An effort by Harnett, Chatham and Wake counties to correct the boundaries between the three counties may affect several dozen properties located on the Harnett-Wake and Harnett-Chatham lines. The changes may mean that some properties currently in one county will be in another county, or that some properties will be split between two counties.
The three counties enlisted the N.C. Geodetic Survey to identify the correct boundary lines after noticing a number of inconsistencies in current boundaries. Through research of various historic records, plats, deeds and maps, the Geodetic Survey identified the original point where the three counties converge.
Records dating back to 1780 and a deed recorded in 1923 mention a rock pile with an iron pipe as the point where Harnett, Chatham and Wake counties meet. However, a land survey conducted in 1961 led to Chatham and Wake counties adopting a boundary that did not adhere to the original description.
This situation is fairly common throughout the state. Some of the original boundaries between counties were defined by natural features such as creeks and rock formations. Early land surveys may have miscalculated the locations of these markers. Modern technology allows for more precise location of boundaries, which is what has happened in this case.
Leaving the boundaries unresolved can create confusion regarding tax assessments and emergency services, as well as issues with property deeds if conflicts are identified in historic records related to boundaries. There is also the possibility of challenges to voting districts, zoning categories, assigned school districts and other designations. For these reasons, the governing bodies of all three counties are taking action to support the introduction of state legislation to restore the correct boundaries between the three counties.
Correcting the boundaries means that a small number of properties will fall fully or partly within a different county. Potential impacts related to these corrections could include changes to property tax and fire tax rates; tax values, as each county values property based on their own schedule of values; present use valuation; zoning; public utilities; deeds; and emergency response, including law enforcement, ambulance services and animal control.
Affected residents will be notified by mail in the coming days and are invited to attend a public meeting with representatives from all three counties on Dec. 5 at 5:30 p.m. at Northwest Harnett Fire Department, located at 6015 Christian Light Road, Fuquay-Varina. The purpose of the meeting will be to allow residents to ask questions and provide feedback on proposed changes.
Anyone with questions should contact Harnett County GIS at (910) 893-7523.