Annexation

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Annexation is the process by which a city adds land to its jurisdiction. Land may be developed or undeveloped. 

Most persons requesting annexation do so in order to obtain utility service through the Public Works Commission. City Council policy, interpreted in light of the PWC Charter Revision legislation, requires property within the City’s Municipal Influence Area (MIA) to be annexed in order to receive PWC sewer service or to expand existing service.

After an area is annexed, the annexing city then extends its services, laws, and voting privileges to meet the needs of the residents living in the annexed area. The city also extends its services to nonresidential properties located in the annexed area, such as commercial establishments, industries, and institutions.

The North Carolina General Assembly has made three methods of annexation available to cities in North Carolina: the annexation by petition method, the city-initiated method, and the city-owned property method. The General Assembly also occasionally adopts legislation that annexes an area into a city. These four methods are discussed below.


Annexation by Petition Method

North Carolina law allows a property owner to submit a petition to a city, requesting annexation. Two kinds of areas can be annexed: a contiguous area and a satellite (non-contiguous) area. Petition annexations tend to be small in size. In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly added several new petition options, dealing with low-income areas. As of July 2015, the City of Fayetteville has not received any requests to use these new petition options.

An important factor affecting petition annexations in Fayetteville is City Council’s Policy 150.2. The current version of this policy (revised as of February 13, 2012) and interpreted in light of the PWC Charter Revision legislation, means that a property within the City’s Municipal Influence Area (MIA) must be annexed into the City before sewer service will be provided or expanded to the property. Many property owners in the City’s MIA comply with this policy by submitting an annexation petition.

View a Map of the current City Limits and the City's Municipal Influence Area (MIA).


City-Initiated Method

North Carolina law allows a city to initiate the annexation of an area, if the area is one-eighth contiguous to the city, if the area is “developed for urban purposes,” and if the city prepares an Annexation Report showing how the city will provide services to the area. City-initiated annexations tend to be larger in size than petition annexations.

The City-initiated method was first made available to most cities in North Carolina in 1959. However, the City of Fayetteville was not allowed to use this method until the state law was revised in 1983. As a result of this change in state law in 1983, the City of Fayetteville began using the City-initiated method in 1984. The City last used this method in 2003, when nine Phase 5 annexation ordinances were adopted. (The nine Phase 5 annexation areas came in to the City on September 30, 2005.)

See a current schedule for providing PWC water and sewer services to these nine City-initiated annexation areas.

In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly adopted some new requirements regarding city-initiated annexations; these new requirements have discouraged cities from using this method of annexation. The City of Fayetteville has not used this method since the law was changed in 2011.


The City-Owned Property Method

North Carolina law allows a city to annex property that it owns into the city. Two kinds of city-owned property can be annexed: a contiguous area and a satellite (non-contiguous) area. The City of Fayetteville has occasionally used this method. One example is the Fayetteville PWC Butler-Warner Electrical Generation Plant, located east of the Cape Fear River.


Annexation by the North Carolina General Assembly

The North Carolina General Assembly occasionally annexes areas into cities. Here are two examples regarding Fayetteville:

  • In 1969, the General Assembly annexed the City’s airport property into the City.
  • In 2008, the General Assembly annexed part of Fort Bragg into the City.


Questions

For questions about the Annexation process, contact David Nash, Senior Planner at (910) 433-1995.