As it stands currently municipalities have the ability to annex unincorporated areas without the consent of those who live in the area that is being annexed. Many people feel that this is a breach of property rights and an abuse of government power. Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly, however, are working to restrain the government's ability to exercise forced annexation.
The Annexation Reform Act of 2011 (House Bill 845) would give property owners facing forced annexation a voice in the process. If passed, the bill would give people the ability to stop a proposed annexation by getting 60 percent of property owners to sign a protest petition. It would also require cities to provide water and sewer services to annexed property owners at no cost to the property owner.
This particular bill passed its second reading in the House on Thursday and is expected to pass a final reading on Monday. If it passes the House it will advance to the Senate where it is likely to face minimal opposition.
There is no question that forced annexation is a serious violation of property rights and personal liberty. Fortunately, our leaders in the General Assembly are taking the initiative to address the problems with North Carolina's annexation laws.