Bill to de-annex properties in Sunset Beach fails in House Committee

Bill to de-annex properties in Sunset Beach fails in House Committee

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - The bill to de-annex parcels of land from the town of Sunset Beach was defeated in a state House Committee on Wednesday because of concerns raised by several lawmakers. The vote was 20-8 against the bill.

Senate Bill 875, which has already passed the state Senate after being introduced by Sen. Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick), changed when introduced to the House Finance Committee by Rep. Frank Iler (R-Brunswick), who represents Sunset Beach. According to Iler, the town reached a settlement with the owner of Palm Cove, who was seeking to be taken out of town limits. That deal left two parcels of land at the center of the de-annexation efforts.

Iler also told committee members there is a question of whether the town actually owns one of the parcels of property involved in the bill, what is known as the "Eight Gateway Parcel" on the east end of Sunset Beach. Iler says the two sides are going to court to decide the ownership question, and should it be determined that the town owns that parcel, it could be re-annexed back into town limits should SB 875 be passed.

Committee members had questions regarding a petition against the bill, which reportedly has more than four thousand signatures, and also on why town leaders are against the dispute being handled in Raleigh instead of being settled on the local level.

"We thank Sen. Rabon and Rep. Iler along with their colleagues for listening to the community's concerns with this legislation," Ron Watts, the mayor of Sunset Beach said in an email news release. "No one is a winner from this; we know we need to continue the discussions with all involved so that we can resolve any issues as best we can for the community."

While SB 875 cannot be introduced to the full House in it's current form, lawmakers say the de-annexation issue may not be over. The language from the bill could be inserted into another piece of legislation and be brought up for vote.

To read past articles on the history of this dispute click here:

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