At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

Franklin asks state for annexation exception

To accommodate potential future growth, the Franklin Board of Aldermen passed a resolution asking the North Carolina General Assembly to relax certain requirements for voluntary annexations into its town limits.

Town Attorney John Henning Jr. said the state statute prohibits a satellite piece of property from being annexed into a town if it is part of a subdivision — the entire subdivision would have to be annexed. 

The other requirement is the 10 percent rule that states that satellite properties can only make up 10 percent or less of a town’s corporate limit area. Town Planner Justin Setser said Franklin isn’t even close to approaching that 10 percent mark. 

Alderman Farrell Jamison asked what the downside would be to get the exemptions from the state. 

Henning said the 10 percent restriction was probably in place to keep town’s from overextending themselves by taking on more property than they can service. However, that is not a concern for Franklin since its satellite property only makes up 1 percent of its total area. 

The board unanimously approved asking Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, to introduce a local bill that would grant the town an exemption from the subdivision and 10 percent rule. 

The annexation issue came up during the board’s January meeting when Steve Isaacs, president of Pioneer Petroleum Company requested the twon voluntarily annex 44 Lowery Lane off U.S. 441 South. Isaacs’ wants the property annexed so he can construct a new gas station. He told the board all 29 of his other stations are inside city limits, which helps lower his insurance cost and also allows him to sell alcohol. 

The town authorized the town clerk to investigate whether the property meets all the qualifications for annexation, but Henning said Monday that the property didn’t meet the satellite annexation requirements because it is technically located inside a subdivision. However, the subdivision covenants expired 20 years ago. 

Henning said even if the state approves the exemptions, the property in question would still have to go through the local annexation process before being approved.

Go to top