Give ETJ the vote!

Now that this election is behind us, I see one quick, clear duty for this new City Council to clean up, and it’s one that ought [to] help increase voter turnout. The residents of Asheville’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) deserve the right to vote in our city elections.

The main practical difference for residents of the ETJ is the economic tradeoff, which I believe to be fair enough; the burden of city taxes is relieved [for residents], but so are the services that the city would normally [have to] provide. However, this distinction does not nullify the fact that the ETJ is under City Council’s jurisdiction.

Being allowed to vote for those who represent you is the basis of American democracy. Fix this.

— Rob Close


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12 thoughts on “Give ETJ the vote!

  1. R Bernier


    Do you think they would be willing to change the laws in the book right now?

    This law is the only way the City can grow, just look at the way the Fab4 has treated people!!

    Shame Shame Shame


  2. nuvue

    Hate to sound dumb, but what defines a ETJ??
    Is that like someone who owns a place there but not in residence?
    Or is it the surrounding community?

  3. “Extra Territorial Jurisdiction gives a municipality the right to apply its zoning and sub-division ordinances to nearby properties that are not within the municipality and not incorporated in another municipality. …”

    In other words, all the disadvantages of being in a city and none of the advantages (such as they are).

    This quote and a full FAQ about ETJ in North Carolina may be found at:

  4. Nam Vet

    ETJ is the ugly side of local government. I live in an ETJ area, and I can tell you I want NO PART of the City of Asheville’s layered government departments. I would prefer for there to be NO ETJ. It is un-American. “The government that governs least, governs best”-Jefferson.

  5. Rob Close

    Thanks for the helpful link, Ralph.

    And yes, there shouldn’t be an ETJ – but there is, so c’mon, how can we be a ‘progressive’ city while denying people the vote like this?

  6. Nam Vet

    Rob, ETJ has nothing to do with being truly progressive. It is very regressive in fact to forceably annex or otherwise control the lives of people who do not want or need “city services”. No one in Fairview wants to be forceably annexed to Asheville. Only the high dollar developments here want anything from Asheville. They are already running up our property taxes through the roof, now this. Progressive to me means staying true to the original intent of our founding fathers, that citizens should enjoy individual freedom and have a right to keep as much of their personal property (read taxed salary) as possible. Progressive means looking out for the “little guy” citizen with no influence. “The government that governs least, governs best” -Thomas Jefferson.

    Intrusive, power-hungry government is a cancer on the people and personal freedoms. And it does not work. Only the welfare class and patrician class (who derive their own power and fortune from government “service”) like high taxes and intrusive government. It is ironic that Northeastern transplants tend to favor turning WNC into what they came from: a high-taxed, unworkable, socialist-lite mess. Why are there so many Notheastern retirees here? Because they cannot afford their property taxes up north on a retirement income. I talked to a guy last year who moved here from New Jersey. He had just sold his house there for $200k, a lower end for that area. His last property tax bill? $5000 a year. Here is hoping this never happens here. ETJ and forceable annexation is just the beginning of local government power/money grabs. Let’s stop them now!

  7. Well, Rob… we are in agreement there. The ETJ folks SHOULD have a vote and then we’d quickly have a new city council; one that did not believe progress is to oppress people by taking their freedom involuntarily. Wasn’t there a tea party some time back in Boston about that? Taxation without representation, and such like? Yep, NO annexation. Ever again.

  8. Rob Close

    The ETJ certainly is NOT progressive. I said that to taunt the people who use that arrogant word to describe their politics – well damnit, show me some progress!
    It’ll be interesting to see who, if any, of our local politician ever brings this up.

  9. Unit

    Ralph, the ETJ is not taxed by the city, so the analogy doesn’t hold up. I bet Rob wouldn’t agree to taxation to go along with the representation he is demanding. Arguing whether the ETJ should exist at all may be reasonable, but saying they should get to vote despite not paying city taxes but sucking off the city’s teat? If you want a vote, you can annex. Typical counter-productive WNC mindset – we love the prosperity we get from being near Asheville, but pay our share? No thanks!!!

  10. I certainly would. I have 2 acres given to me on a large farm. The EJT put it in IND. It is a farm that has been the family since the early 1700’s. I am about a 5 th generation and and will probably not get to build on my great,great,great grandfathers farm. I totally agree with most of these comments. Someday Asheville will change its county to Asheville County.
    This area is totally surrounded by residential houses approximately 70 acres which in the 1700’s were 100’s of acres. Divided down through time by inhertiage. Can you get a house build in EJT

  11. Efenhel

    Well ETJ is a tax of sorts. When we buy property we buy what lawyers call “a bundle of rights” by limiting those rights, whether it be through limiting density or allowed uses it is a “tax” on those uses.

    I am looking at property in the ETJ to build a small sustainable co-housing project and have found a piece of property the City doesn’t want to provide water for but still wants to regulate? That’s not progressive!

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