Proposed Monkey Junction annexation heads to court

Reported by Laura Sinacori - bio|email
Posted by Peter Smelser - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Some residents in New Hanover County want the courts to hear their case against annexation.

Petitioners filed an appeal just before Monday's 5:00 PM deadline to stop the City of Wilmington's plan to annex more than 1,000 acres of Monkey Junction.

"[The county] is dissolving slowly and turning into the city, and to have no say in this, all we can do is sit passionately by and watch our rights erode," said petitioner Walter Harris III.

Despite a large, vocal demonstration against the annexation plans in April, the Wilmington city council approved their plans in May.

Harris said he was turned away from the public hearing in April.

"I was there for support but was turned away," said Harris. "I definitely felt like there was a threat of arrest if I loitered laundered there. So I left."

City council member Earl Sheridan believes the city followed all the correct procedures.

"I think there was some issue as far as being a fire code violation and I think that's where the problems came in," said Sheridan. "But we allowed many, many people to speak."

Sheridan said he was not surprised by the day's action to file an appeal, but stands by the city's power to annex property.

"I think it's important for the city to have that power in order to stay fiscally strong," said Sheridan.

There is no word yet on when the courts will hear this appeal.

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