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Legislators file bills for China Grove, Kannapolis annexations

SALISBURY — To respond to growth in both China Grove and Kannapolis, lawmakers representing Rowan County have filed annexation bills in the Senate and the House.

The China Grove bill would add the town to legislation that removes the cap on satellite annexations. Other local municipalities, such Landis, Spencer, Kannapolis and Salisbury, have been removed from the maximum satellite annexation. In a resolution passed in November, the China Grove Board of Aldermen asked the North Carolina General Assembly to exempt the town from the 10 percent limitation.

Being removed from the 10 percent cap would allow the town to annex additional satellite parcels. Mayor Lee Withers said currently the town has 78 acres left before it hits the 10 percent maximum.

The exclusion would allow for commercial property and residences to be voluntarily annexed. Withers said businesses or homes would benefit from the town’s water and sewer service, would increased police and fire protection and general town services. For commercial properties, annexation could positively impact insurance rates, he said. Residents would also be able to vote in municipal elections.

With the growth expected along the Interstate 85 corridor, Withers said multiple businessmen have come to him interested in being in the town limits. The bill would take one of those hurdles away, and the town would not have to get special legislation for those properties. If the bill passes, businesses and residents would have to apply and have a hearing to be annexed. 

Sen. Carl Ford, R-33, introduced the Senate version of the annexation bill.

Reps. Harry Warren, R-76, Larry Pittman, R-83, and Julia Howard, R-77, are primary sponsors of the companion bill in the House. The House bill is currently in the State and Local Government Committee, of which Warren is chairman. It then will be passed to the Finance Committee, of which Howard is a senior chair and Warren is a chair.

Both Ford and Warren said they have seen no opposition of the China Grove annexation bill.

“Everyone is on board,” Ford said, adding legislators understand the bill is for economic development.

Lawmakers also are working to pass a bill that would affect a road that’s been a frequent topic of talk about potential economic growth — a newly constructed Old Beatty Ford Road and accompanying I-85 exit, to the north of the existing road by the same name. The area proposed for annexation is in a rural area of Rowan and considered a satellite annexation for Kannapolis.

Landowners and local government officials requested the bill after the county signed an agreement in November with Kannapolis for a water and sewer expansion. The agreement requires the Old Beatty Ford Road site to be annexed. 

The area would be added to the Kannapolis city limits. Similar to the China Grove bill, the annexation would be voluntary.

Ford filed a bill in the Senate. Howard and Warren also filed a companion bill in the House.

Warren said Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant has advocated for the bill before the State and Local Government Committee.

Warren said he sees a guaranteed pass for the Kannapolis bill.

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