FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2020
SUBJECT: YOUNGSVILLE, WAKE FOREST COLLABORATE AS COUNTY WORKS TO ADOPT NEW ZONING
(Youngsville, North Carolina) — Town officials published the following information today relating to recent events connected with the town’s new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO; a.k.a. “Youngsville Development Ordinance,” or “YDO”) – which the town board of commissioners approved on January 9, 2020. To aid reader understanding, key timeframes are identified below in bold as they relate to the sequence of events that culminates with the date of this release.
FEBRUARY 2018 – MARCH 2019
During this period, the town’s planning board and staff held a series of over 20 meetings to deliberate over the content of the town’s “Comprehensive Land Use & Master Plan 2040” (a.k.a. “Master Plan”). During these interactions, the planning board recommended the town surrender Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) over the areas between the “ETJ” and “New ETJ” lines on the “Town of Youngsville Future Land Use Plan” map included in the Master Plan (instructions for how to access the plan are provided at the end of this release). For ease of reference, this area will hereafter be referred to as “Zone A.”
The factors considered when making the decision to surrender ETJ over Zone A were varied, but the following two were most relevant:  this area falls outside Franklin County’s agreed-upon utility service area; or  this area is already developed and securing voluntary homeowner annexation into the town’s corporate limits is not feasible.
The first factor above is rooted in projections made by the Franklin County utilities department in assessing the future areas it could serve (given water supply limitations and lack of significant capital investment by the county in water treatment and distribution infrastructure). The second factor above is rooted in recent limitations the State of North Carolina has placed on municipalities and their ability to involuntarily annex neighborhoods into their corporate limits (resulting in these neighborhoods paying both municipal and county taxes).
On March 14, 2019 the town board of commissioners adopted the town’s current Master Plan, codifying the town’s intent to surrender ETJ over Zone A. This plan has been maintained for public inspection via the town’s website and at town hall since its adoption.
MARCH 2019 – JANUARY 2020
From March 14, 2019 until January 9, 2020 the town’s planning board and staff held a series of over 50 meetings to deliberate over the final form of its new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO; a.k.a. “Youngsville Development Ordinance” or “YDO”). During this process, the town’s planning board recommended moving forward with surrendering ETJ over Zone A in the drawing of its new zoning map (which is component to the town’s new YDO).
On July 17, 2019, Youngsville Town Administrator Phil Cordeiro and Planning Director Bob Clark met with Franklin County Planning Director Scott Hammerbacher to discuss a variety of regional planning topics. Among the topics discussed was the town’s intent to surrender ETJ over Zone A. A three-foot by four-foot large-print version of the “Town of Youngsville Future Land Use Plan” map adopted in March 2019 was referenced during this in-person conversation to mitigate any miscommunication over the town’s proposal to surrender ETJ over Zone A.
On November 4, 2019 Youngsville Town Administrator Phil Cordeiro corresponded with Franklin County Planning Director Scott Hammerbacher regarding the town’s proposed YDO and zoning map. The correspondence reads as follows:
Franklin County Planning Director Scott Hammerbacher did not reply to express interest in meeting with the town and no feedback on the town’s proposed YDO (including the proposed zoning map, which is component thereto) was provided between November 4, 2020 and January 9, 2020.
Having received no feedback from the county the town proceeded, and its board of commissioners adopted the YDO on January 9, 2020. The YDO includes an updated zoning map, and the zoning boundary depicted on this updated zoning map is identical to the “New ETJ” boundary depicted on the “Town of Youngsville Future Land Use Plan” map in the town’s Master Plan (instructions for how to access both plans are provided at the end of this release).
JANUARY 2020 – PRESENT
On January 21, 2020 Franklin County Planning Director Scott Hammerbacher contacted the town via e-mail to coordinate efforts between his staff and the town to adopt county zoning in Zone A.
In accordance with state law, the town’s zoning prior to January 9, 2020 applies in Zone A until March 9, 2020 or until the county adopts new zoning – whichever comes first. Thus, the town’s zoning prior to January 9, 2020 will expire in Zone A on March 10, 2020.
On February 4, 2020 – in a letter to the Town of Youngsville – the Town of Wake Forest communicated concern over the expiration of the town’s prior zoning in Zone A. Between February 4, 2020 and the date of this release the Town of Youngsville has corresponded with both Franklin County and the Town of Wake Forest to make plans to prevent this situation from occurring.
In early February 2020, the Franklin County planning department mailed the following notice to property owners in Zone A in preparation for adopting new zoning.
During a teleconference between the Towns of Wake Forest and Youngsville that took place on the afternoon of February 21, 2020 – to which Franklin County Planning Director Scott Hammerbacher was invited, but declined to participate – officials from Youngsville and Wake Forest discussed a variety of options they could take to prevent zoning from expiring in Zone A. At the conclusion of the interaction, Town Administrator Phil Cordeiro worked-out the following solution in collaboration with Wake Forest Town Attorney Samuel Slater of the Wyrick Robbins law firm.
Because Youngsville and Wake Forest executed an annexation agreement in 2007 – an agreement that sets certain guidelines for how each municipality may expand ETJ in Franklin County – Wake Forest may petition the Franklin County Superior Court to issue an injunction to keep Youngsville’s zoning prior to January 9, 2020 in effect in Zone A until the county adopts its new zoning. As this solution is a joint effort between Youngsville and Wake Forest, Youngsville Town Attorney Ed Bartholomew will respond to Wake Forest’s petition by consenting to the request and asking the court to move forward without objection.
In a comment provided for this release, Town Administrator Phil Cordeiro explained, “Although this legal solution may seem to some like Youngsville is at odds with Wake Forest in this zoning matter, it’s really just a creative solution for us to ask the court to ensure we both maintain consistent zoning policies while the county works through its ongoing process to adopt new zoning in the affected area.”
In reaction to the foregoing events Youngsville Mayor Fonzie Flowers commented, “The Youngsville town board fully supports this joint solution. I’m delighted to see [Youngsville] town staff were able to collaborate with Wake Forest to reach a mutually agreeable solution that will maintain zoning in these areas.”
The town’s full Master Plan and YDO may be accessed by visiting town hall during normal business hours, or via the town’s website by going to www.townofyoungsville.org, then clicking on “Departments” in the top menu, then clicking on “Planning and Zoning”, then clicking on “Plans and Ordinances.”
Comments may be submitted to town officials by calling town hall at 919-925-3401 or by e-mailing email@example.com.