BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- It looks like Southport's plan to annex some area just outside the current city limits will not survive a new state law that gives property owners a voice.
According to the Brunswick County Board of Elections website, as of today, more than 64 percent of Southport Annexation Denial Petitions sent to property owners have been returned. Under a new state law, 60 percent of property owners in the annexed area need to sign and return the petition to block it.
The Southport Board of Aldermen approved the annexation of Smithville Woods, Jabbertown Road and other areas north of Southport June 9. A week later, state lawmakers approved legislation that would effectively end the practice of forced annexation, which allowed municipalities to annex an area without the consent of residents.
The Board of Elections mailed out the petitions last month. Property owners have until November 28 to return them. The Board will meet in December to county the petitions and make the results official.