The way North Carolina cities and towns go about annexing land could be changing. A bill is making its way through the legislature, offering some big changes to the state's annexation laws. House Bill 524 passed its third reading Thursday. Now, it's onto the Senate. It would make it more difficult for cities to annex. The major changes proposed in the bill include giving residents a chance to vote before being involuntarily annexed. It would require signatures from 15% of residents in the city and the proposed annexed area to force a referendum on the ballot. The bill also suggests a tighter timeline of three years for cities to get services up and running in annexed areas. Representative Danny McComas said this shouldn't affect the Monkey Junction annexation, since it's already been approved. Some Monkey Junction residents have filed suit against the City of Wilmington over the recent annexation. Representatives McComas and Carolyn Justice both say they've already heard that the bill will be met with some resistance in the Senate.
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