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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Lawmakers are considering a bill to suspend for one year a much-hated and applauded North Carolina law that allows cities and towns to expand against property owners’ wishes.

A state Senate committee on Tuesday debated a proposed moratorium on involuntary municipal annexations until July 2012.

Republican Sen. Andrew Brock of Davie County says freezing any annexations until next year would pressure the North Carolina League of Municipalities to negotiate changes to the 1959 law.

North Carolina is one of fewer than a half-dozen states that allow local governments to incorporate tracts of land into a city or town whether property owners like it or not.

Similar bills were approved by the House in 2007 and 2010, only to die in the Senate.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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