Jamestown in early process of reestablishing extraterritorial limit

City of Jamestown staff found no agreements between the city and townships on the location of the boundaries of the 1-mile extraterritorial limit.

JSSP City News
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JAMESTOWN – After reviewing an application that the city of Jamestown received to replat a lot in a subdivision, staff found no agreements between the city and townships on the location of the boundaries of the 1-mile extraterritorial limit.

A public meeting was held Monday, Oct. 10, because the city of Jamestown wanted to get the Bloom, Homer, Midway, and Woodbury townships together early in the process of reestablishing the 1-mile extraterritorial limit boundaries, said Tom Blackmore, zoning administrator. He presented drafts of the proposed new boundaries of the extraterritorial limits.

“We (city of Jamestown) are proposing some small amendments to those maps and just wanted to get the township representatives together so everybody knows which direction the city is heading,” he said. “I’m just trying to get us back on the same page, explain that these (boundaries of the extraterritorial limits) were drawn out per (North Dakota) Century Code and trying to get moving forward correctly.”

Blackmore said the 1-mile extraterritorial limit boundaries are being redrawn to be consistent with the Century Code to make sure the city of Jamestown and the townships are in agreement of the boundaries as the city moves forward with development.

He said at the meeting on Monday that he reviewed the current map of the city of Jamestown’s 1-mile extraterritorial limits after receiving an application to replat a lot in a subdivision. In August, the city of Jamestown received an application requesting to replat a lot of the Buccholtz Ranch Subdivision within the south of Section 10 of Homer Township.


“When I reviewed the current city of Jamestown’s 1-mile extraterritorial limits map, it was determined that the property actually fit within the city’s jurisdiction,” Blackmore said. “We brought the subdivision to the (Jamestown) Planning Commission. There was some concerns that the maps were not legitimate after the planning commission tabled the subdivision. We then spent quite a few long hours digging back through all the documents that the city has on the planning commission back to the 1970s.”

In 2010, Blackmore said a subcommittee for the planning commission was established to work on the 1-mile extraterritorial limit boundaries of the townships. He said he found some wording in planning commission meetings that referenced the new maps of the 1-mile extraterritorial limit boundaries.

“Essentially that established the current boundaries of the 1-mile extraterritorial limit,” he said. “When looking through the documents I found no agreements. There was nothing written saying everybody agreed on where the boundaries were at. When we completed our review, it looked like our boundaries may have exceeded the city’s limit set by (North Dakota) Century Code, which at the time the city enacted only 1 mile of what Century Code allows.”

Blackmore said no maps were found on how the extraterritorial limit boundaries were established.

North Dakota Century Code 40-47 says: “If a quarter quarter section line divides a platted lot and the majority of that platted lot lies within the quarter quarter section, a city may apply its extraterritorial zoning authority to the remainder of that platted lot. If the majority of the platted lot lies outside the quarter quarter section, the city may not apply its extraterritorial zoning authority to any of that platted lot.”

Blackmore said city staff reviewed the Century Code and began drawing out the 1-mile radius from all of the current city limit lines.

“Century Code requires that you break the areas down into quarter-quarter so if the majority of the quarter-quarter falls within the city’s jurisdiction then that quarter-quarter would be within the 1-mile extraterritorial limits,” he said.

Blackmore said a quarter-quarter is a quarter of a quarter section of land. A section of land is 640 acres, a quarter section is 160 acres and a quarter-quarter is 40 acres.


The city is proposing the following changes according to the draft of the proposed new boundaries:

  • a reduction of the boundary in sections 12, 15 and 33 of Midway Township. The boundary would also be expanded into section 32 of Midway Township. 
  • expanding the boundary into sections 5, 9 and 10 of Woodbury Township. The boundary in the southeast part of section 10 includes a reduction, and the boundary in the northwest part of section 10 includes an expansion. 
  • a reduction of the boundary in sections 8, 9 and 10 of Homer township.
  • forming a new boundary for Bloom Township. Blackmore said when the area where Cavendish Farms is located was annexed, the 1-mile extraterritorial limits were not expanded. The boundary is also reduced in section 9 of Bloom Township. 

Blackmore said the proposed zoning changes will be taken to the planning commission.
“We will want to establish what type of zoning would be applied in these areas as long as the city and the townships are entered into an agreement,” he said.

He also said the drafts of the proposed extraterritorial limits will be reviewed by SRF Consulting Group and the city attorney's office.

He said the city of Jamestown has maps from 1976 when the 1-mile extraterritorial limits were established.

“Through the years with different annexations and whatnot, the city has grown,” he said.

He said the only documentation from 2010 he could find of the work to establish the 1-mile extraterritorial limit boundaries is from township meetings when discussions were held about the different zoning ordinances that the townships have versus what the city of Jamestown has.

“In some areas the township is going to require a lot larger lots than the city would require,” he said. “I think it was found at that time that the city cannot enforce township ordinances as the city can only enforce the ordinances adopted by the city.”

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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