Local News

Cary Rescinds Annexation Plan

Posted December 19, 2003

— Just before 5 p.m. Friday, the Cary Town Council officially rescinded a controversial annexation plan. The announcement by Mayor Ernie McAlister drew a standing ovation from a crowd of annexation opponents.

Hundreds of Wake County residents had been fighting the plan since it was announced. They even held a modern-day tea party protest.

When Holly Springs passed a resolution on the land that sat between the two towns, Cary started to back off.

The citizens' group, Stop Cary, made good on its name. The group mobilized to fight Cary's annexation plan, and it worked.

"This is still a government by the people," said annexation opponent Ron Thoreson. "And the people have to band together and speak out against a government that works against their wishes. That's what democracy is, and in its purest form."

The properties in question included Dutchman Downs and other nearby neighborhoods located between Holly Springs and Cary. The neighbors said they were relieved -- for now.

"Mentally, it was a huge struggle, just thinking that we were going to be in Cary," Joe Bornman said. "I used to live in Cary, and I moved out of the Cary city limits for several reasons, and I just didn't want to be part of Cary again."

McAlister said that, eventually, many of these same areas will be annexed because of their proximity to Cary. But next time, he wants it done in a more orderly fashion.

Friday marked the second time in about three months that Cary has nixed annexation after people mounted strong opposition.

In September, Chatham County residents started a grassroots effort to keep Cary from annexing them. The opposition worked when Cary pulled the plan off the table a few weeks later.

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