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Cary Annexation Battle Still Not Over

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CARY, N.C. — Within the last year, residents in several counties have used grassroots efforts and lawsuits to stop annexation plans.

Just this week,

Cumberland County residents won a court battle with Fayetteville.

Last week, Wayne County homeowners filed suit to stop Goldsboro from moving forward.

Earlier this year, Chatham and Wake County residents fought off Cary annexation plans.

Cary could get its hands on some additional land in Wake County, however, which is why the "Stop Annexation" signs in a bordering community are as common as mailboxes.

Homeowners are bonding together to fight what they see as poor public policy.

"We had lived in Cary and chose not to live in Cary," annexation opponent Deo Garlock said. "Now, Cary is trying to reach out and grab land."

It is not hard to figure out where the town of Cary -- with its curbs and gutters -- ends and the county begins. Many of the county people said they would rather be on their side of the line because, like most people involved in annexation battles, they say it is all about freedom.

"Making you have city water, have silly, petty little rules," said Heather Lord, who opposes Cary annexation. "This (where she lives) is part of the American Dream. So, I think you're fighting your American Dream."

Although they won the battle against annexation in December, a group of Wake County residents are still fighting. Cary wants more land as part of its ETJ, which means it can annex it within 10 years.

Government supporters have said opposition is a function of growth -- but will not derail annexation.

"At the end, the City Council must have the political will to follow through and adop the annexation," said Ellis Hankins, of the N.C. League of Municipalities. "If they believe it's fair and reasonable, then the time has come to do it."

The Wake County Planning Board Land Use Committee tabled Cary's request Wednesday while it studies the issue further. If the committee approves the plan, public hearings could be held as soon as September.

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