January 13, 2016 – Havelock News, Drew C. Wilson
Joint Land Use group makes recommendation
Havelock commissioners have opened discussion on expanding the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction as a means of thwarting encroachment around Cherry Point.
The discussion came as a result of recommendations made in a committee that is part of the Cherry Point MCAS Regional Joint Land Use Study, also known as JLUS.
The JLUS was created to establish a better working relationship between military installations, local government entities and the residents who live around them. The main goal is to curtail development around Cherry Point and its ranges and auxiliary fields to help protect military operations and in doing so protect thousands of employees who work at the base.
One of the recommendations is for Craven County and Havelock to consider an agreement to extend Havelock’s extraterritorial jurisdiction farther into the county near the proposed U.S. 70 bypass or for the county to create zoning so any new development would be compatible with military operations. The ETJ is an area outside city limits where property owners would have to abide by city regulations, though they would pay no taxes and not vote in city elections.
City officials were concerned that extending the ETJ may require the city to provide certain services to non-city taxpayers, such as police protection or water and sewer services.
“The good side is that we can use our zoning, our sound attenuation to protect areas around the base out there where, in the absence of that ETJ, either it won’t happen, or the county would have to step in and do it,” Havelock Mayor Will Lewis said.
Traditionally, the county does very little zoning, but has done so in areas around Cherry Point as well as the Coastal Carolina Regional Airport.
“I am not saying they won’t because they have the same interest in protecting the base as we do,” Lewis said. “Typically, that would be our responsibility.”
City Manager Frank Bottorff concurred.
“Clearly for the protection of Cherry Point, the best people suited would be the city,” he said. “That would be the best possible solution for the sustainment of Cherry Point.”
He also pointed out that the bypass could bring new development that would wish to become part of the city, thus extending the ETJ would make sense.
“ … There will be new areas of development that through their development would be eligible for annexation, so there are clearly plusses and minuses, but one, I think it is much better for Cherry Point and the long range success of Cherry Point, and frankly there may be parts of this that are better for us too,” he said.
Katrina Marshall, city planning director and a member of the JLUS group, said that Havelock had basically been a “model city” in taking care of the base, as evidenced by steps the city took after the last JLUS in 2003.
“When they were reviewing Havelock and all that Havelock has done as a result of that study, we got high marks,” said Marshall. “They spoke very highly that we had implemented all of the things that Havelock was tasked with or that was on the recommendations list. They said they scrubbed it hard looking for things that really needed to be taken care of now.”
The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.