05/08/07 — Goldsboro looks at next annexation

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Goldsboro looks at next annexation

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on May 8, 2007 1:58 PM

Goldsboro City Council members began the process Monday night of considering their next annexation northwest of the city.

Although the residents of neighborhoods near Buck Swamp and Salem Church roads have fought off annexation by the city of Goldsboro for about three years, council unanimously approved a motion for the city planning department to create a detailed study of the next possible annexation area.

The land, referred to as Phase XII, encompasses the Cedar Lake, Marsh Landing, Buck Run, Tarklin Acres, North Creek, Land Tree Village, North Point, Canterbury Village and Pineview Acres subdivisions. The annexation, which would become effective June 30, 2009, would affect about 2,400 people, 800 houses and 900 acres of land.

Residents near Salem Church and Buck Swamp roads, an area known as Phase XI by city officials, have been fighting off Goldsboro's annexation attempts for the past three years, taking the issue all the way to the state Supreme Court.

If the issue is ruled in favor of the city, City Manager Joe Huffman said Goldsboro would have enough contiguity to annex the Phase XII area.

But the issue of contiguity is one of the reasons the Phase XI annexation has stayed in the courts system.

North Carolina law allows municipalities to annex land, even if the residents don't want to be incorporated, if certain criteria are met. When Goldsboro voluntarily annexed the 359-acre Lane Farm-Howell properties in 2004, the city claimed it had enough contiguous boundary with Phase XI residents to involuntarily annex them. Those residents formed the group Good Neighbors United to oppose the annexation.

Good Neighbors United have been unable to get a court to hear that plea. The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that the group does not have standing to bring that issue before the court. The state Supreme Court decided not to hear the neighbors' case in February.

Huffman said any annexation of the Phase XII area hinders on the legal results involving Phase XI.

Also, it is not guaranteed that the city will annex the property even if the courts grant the city the Phase XI area, Huffman said.

Monday night's motion was merely a resolution of consideration, Huffman said. Once council approved the motion, it granted the city's planning department to begin a detailed study of the proposed area.