03/08/11 — Senate approves change to annexation

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Senate approves change to annexation

By From wire Reports
Published in News on March 8, 2011 1:46 PM

RALEIGH -- The North Carolina Senate approved a bill Monday night that would put a moratorium on municipal annexations across the state.

The vote was a victory for opponents of annexation, including the residents of the Salem Church Road and Buck Swamp neighborhoods, who were annexed by the city of Goldsboro after a protracted legal squabble.

A bill calling for the de-annexation of the area has been filed in the House by local Reps. Efton Sager and Stephen LaRoque, both Republicans.

LaRoque also has filed a similar measure calling for the de-annexation of an area recently annexed by Kinston.

Monday night's vote was approved 36-12 and now goes to the House.

The bill would put a moratorium on annexations until July 1, 2012.

N.C. law permits cities and towns to annex property even though the residents of the areas annexed are opposed, if the area meets certain criteria.

Supporters say the law is necessary to allow municipalities to grow.

If the moratorium becomes law, lawmakers who oppose forced annexation, say it will give property rights groups and the state League of Municipalities and the state Assoc-iation of County Commissioners a chance to discuss reasonable changes to the current state law. Officials with the league say they are willing to make concessions, but not the chief concession that opponents want -- the right to vote on the issue. That would virtually stop all annexations, they said, which would stifle municipal growth.