State News

Involuntary-annexation opponents rally at Legislature

More than 200 North Carolina residents asked lawmakers in Raleigh to stop towns and cities from taking county land.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — More than 200 North Carolina residents gathered Wednesday to ask lawmakers to stop towns and cities from taking land in unincorporated areas of their counties.

Members from Stop NC Annexation, the Fair Annexation Coalition and Americans for Prosperity rallied in downtown Raleigh, calling on lawmakers to approve a one-year moratorium on involuntary annexations.

The groups are calling for massive changes to the current annexation laws, including giving citizens a vote in the process and other protections.

North Carolina is one of a handful of states that allow involuntary annexations.

Phyllis Hendrix said the city of Salisbury is trying to annex her neighborhood in Rowan County. She said her neighbors are retirees on fixed incomes who are vehemently opposed to becoming city residents and paying higher taxes.

Last month, a House committee approved a one-year freeze on involuntary annexations to give lawmakers time to study the issue. That idea still needs the approval of the full House and the Senate.

The town of Fuquay-Varina made plans in April to annex more than 1,000 Wake County acres near Holly Springs. People who live in that section of land have opposed the project.

The dispute has left both towns trying to come up with a new border agreement. Leaders will hold another hearing on annexation later this month.