taxes do not change drastically.

"At least now it will be official," Bailey said. The boundary "won't be a rock. I won't be wondering where the line is."

Franklin County commissioners have already approved the new outline of the boundary. Wake County commissioners plan to hold a public hearing in February before voting on the issue.

9 Comments

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  • SEOpro Jan 18, 2008

    I agree with a previous post. The lines should now be specifically defined but current residents should not be changed. 68 potential homes that may be "affected" is a relatively low number. The authorities should establish solid boundaries now and flag those "affected" properties for a change in tax status based on the change of ownership in the future.

  • EasilyAmused Jan 18, 2008

    guess i will have to wait and find out if i am affected. i am currently considered in franklin county but the neighbors around me are in wake and the wake county boundary cuts through part of my property.

  • Just Mojo Jan 18, 2008

    i used to live on the wake franklin line. no one could tell us for sure which county we were in, wake or franklin?

  • SheriffTruman Jan 18, 2008

    Interesting that everyone complains about taxes being so high here in Wake that they should easily be able to afford infrastructure, yet Franklin county taxes are higher.

  • morebeerforme Jan 18, 2008

    somebody somewhere just didnt have anything else to do

  • whatelseisnew Jan 18, 2008

    The two counties should just agree to redraw the boundaries and leave the properties affected within the county they currently think they are in now.

  • haggis basher Jan 18, 2008

    Modern surveying can take care of this without anybody having to be changed. If its been that way for 100 years leave it alone.

  • icy148 Jan 18, 2008

    Soooooo, what's the problem??? It's been like this for a hundred years, I haven't heard anyone complaining. Why is it suddenly an issue?

  • buzzcub Jan 18, 2008

    I don't own a GPS device, but wouldn't it seem a like GPS description be a good way to define boundaries? If I'm not mistaken, GPS positions will never change at specific spot on the surface? Unless, of course, shifting tectonic plates, which would be an issue in California.

    Anyone in field surveying know for sure?