When a town wants to grow big and strong, does it need to drink its milk?
A town grows in size by taking surrounding areas and formally claiming them through a process called annexation.
Last night, the Chapel Hill Town Council unanimously passed a resolution identifying areas under consideration for future annexation after no debate.
The resolution is necessary because North Carolina state laws require a planning board or council to adopt a resolution identifying areas under consideration at least one year before adopting a resolution of intent to annex that land.
"This resolution identifies all areas that potentially could become the subject of annexation," said Chapel Hill Town Manager Cal Horton.
Those places included in the resolution are areas near Notting Hill, including land east of Erwin Road and north of Sage Road, and Southern Village, also including Dogwood Acres and Zapata Lane.
The Southern Village area is one that the council has been considering annexing for years, but council members now believe the time is right to pursue it.
When land is annexed, that area becomes officially included in the town limits.
In addition, annexing areas allows Chapel Hill to form its borders to match areas of increased urbanization, creating easily recognizable town limits.
But annexation does not come without responsibilities on the part of the town.
These areas are guaranteed multiple municipal services, such as law enforcement protection, fire protection, garbage and trash collection, along with maintenance and lighting of public streets.
Some areas across Chapel Hill became part of the town by petitioning for annexation to the council.
These areas have included Springcrest and Culbreth Middle School.
In the past decade, Chapel Hill also has completed numerous town-initiated annexations including Sherwood Forest, the Englewood subdivision, Weaver Dairy Road/Erwin Road and the UNC/Faculty-Staff Club.
But the council has declared its intent not to expand beyond the Urban Services Boundary, identified in its 2000 Land Use Plan, as the extent to which its services can expand.
In the future, the council plans to recommend annexation for all areas in between the current town limits and the service line, which includes both the Notting Hill and Southern Village areas.
Adoption of Monday's resolution does not require that the town council pursue town-initiated annexation in the identified areas.
The resolution merely expresses interest in the areas, allowing officials the option under law to pursue annexation later.
The town staff will prepare a memorandum discussing the process for initiating annexation of the Notting Hill and the Southern Village areas, which will be presented to the Town Council for further consideration Jan. 8, 2001.
The public will be able to comment at that time.
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