As followers of this issue know, the county appointed representatives to these boards some of whom were not residents of the ETJ - Whether or not they are required to be residents in order to be "qualified" is no longer the issue - the county has already agreed that they would accept the town's position that their appointments must be ETJ residents - but the town is apparently insisting that they have the right to determine the pool of nominees that the county must select from.
As I said in the original post on this topic (click here).....
"...it seems to me that the NC STATE statute (ncgs 160a-362) specifically requires that citizens within a town's ETJ are entitled to proportional representation on the town planning board and BOA and further that : " The representatives on the planning board and the board of adjustment shall be appointed by the board of county commissioners with jurisdiction over the area...." That is to say, when the town extends it's zoning authority via ETJ, the individuals whose property is to be regulated by that town, are represented on the town's Planning Board and BOA by representatives chosen by their county commissioners."
It is the position of the county that the county commissioners have the exclusive right to make these appointments; that the Town of Boone does not have authority to change the provisions of the statute and that the representatives for the people living within the ETJ are not determined by the town and that the town should follow the statute as written. The town seems to be taking the position that, while they don't challenge the intent of the statute, they believe that the county does not have "standing" to sue them and thus can't prevent them from violation of the statute.
David Owens, Professor of Public Law and Government, School of Government, at UNC CH is generally recognized as the state's foremost authority on ETJ and zoning issues within NC. His opinion
on the Boone/Watauga county ETJ appointments was recently sought and received by the County Commissioners. The relevant portion of Mr Owens opinion is as follows:
Mister Owens' opinion is of course, not binding on the Boone Town Council. One would hope however that it would give them pause and encourage them to reevaluate their position on this important issue and not force the taxpayers of this county (and of the Town of Boone) to finance a lawsuit to resolve this matter!