Bill limiting Salisbury’s annexation ability passes N.C. house, moves to senate

Published 12:10 am Sunday, June 19, 2022

SALISBURY — A bill introduced by Rep. Harry Warren that would place a moratorium on Salisbury’s ability to annex land outside of its extraterritorial jurisdiction was passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Warren introduced the bill on May 31 at the request of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners. The county and the city have been at odds over Salisbury’s current annexation strategy and specifically a city ordinance that requires property owners to request annexation in order to connect to Salisbury-Rowan Utilities’ water and sewer service. The bill would limit Salisbury’s annexation abilities to its extraterritorial district, or ETJ, area up to a mile outside the city’s corporate limits in which the city can exercise land use and zoning regulations.

Warren said the goal of the bill was to encourage the city and county to reach a compromise.

The bill passed the House Local Government Committee by an 8-6 vote on Tuesday and was referred to the Rules & Operations of the House Committee, where it passed by a voice vote, according to an email sent from Warren’s office. It was added to the House agenda and passed with bipartisan support by a 70-40 vote.

The bill is now with the Senate Rules Committee, awaiting assignment to the appropriate committee for consideration.

Since it is a “local bill,” it would not be subject to Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature. Therefore, it would immediately become law if it’s passed on the Senate floor. The moratorium would remain in place until the end of 2023.

Both Commissioners Chair Greg Edds and Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander told the Post they are optimistic the county and city will reach an agreement on the annexation issue.

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About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at ben.stansell@salisburypost.com.

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