ETJ stands for Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction. Most cities have these areas and they are very common.
An ETJ and an Annexation of land are two different things. Under an ETJ you will not pay any additional taxes. Your address will not be affected; addresses are determined by the United States Postal Service not the town. Likewise, your schools will not be affected by this ETJ area request. Although you cannot vote if you are in an ETJ area you can attend town and board meetings and serve on local committees. Involuntary Annexation is not legal by the state of North Carolina. Whether you are or are not in an ETJ area you can still request to be annexed to the town. If you’re in a subdivision the town will require at least 61% of the neighbors to agree to wanting to be annexed before they will review the request. Simply asking to be annexed is not a guarantee that you will be though there are a lot of factors to be considered.
How does being inside the ETJ benefit you the homeowner? Great question! Right now if you’re outside the ETJ and a piece of land is sold to a developer for a subdivision to be created that developer will follow Wake County guidelines which does not require a traffic impact study be done nor widening of or additions to the infrastructure. Under Fuquay Varina guidelines developers are required to do the impact study and make all required improvements before a home is allowed to be built in the subdivision. What will also change is your zoning code. The codes will be looked at to determine the most similar code from Wake County to Fuquay Varina. For example, if you are currently a R-30 code with the county you’ll likely change to RA code which is the equivalent.
The County hasn’t fully approved the proposed ETJ request by the town and it won’t likely be submitted until January of 2019 and could take 6-9 months for final approval. Between now and then there are a few items that the town knows are differences that they will be addressing. A few of those are non domestic animals (outside of actual zoned farms), home based businesses as well the permit cost. There will be a few more informational town hall meetings between now and then. If you have specific questions regarding how this will affect you and your land give the Planning Department a call/email at (919) 552-1429 or firstname.lastname@example.org