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Majority of Monkey Junction Owners Petition Against Annexation

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Nearly 75 percent of property owners in Monkey Junction have spoken loud and clear: they don’t want to be annexed. 

WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that based on new legislation passed in June, unincorporated areas can block a neighboring city’s annexation advances if 60 percent of their property owners dissent. 

Tuesday is the deadline for filing denial petitions with the New Hanover County Board of Elections, a lengthy process that Director Marvin McFadyen describes as unprecedented.

“This is the first time that any department, any organization, any individual property owner in North Carolina has had, let’s use the word ‘opportunity,’ to participate in this process. So, for the tax department, for the Board of Elections, this is all new to us.”

Next week, representatives from the City of Wilmington and the petitioning group of Monkey Junction property owners will review the results. Both sides can challenge the documents before they’re certified by the Board of Elections.

“When the law passed, it was very vague on the procedures. We had to go as far as even developing the petition denial letter. The only thing the legislators passed this year was the ability to go through this process. They didn’t outline any of the process.”

Since the summer, Director Marvin McFadyen and his staff have sent out more than 2,000 letters to the property owners of nearly 1,400 parcels.

If Wilmington’s annexation attempt is proven null and void, officials must wait three years before trying to annex the area again.

After growing up in Woodbridge, Virginia, Michelle attended Virginia Tech before moving to Wilmington to complete her Master in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. Her reporting and nonfiction writing have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, within the pages of Wrightsville Beach Magazine, and in literary journals like River Teeth and Ninth Letter. Before moving to Wilmington, Michelle served as the general manager for WUVT, a community radio station in Blacksburg, Virginia. She lives with her husband Scott and their pups, Katie, Cooper, and Mosey.