The North Carolina House has tentatively approved reforms to the 50-year-old state law governing how cities and towns expand by annexing adjoining property.
The House voted 89-27 on Wednesday in favor of the package, which is slated for a final House vote on Thursday.
The reforms add an opportunity for residents to vote. Opponents
must collect signatures from 15 percent of voters in the city and
the area to be annexed to trigger a referendum. Lawmakers approved
an amendment extending the time to collect signatures.
North Carolina is one of fewer than a half-dozen states which allow cities to expand against property owners' wishes.
Critics have complained state law now gives residents no choice
in an annexation.