Residents living within Carrboro's extraterritorial jurisdiction follow all of the town's laws — but they aren't able to vote for the officials who create these laws.
An extraterritorial jurisdiction is a statutory provision in state law that gives cities the right to regulate zones outside of their municipal boundaries. The city has control over areas such as land use, zoning and any of the city regulations that would normally be enforced inside town limits.
“One of the great ironies of extraterritorial jurisdictions is if you live in an extraterritorial jurisdiction, the governing body has control over how you use your land, what the zoning looks like, where you have to go to get inspections and building permits and things,” said Orange County Commissioner Mark Dorosin. “All of that authority and power rests with the town, but you don’t have the power to vote for elected officials who would make those decisions.”
Chris Hogan, owner of Lake Hogan Farm, has a family history of living in the area that is now the Carrboro extraterritorial jurisdiction.
“I don’t know if I feel represented by the Carrboro administration,” he said. “There are families out there in that property that have owned land for multiple generations, myself being the ninth generation. I do think that when I’ve attended the Board of Aldermen meetings for Carrboro, they do know who I am. But it’s frustrating when there’s people controlling the processing and planning of your land and you really don’t have a vote.”