Eliminating the annexation cap 

Published 11:28 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Saluda wants state to eliminate 10 percent cap on satellite annexations 

SALUDA—The City of Saluda has decided to petition the state to eliminate the current cap on satellite annexations.  

The Saluda Board of Commissioners met Monday and heard from city manager Jonathan Cannon.  

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Cannon said the general assembly currently sets a limit on the amount of property that can be annexed into the city that is not contiguous, which is only 10 percent.  

“Now the general assembly has made it where the city can’t do involuntary annexations,” Cannon said. “That cap, or limit, still exists.”  

Cannon said Saluda potentially has a couple of properties that are not contiguous who in the future may need water and sewer services.  

The city approved requesting that the state eliminate that 10 percent cap on satellite annexations. Cannon said a number of other cities have made that request and have been approved.  

Columbus is one of the towns that has an exception to the 10 percent satellite annexation rule. Columbus petitioned the state years ago to get eliminated from the cap.  

The current law, which Saluda and Tryon fall under, reads, “the area within the proposed satellite corporate limits, when added to the area within all other satellite corporate limits, may not exceed 10 percent of the area within the primary corporate limits of the annexing city.”  

The state of North Carolina enacted involuntary annexation reform in 2012 when House Bill 925 was passed into law. The new law put restrictions on how a city or town could annex properties involuntarily, or forcibly. The new law includes that people in the areas targeted for forced annexation vote on the annexation. The new law also requires that a city provide at least one year advanced public notice of its intent to annex, to notify affected residents directly by mail of its desire to annex property and to hold a referendum on the annexation. If a majority of the residents in the proposed area do not approve the annexation, the city is prohibited from trying to annex the area again for at least 36 months.  

Cannon said since the state made it difficult for involuntary annexations, the city will likely only voluntarily annex properties who want to be in the city moving forward.