Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

cityboi

a legislative study committee thinks annexation shouldnt be forced on residents

20 posts in this topic

http://www.news-record.com/content/2009/01...ed_on_residents

For those of you that have forgotten, The state House approved a nine-month moratorium on annexations last summer to study the issue. A legislatve panel wants to see affected residents voting to be annexed as oppose to cities and towns annexing as they please. Critics say that if this were to pass, cities would stop growing because in all likelyhood residents in unincorporated areas would vote against annexation. If cities stop growing, it will be difficult to expand the tax base of cities. That means the cost of services (taxes) will rise in most cities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Here is an article from the News & Observer that talks about how limiting a cities ability to grow will cause decay in cities like they have in the northeast.

"Your cities, Charlotte and Greensboro and Raleigh are jewels," said George Fletcher

Tinkering too much with the annexation laws could jeopardize the very tool that has helped the state build strong, vibrant cities, proponents say"

http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/story/1414578.html

I think it would be very interesting to find out where the people who make up that legislative panel come from. Its interesting because now that Charlotte has swallowed up almost all of Mecklenburg County, this is now being proposed. Clearly this wouldnt affect Charlotte much but it would affect the growth of Raleigh, Greensboro and Durham, all of which have plently of land to annex. A conspiracy minded person would say they smell something fishy. LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that this is mainly an issue for smaller towns, some of whom annex for nefarious purposes rather than expanding the area that receives urban services. All of the larger cities are not the cause of this being brought to the General Assembly. I guarantee you that there are a hand full of small towns around NC that have caused this uproar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Not sure about that. Seems most of the time I hear about this on the news is due to either Cary or Winston-Salem. But that's just what I'm hearing. :dontknow:

My feeling is that I'm for annexation simply because of one fact: the counties in this state cannot be trusted to restrict suburban (or "exurban") sprawl. At all. They are pathetic in this regard....the very idea of "planning" by any of NC's counties (except maybe Orange) is just laughable.

Therefore we have huge subdivisions being built outside of cities where they get all the benefits of being close to a city but don't contribute to its budget. So until this sprawl problem is at least partially fixed, I fully support annexation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my humble take. I think this problem revolves around the "free rider" problem. Cities in North Carolina are the economic engines in our metro areas. People saddle up to the cities right outside the border and avoid taxation but receive all the benefits associated with city life (proximity to resources, entertainment, jobs, etc.)

Overall, I think most cities in North Carolina have used annexation properly. That said, I would be interested to know what the cities' land areas were before annexation began (or perhaps going back 20 or 25 years). I would be especially interested to know how annexation has affected Charlotte's land area, which dwarfs that of most any other city in the south except Jacksonville.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that it's kind of silly for someone to move into a brand new subdivision several miles outside of existing city limits of a city or town in a high growth area and for those folks to not expect to ever be annexed by that city or town..... I mean if cities and towns lose the ability to do a forced annexation where necessary then it seems that would prompt even more development and sprawl just outside of cities limits to avoid higher taxes...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only case where its reasonable to not expect to be annexed into a city is if you move into a farm, or a similarly rural setting when urban services are not needed or provided. Subdivisions, regardless of whether or not they are incorporated, are urban in terms of the services that they require.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My feeling is that I'm for annexation simply because of one fact: the counties in this state cannot be trusted to restrict suburban (or "exurban") sprawl.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


To be fair, the cities haven't exactly done a stellar job either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This issue is a total whopper w/ barbecue sauce. This is a weird one especially in the North Carolina context as it gradually cranks toward 10 million bobbleheads in its borders :D:( ....What is this state going to look like??? this sort of legislation kicks the butt of any comprehensive plan a county or city might have in mind. On, the other hand some communities just use sprawl outside its borders as a reason to grab a few more tax dollars even if it kind of of unsustainable and way out there.......See the dilemma....I"m not saying every town and city in NC is one way, but this issue is a tough one IMHO. I didn't realize there was a moratorium in NC for 9 months on annexation....

