It appears Diamondback Investment Group wanted to build on the Johnson farm property so much that the company looked into having it annexed into Greensboro, instead of its current location within Jamestown’s extra-territorial jurisdiction.
Jamestown’s Interim Town Manager Dave Treme informed the Town Council on Sept. 21 that in March of this year – after the Town Council had denied their development plan in February – the company contacted the Guilford County delegation to the North Carolina General Assembly with a request to move the annexation line closer to Jamestown, making the Johnson property within Greensboro’s jurisdiction. Diamondback approached the senators and representatives individually to plead the case, presumably believing the development would have a better chance if within Greensboro.
Treme was notified and invited to participate in a Zoom meeting March 11 – along with Planning Director Matthew Johnson, Clerk Katie Weiner, Mayor Lynn Montgomery and land use attorney Tom Terrell – with Diamondback representatives and a majority of the members of the Guilford delegation.
“It was mostly a listening session by the Guilford delegation,” Johnson said and Treme said there was not a formal petition to the General Assembly in Raleigh.
“Normally, if it’s a local bill, you have to have the support of your delegation,” Treme said. He added he did not believe the delegation understood what the matter was about.
“Primarily this was a request by Diamondback to withdraw that property from our jurisdiction, which the General Assembly has the legal right to do,” Johnson said. “The delegation listened to see if [Jamestown] was agreeable to it.”
Each interested party had an opportunity to speak for 30 minutes. Treme was very complimentary about Montgomery’s advocacy for Jamestown as she cited Diamondback’s inconsistencies with the 2007 Comprehensive Plan.
At the end of the meeting, Rep. Jon Hardister, who was moderating, said the delegation would consider the matter.
“They did not achieve a consensus,” Johnson said and Treme added that there was no vote, and the Town has not heard back from the delegation. Johnson did not find that any local bill relating to this had been filed with the General Assembly within the appropriate timeframe.
So, the Johnson property remains in Jamestown’s jurisdiction.
In March 1991, Jamestown and Greensboro signed an annexation agreement noting a line over which neither municipality could annex. This agreement was renewed in December 2018 and will expire Jan. 1, 2048, unless renewed. The Town has a similar annexation agreement with High Point, which will also expire in 2048.
“One of the goals of the 2007 Comprehensive Plan was to add areas that should be in the annexation jurisdiction to our zoning jurisdiction,” Johnson said. Added to ETJ in 2008, the Johnson property had been on Jamestown’s side of the annexation agreement since 1991.
Diamondback announced plans for the property at two neighborhood meetings at GTCC Feb. 13, 2020, but immediately received pushback from the audience. One year later, on Feb. 16, 2021, the Jamestown Town Council denied the rezoning request and Diamondback withdrew the annexation request.
The Statement of Consistency read at the Council meeting noted Diamondback’s plan was inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan for a number of reasons.
The Jamestown Planning Board spent seven meetings in discussion from August to November last year before denying the rezoning request in November.