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Some Chatham County Residents Soon May Find Themselves In Cary

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CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. — Chatham County residents plan to stay put, but the town of Cary may come to them. The town is developing a land-use plan for the area that has sparked a response from Chatham County commissioners.

A few years ago, Shirley Lewter moved to eastern Chatham County when city borders swallowed up her Durham County home. Now, she suspects Cary wants to do the same thing in this area.

"I think they would love to own all this property out this way," she said.

For seven years, Cary has included part of Chatham County in a 14,000-acre planning area. Recently, the town sent letters to property owners, inviting them to a planning meeting Thursday night. Many suspect it will lead to annexation.

"People are just beginning to realize it's going to come to pass," Lewter said.

Many people in Chatham County were so upset that they went to county commissioners. The commissioners drafted a resolution to let Cary city officials know they are not welcome across the line when it comes to annexation.

"It is not a plan for annexation. Of course, people think that it is automatically," said Cary Planning Director Jeff Ulma.

Ulma said the town is simply creating long-range plans in case residents might request annexation down the road. Chatham County commissioners say they have their own development plan for the area. What many residents fear most is one of the things they moved to the area to escape.

"Well, the taxes of course; that's the No. 1 thing," Lewter said. "Things are just going to skyrocket, and a lot of people are not going to be able to afford it."

The meeting with Cary planners will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at Green Hope High School.