House Panel Delays Annexation Debate
A House committee has delayed debate on proposed legislation to reform the state's involuntary annexation laws.
The House Judiciary II Committee was scheduled to take up the bill Tuesday morning. The committee is now scheduled to consider the legislation this afternoon -- 15 minutes after the House adjourns its session.
At least 26 amendments have been submitted for the committee to debate. The bill, in its current form, doesn't offer affected residents the right to vote before being annexed.
Those pushing for changes are asking the state legislature to give affected residents a vote before being annexed. But municipal leaders contend that would effectively end such annexations, which they say are necessary for towns and cities to grow in an orderly fashion.
Whatever happens with the new attempt to reform the law, it won't help Pinewild in its showdown with Pinehurst. The new version of the law, if passed by both the House and Senate, would not go into effect until Oct. 1, and involuntary annexations already in process would be exempt.
The village of Pinehurst adopted an ordinance to annex Pinewild effective June 30, but it is unlikely to occur then, since lawsuits in state and federal courts are pending. Several other communities across the state are also fighting involuntary annexation.
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