Published: 09:09 PM, Tue Nov 15, 2011U.S. Department of Justice doesn't object to state law affecting Gates Four annexation
The U.S. Department of Justice found no reason to object to North Carolina's new annexation law, which allows property owners to petition to prevent forced municipal annexations.
The decision likely means that Gates Four will succeed in fending off annexation by Fayetteville unless another challenge is filed in court.
"We are pleased the Department of Justice upheld the law," said Mike Molin, secretary for the Gates Four homeowners association.
This summer, Fayetteville and four other municipalities wrote separate letters asking the Justice Department to review the state law and determine whether it meets the criteria of the U.S. Voting Rights Act, which seeks to ban racial discrimination in elections.
Fayetteville officials, including Mayor Tony Chavonne, argued the legislation is unconstitutional and biased against renters since only property owners can sign petitions to fend off forced annexation.
The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division lumped into one case the letters from Fayetteville, Kinston, Goldsboro, Rocky Mount and Marvin, a town just outside Charlotte. The federal agency's response, dated Monday, says it does not impose any objection to how Senate Bill 27 changed the state's annexation laws.
New state law
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Another Hurdle for the New Annexation Laws Cleared
I've seen many of the letters that were sent to the DOJ by various city officials, and have been tracking this development. The NC League of Municipalities fingerprints appeared to be all over this effort to derail the new laws. They've lost this round and we can all breath easier, but I do expect the cities to find other ways to challenge the new rights of the people that have been restored to city initiated annexations.
(read more here: http://fayobserver.com/articles/2011/11/15/1137167 )