ETJ Expansion

General Information

The Town of Fuquay-Varina submitted a request to Wake County to expand its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), originally for over 22,000 acres, which was approved by Wake County on October 21, 2019 for 9,215 acres, and becomes effective on December 20, 2019. 

This is NOT an annexation. Property in the ETJ is NOT in Town limits so property owners do NOT pay Town taxes.

View an interactive map of the ETJ expansion.

The ETJ is the area outside Fuquay-Varina’s Town limits but subject to Town zoning and development standards. In other words, If a property in the ETJ is developed, construction follows the Town’s standards. This ensures that developments are harmonious with one another and with the Town’s future land use plan. ETJ areas also allow the Town to manage infrastructure expansion (such as water and sewer lines) as lands are developed.

Below is a summary of the public process followed by Wake County: 

As part of Wake County's ETJ review process, the Wake County Planning Board Land Use Committee held public meetings on January 30, February 20, and March 20, 2019. On May 1, 2019 the Wake County Planning Board held a public hearing to consider and make a recommendation on the request.  

The Wake County Board of Commissioners (BOC) held work sessions on June 10 and July 12 to discuss the Town's ETJ expansion request, followed by a public hearing on September 3, 2019. 

On September 3, 2019, the Wake County BOC held a public hearing to consider the Town's ETJ expansion request. Further consideration was given by the Wake County BOC in a public meeting on September 16 and in a work session on October 14, 2019. On October 21, 2019 the Wake County Board of Commissioners voted to designate 9,215 acres of land into the Town's ETJ, which will become effective on December 20, 2019. 

For more information, please visit

What's Next? 

Following Wake County's action, the Town of Fuquay-Varina will need to apply zoning. In accordance with North Carolina General Statutes, the Town has 60 days from December 20, 2019 to apply zoning to the newly designated properties. Affected property owners will be notified by the Town as public hearings are scheduled. 

Zoning will be applied to affected properties to what is commonly referred to as "like-for-like" zoning districts. Those properties in residential zoning, most often Wake County's R-30 Zoning District, will be designated into a similar district, called the RA Zoning District in Fuquay-Varina's zoning classifications. Proposed zoning districts can be found on the Town's interactive map of the ETJ expansion

ETJ Quick Facts

Is ETJ area in the Town limits? No.
Do property owners in the ETJ pay Town taxes? No.
Can ETJ residents vote in Town elections? No.
Is ETJ in Town or County Zoning? Town of Fuquay-Varina.
Where do property owners go to apply for building permits for additions, sheds, and other structures? Fuquay-Varina Town Hall.
Who provides police protection? Wake County Sheriff’s Department.
Can ETJ residents serve on Town boards and committees? Yes, they may serve on Fuquay-Varina’s Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, 
Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, or other committees as created.


Is this an annexation? 

No. The ETJ expansion does not annex your property. The State of North Carolina does not allow involuntary annexation, per Session Law 2011-396. Annexation is an entirely different process and only initiated by the property owner.

Why is the Town doing this?

The Town of Fuquay-Varina has proposed to expand its ETJ in order to responsibly manage the growth that continues to occur in Wake County. The ETJ expansion will ensure that new development meets Town standards, including improvements to the street network, that would otherwise not be required in the County. 

How does being in the ETJ affect my property?

If you are not planning any significant changes to your property, you will most likely not notice any difference. However, your property will transfer from Wake County’s zoning district to Fuquay-Varina’s, and this means that, if you decide to make changes, there may be some differences in certain requirements. The most apparent change is that instead of traveling to downtown Raleigh to obtain permits, you’ll be able to do so at Fuquay-Varina’s Town Hall. A permit is needed from the Town for construction of additions, dumpsters, parking areas, and signs. There will be no difference in building code requirements as both the County and Fuquay-Varina follow the NC Building Code. On January 7, 2019, the Town Board approved a text amendment related to areas of concern. Please click here and here for additional information. 

I have a use that is currently permitted by Wake County. Will that be allowed in the Town’s proposed zoning districts? 

Yes. Uses that are allowable by existing Wake County zoning will be allowed by the Town of Fuquay-Varina. For example, if you have a home occupation for which you received approval from Wake County, you will be allowed to continue doing business from your home. If you have non-domestic animals, such as llamas or goats, you will be allowed to keep them. On January 7, 2019, the Town Board approved a text amendment related to areas of concern. Please click here and here for additional information. 

How will my property be zoned?

Any property added to the Town’s ETJ will be placed into the Town zoning district that is the most compatible with its current Wake County zoning district. 

For more information regarding your property's zoning, please refer to the interactive ETJ Webmap.

Do addresses change when properties become part of the ETJ?

No, the ETJ expansion does not modify addresses. The US Post Office assigns mailing addresses and ZIP codes. 

Will I be able to comment and ask questions?

Yes. During September and October 2018, the Planning Department hosted multiple ETJ Expansion Community Information Meetings at various locations, as well as information booths during the Fall 2018 Follow Me 2 Fuquay-Varina (FM2FV) Concert Series. Of course, you can always contact the Planning Department staff directly Monday–Friday, 8 am–5 pm.

How does being in the ETJ affect businesses operated from my home or my home occupation?

If you have a home occupation for which you received approval from Wake County, you will be allowed to continue doing business from your home. On January 7, 2019, the Town Board approved a text amendment related to areas of concern. Please click here and here for additional information. 

How does being in the ETJ affect bona fide farms?

As provided by North Carolina law, a property used for bona fide farm purposes is exempt from Town zoning. If the property ceases to be used as a bona fide farm, it becomes subject to Town zoning.

Do property owners in the ETJ receive Town water and sewer?

No, water and sewer services are not automatically provided to properties when they are added to the ETJ. If property owners wish to receive Town water and sewer services, they must apply to be annexed into Town limits. For more info regarding annexation and connection to Town water and sewer, please contact the Fuquay-Varina Planning Department at (919) 552-1429 or

Where can I view the official request made to Wake County? 

The 2018 ETJ Expansion Request, made by Fuquay-Varina and submitted to Wake County for consideration, outlines Fuquay-Varina's compliance with the criteria required by Wake County when making these requests. An addendum provides updates with regards to how recent annexations and the change to the Wake / Harnett County line has affected the ETJ expansion request as of April 1, 2019. 

Will Fuquay-Varina be changing standards to be consistent with Wake County? 

Town staff evaluated current Wake County and Fuquay-Varina standards and recommended several ordinance changes related to areas of concern voiced by the community. A text amendment was presented to the Town's Planning Board on December 17, 2018 and approved by the Town Board on January 7, 2019. A crosswalk demonstrating the evaluation explains the approved changes.