What is being proposed?
The North Carolina Geodetic Survey staff (NCGS), by request of the Boards of County Commissioners of Cabarrus and Rowan Counties, is preparing a survey of the Cabarrus/Rowan County line using modern survey techniques. There are differences between where each county’s officials believe the line is situated on the ground and on maps. The State’s current survey and mapping efforts will establish the physical location of the county line on the ground. The physical location may vary from the lines developed by the tax departments of the two counties over the years.
Why are changes proposed now?
With increased development activity along the Cabarrus/Rowan line, it has become increasingly important to be able to tell people with certainty in which county all or portions of their property lies. There has been confusion for property owners regarding in which county they are located for school, voting, tax, and social services purposes. Resolution regarding the location of the official county line is necessary to clear the confusion.
How will this affect my property?
Some properties or portions of properties that were previously “Rowan County parcels” will become Cabarrus County parcels while other properties or portions of properties that were previously “Cabarrus County parcels” will become Rowan County parcels. These changes will affect which schools children attend, in which county residents vote, where residents receive government services, which county collects property tax, how a parcel of property is zoned, and other topics. Details on how issues will be handled have yet to be worked out between the two counties. The Boards of Commissioners of both counties will be given opportunity to discuss entering into an Interlocal Agreement to address the details of many issues. County and School Board officials are currently communicating to determine if allowances can be made to keep children who are already in a certain school district within that school district if a parcel is changed to a different county.
Will my property taxes be affected?
Each County’s Board of County Commissioners sets the property tax rate each year as part of the County Budget adoption process. The amount a property owner pays for property tax is dependent on the tax rate and the appraised value of the land and all improvements (i.e., building(s)) situated on the property. Property appraisals for tax purposes are completed by the County Assessor’s office. Cabarrus County’s Assessor’s office has additional information regarding how property is valued on its website: Appraisal Manual
Will my property value be affected?
Property values are based on market factors. These factors certainly may vary from one county to another. Cabarrus County revalues property every four years. Cabarrus County’s Assessor’s office has additional information regarding how property is valued on its website: Appraisal Manual
Will this action cause any issues for me with my mortgage holder?
Property owners with mortgages are encouraged to contact their mortgage holder to determine any issues a specific mortgage holder may have regarding this topic. If any part of your property that is covered by a mortgage becomes taxed in a different county your mortgage holder would need to know to request tax information from the new county.
What happens if I have an active building permit from one county and my property listing is moved to the other county?
Details on how some issues will be handled have yet to be worked out between the two counties. It is expected that the inspections will be completed by the jurisdiction in which the job was permitted. However, if the permit has been applied for and no inspections have been done, the applicant may have to reapply for a permit with the new jurisdiction. This is a topic for which details still need to be worked out.
If I have an active building permit from Rowan County but have not yet received my Certificate of Occupancy (CO) and get moved into Cabarrus County, do I have to make a Cabarrus County Adequate Facilities mitigation payment before I get my CO?
Details on how some issues will be handled have yet to be worked out between the two counties. Cabarrus County requests mitigation payments from housing developers who build in areas that already have overcrowded schools. The need for mitigation is dependent on whether or not the schools in that district are overcrowded. Developments with valid approvals would not be subject to the Cabarrus County Ordinance unless that valid approval were to lapse.
If I made a mitigation payment in compliance with the Cabarrus County Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance and my property gets moved into Rowan County, do I get a refund?
This is a detail to be addressed through the anticipated Interlocal Agreement between Rowan and Cabarrus Counties. This topic has not yet been discussed nor researched for implications.
If there is an ongoing code enforcement action (Stop Work Order, for example), how will that be handled if the parcel moves to a different county?
Details on how some issues will be handled have yet to be worked out between the two counties. It is expected that any existing Stop Work Order or other enforcement actions would be transferred to the new county. Each county will make a determination on whether the enforcement order applies to its regulations and take appropriate action.
What are the next steps and when will a decision be made?
The NC Geodectic Survey will take the lead on the first step of the process which is the re-survey. They have not notified the counties when that will begin, but once they do this site will be updated.
Both the Cabarrus and Rowan Boards of Commissioners have committed to having staff hold public meetings during the process to keep property owners informed.
Is the county line being altered or relocated by the NC Geodetic Survey?
No. The physical location of the county line is not being altered or relocated. The original location of the Cabarrus County / Rowan County survey of 1849 has been confirmed by the 1893 County map, the 1977 USGS map, NCDOT maps, US Department of Agriculture maps and most recently the research and work of the NC Geodetic Survey, a division of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, has confirmed the location of the 1849 line.
Is the NC Geodetic Survey a county agency and has any county had any input or advice as to how the survey was to be performed?
No. The NC Geodetic Survey is a division of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources and is not a county agency. Neither Cabarrus County nor Rowan County provided any influence, instruction, or advice to the NC Geodetic Survey as to how the survey was to be conducted and the maps prepared. The process is set forth in North Carolina law General Statutes Section 153A-18. Both counties are bound by this law and are following the law to address the county line issue.
Will the grandfathering of services, schools, and emergency services access follow the established line as it is now?
Any agreements regarding services must be made by the Boards of Commissioners for each county. Current services may be grandfathered as a possible option to remedy the concerns of property owners and provide a transition period. However, the elected Boards of Commissioners will determine if the grandfathering of services is practical.
Will school-age children be forced to change schools due to the boundary line location?
This is an area that must be addressed by the School Boards for each county. School age children may be allowed to remain in the schools they currently attend if the respective school boards can reach an agreement. Children enrolled in Kannapolis City Schools will not be affected by any change since that district lies within both Cabarrus and Rowan County.
What impact will the monumenting of the original county boundary line have on current Department of Social Service clients that are either in Rowan or Cabarrus Counties?
County residence is not an eligibility requirement for Medicaid. DSS procedures allow the transfer of the client to the proper county within North Carolina to ensure the continuation of services. These same procedures would enable current clients to transfer services from Cabarrus to Rowan or from Rowan to Cabarrus.
Where will deeds be filed if property is divided by a new boundary line?
Deeds and other records usually recorded with the Register of Deeds would be rerecorded in the appropriate Register of Deeds Office. Deeds and records originally recorded in Rowan were later recorded when Cabarrus County was formed in 1849.
How would mail be delivered due to property line adjustment?
The US Postal Service delivers mail according to street address and zip code, and it is not anticipated that any disruption in postal service will occur.
How would people opt for critical services and who would be responsible?
Currently each county has in place mutual aid agreements that allow critical services to be provided by either county to citizens near the county line. The monumenting of the location of the county line would not change these agreements as far as services to citizens is concerned.
Are past taxes reimbursable by the county in which the property is currently located?
What happens to property if the boundary line is through the middle of the home?
The property would be taxed in both counties based upon the percentage of the property in the taxing county.
Why change the boundary line now; can’t the boundary line remain as it is?
The location of the county line is not being changed. The county line has not moved since it was surveyed in 1849. The changes that are being made are changes in tax records to reflect the actual location of the county line as surveyed in 1849.
Why does a county line have to be a straight line?
The county line was surveyed in accordance with the mandate of the North Carolina Legislature in 1849. Unless it follows a river or body of water most boundary lines in the Piedmont area of North Carolina are straight lines.