Oh yeah on the other hand, '"starving" cities from "luscious" tax dollars obtained from annexation, could have the potential to act as a artificial push but possibly sustainable method for encouraging more mixed use and/or more compact development in the city.......... interesting

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When growth in a given county is directly tied to a municipality, should that municipality (who provides its urban services anyway) not be able to levy taxes on that growth?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The latest amendment to the bill (which looks like it's gonna happen) is to allow a vote: 15% of the property owners in a proposed annexation area collect signatures, and then a citywide referendum (the pre-eisting city, plus the proposed annexation area) is then held. This goes in effect October 1. Any annexations proposed between now and then (the moratorium has ended) will not be affected.

Regarding the conspiracy theories, or the where did this come from...:

There's been a grassroots group around the state, fairly vocal, staging rallies and such. They have been quite active in anti-annexation activity in recent years in Cary, Asheville, Winston-Salem, Goldsboro, Fayetteville and a few other places. Annexations in Asheville, Salisbury, Cary and Goldsboro were successfully blocked in the courts, which was unprecedented in NC, at least in recent decades.

I think the previous policy has been very well-used in certain places, not so much in others. Anyone who gets annexed and gets no services (which has reportedly happened) does have a legitimate complaint. And the last time someone found a loophole in the prior annexation law (~1990), is wasn't closed for several months, and in the interim period, several cities (notoriously Hickory, Newton and Conover, who were suing each other in disputes over empty chunks of land from one end of N Catawba County to the other) annexed vast amounts of undeveloped land rather far flung from the urban area of the city.

Regarding the size expansion of cities: Charlotte was ~70 square miles in 1973. That had doubled by 1980, and is now well beyond 200 sq miles. Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Fayetteville are at least 2-3 times larger in land area as well. A few smaller cities - Concord and Jacksonville spring to mind - are something on the order of 5 times larger, or more.

Several other cities - Gastonia, Asheville and Wilmington both spring to mind - could swiftly add tens of thousands to their populations with one annexation. The unincorporated sprawl immediately adjacent to Wilmington's city limits (N and S) has a population of around 50,000. Gastonia has some fairly densely populated areas just beyond its' southern city limits with a population of around 15,000 (around US 321 S, the airport area, and areas E and W of there). In both cases these areas pretty much qualify for annexation under current laws now; it hasn't been a priority for them until now (they may not be able to afford it - the cost of providing promised services in a finite amount of time), though I would half expect to see them looking into sliding something in under the Oct 1 deadline. There's a similar (~20,000) population just outside of Asheville's city limits, and some of that could be annexed at any time, though some of it lies beyond their ETJ (and would thus be more difficult), and Asheville has been hit by a number of annexation-related lawsuits (an attempt at annexing the unincorporated Arden/Skyland area - which has a population well beyond 10,000 - was blocked in the late 80s, and there have been lawsuits or protests with every successful involuntary annexation since, which isn't cheap), so they may be a bit more gun shy up there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is unfortunate. North Carolina cities still have it easy though as South Carolina requires 75% voluntary annexation. I suspect that they will now take a queue from South Carolina and require annexation agreements with anyone who wants urban services. Fortunately for NC, most urban services in this state are provided by cities (as opposed to counties), so they should be well positioned for continued annexation. Plus if the entire city gets to vote, it shouldn't be a big deal since most people who are already in the cities will probably say yes. This will most likely make it harder for small towns to annex areas with a lot of people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It passed in the House. The Senate hasn't looked at it.

Judging by all the terrible crap the state government has done lately, it looks like the Senate will pass it if they get around to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

clearly it will choke off growth for all communities and lead to tax increases for city services.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


IMO, the biggest problem will be for small cities trying to make large annexations. As long as annexations are small enough, it shouldn't be too much of an issue, just more red tape to go through to get it done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clearly it will choke off growth for all communities and lead to tax increases for city services.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Living outside of a municipality for lower taxes is fine, but it should not be in a subdivision that requires urban services. Live on a farm or in the woods, whatever, and you should not have to be in a city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^I agree....I mean it is stupid to move into a subdivision a mile or two outside of a growing city, like Raleigh for example....and not expect to be annexed eventually. If you don't want to be annexed live far enough out into the country where it won't be an issue. Seems to me like alot of people just want the convenience of suburban living (if there is such a thing) without having to pay city taxes....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly. And its ironic because eventually taxes will have to be raised to pay for the services that they require to live in places with low taxes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.