The Shadow Wake Forest

Recently we did a story as a result of a reader concern posted on our “Fix It Please” page.

The issue was about the perceived unsightliness of a “junkyard” that was more exposed by the modernization of Chalk Road.

What was intended to be a nice deed to help a reader, turned into a shit storm on our Facebook page with people jumping in to “leave the guy alone” after we reported about having the police called on us.

Google Street View of Subject Property.
Google Street View of Subject Property.

This might get long but it will eventually come back around to closing up this issue so hang in there and keep reading.

The problem from the beginning seemed to be some sort of promised screening to block the view of the auto body collection from the road when the road was widened. Readers also felt they were getting passed back and forth between the Town of Wake Forest and Wake County and there was no clarity, only confusion.

The original story ended with the Town of Wake Forest telling readers to call the Wake County Inspections Department if they were unhappy. We’ve learned some readers did. But as we dug more into the story, we too were bounced back to the Town by Wake County. We felt your frustration.

The media representatives for both the Town of Wake Forest and Wake County have been very accommodating and they have tried very hard to resolve the confusion and issues. For that we are thankful.

But we can imagine how frustrated residents may have been who felt they were getting the run around. Hopefully we can clear up the confusion or get a free beer, whichever comes first.

Based on information on hand today, here is what appears the lowdown on the entire situation. No beer huh?

Junkyard location.
Junkyard Location.
It is true that the location of the property in question is technically outside the Town of Wake Forest limits if you look at a map.

But despite that fact, the property is located inside the Town of Wake Forest Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) area.

The ETJ is basically a “planning” area directly outside the corporate limits where land development regulations (i.e. zoning, subdivision, flood damage prevention, etc.) apply, just like within the corporate limits, however the citizens that reside in these areas don’t pay Town taxes nor do they vote in Town elections.

The NC General Statues do not allow Towns to apply general regulatory powers (such as junk car, nuisances, law enforcement, etc.) to the ETJ.

The Other Wake Forest

The Town of Wake Forest has more than one boundary, of course it does.

There is the corporate boundary and then there is the ETJ boundary. The Town of Wake Forest was kind enough to supply us with a current map showing the ETJ area. You can click here to view a larger version.

Wake Forest ETJ areas in lighter brown.
Wake Forest ETJ areas in lighter brown.

These ETJ areas can be very confusing to residents and us simple reporting idiots at the Wake Forest News. They are a kind of limbo area where the residents don’t pay town taxes, have to answer to the town, and get their police protection from the Wake County Sheriff and not the Wake Forest Police.

If we zoom in on the property in question we can see it is outside the Town of Wake Forest boundary but inside the Wake Forest ETJ.

The property is marked by the arrows.
The property is marked by the arrows and the light area is the ETJ. The darker brown is the Town border.

So, after finally nailing this down (by this time we felt like being nailed down as well) we got some definitive answers from the Town of Wake Forest. All of this just took us on a journey to get to the persons in the most know.

The “junkyard” has been in the same location for about 40 years and is grandfathered in to whatever new zoning changes are made. The widening of Chalk Road caused the natural screening of Chalk Road to be thinned.

While residents and HOAs might have been told early on that some sort of natural screening might be installed when the road was widened it is not clear at all if that would have actually screen the property from the road.

When the road was widened the area between the curb and gutter in the right of way was seeded and the soil stabilized. That was done. Any natural “screening” was not possible to install between the property and the new work due to insufficient engineering setbacks. We could not locate if any fence was ever planned.

Hopefully this will put this issue to rest and we can move on with much less serious stories about our beloved Wake Forest.

Bonus Confusion

As if this unveiling of the Wake Forest ETJ limits wasn’t confusing enough, here is another map to make your head spin.

The Wake Forest Fire District does not include our subject property.

Subject property is located at the end of the arrows, outside the fire district.
Subject property is located at the end of the arrows, outside the fire district.

Here is the full Wake Forest Fire District.

Wake Forest Fire District
Wake Forest Fire District

Now compare that to the Town of Wake Forest corporate boundary.

Town of Wake Forest boundaries.
Town of Wake Forest boundaries.

For the record, we all still want that beer.

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