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Annexation foes rejoice as bill passes House

Staff, wire reports
SALISBURY ó Foes of involuntary annexation in Rowan County are celebrating after the N.C. House of Representatives gave final legislative approval to a bill that would make it harder for cities and towns to take in residents outside their boundaries.
Carl Eagle, with Good Neighbors of Rowan County, sent out an email to fellow annexation opponents extolling the bill.
ěThis bill is not perfect but it will solve our annexation concerns without question,î Eagle wrote in his email.
The bill must now to Gov. Bev Perdue, but with wide margins in the House and Senate, it appears veto-proof.
Good Neighbors of Rowan County sprang up to oppose an attempted involuntary annexation by Salisbury of subdivisions along N.C. 150. Residents in that area successfully fought back the annexation attempt and have been active in lobbying lawmakers for a permanent change to the stateís annexation laws.
ěWho says you canít fight city hall?î Eagle wrote. ěI am extremely proud of the vital part my neighbors played in stopping the annexation three years ago and in bringing about change in the state annexation laws.î
One of those on the list was County Commissioner Jim Sides, who shared in Eagleís joy. ěPraise the LORD!!! Miracles do happen …î Sides replied from his Rowan County email address.
Grassroots anger of landowners whose property was scooped into nearby cities and towns led to the major change in North Carolinaís laws on municipal annexation.
The North Carolina House voted 102-7 Friday to give final legislative approval to the broadest rewrite of the stateís involuntary annexation laws in more than half a century.
The biggest change would let property owners block an annexation if 60 percent of them sign a petition of opposition. The town or city would be barred from trying again for three years.
The overhaul had been sought for several years by Republicans and constituents whose land had been assumed against their will. ěThe citizens now get to say whether they’re annexed or not,î said Rep. Jeff Collins, R-Nash.

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