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First House Reading of Sen. Soucek’s Anti-Boone ETJ Bill Held Wednesday, Referred To Committee

By Jesse Wood

June 18, 2014. The bill to eliminate Boone’s extraterritorial jurisdiction in 2015 has passed its first reading in the N.C. House after making its way through the Senate by a 34-15 margin a week ago.

The bill was sent to the house on Tuesday, and after the first reading on Wednesday, Senate Bill 865 was referred to committee.

Sen. Dan Soucek filed the legislation two weeks ago to the protest of Mayor Andy Ball and his fellow council members. The bill only affects Boone and no other municipalities in the state.

The N.C. League of Municipalities, which opposes the repeal of ETJs, noted in a legislative bulletin a few days ago that the local bill isn’t the only ETJ bill on the docket. The ETJ around the City of Asheville and the Town of Weaverville are also being targeted. See the NCLM bulletin here.

In 2012, a similar bill, also filed by Soucek and affecting only Boone’s ETJ, passed the Senate before dying in the House. That bill also passed the first reading in the House before stalling in committee.

The current legislative session is expected to end July 1 – although that date isn’t set in stone.

Read a prior article here about this bill with quotes from Soucek, Ball and planning officials with Watauga County and Town of Boone.