Albemarle approves interlocal agreement for proposed annexation

Published 1:49 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Albemarle City Council narrowly approved an amended interlocal agreement with the Town of New London about a proposed annexation agreement during its meeting Monday night.

Though laws generally prohibit annexations where the property in question is located closer to the limits of another municipality than to annexing one, both can enter into an annexation agreement. New London will have a public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the New London Community Center to consider the annexation agreement.

The annexation agreement would state that New London will not annex the the specific area, allowing Albemarle to annex the property.

If New London’s Board of Commissioners approve their portion of the agreement, then the owners of tax parcel 7061 (Efird Farms LLC), approximately 145.57 acres near U.S. Highway 52 North, could proceed with the standard annexation, zoning and approval process, according to information included in Albemarle’s agenda packet. This would likely include an annexation petition to be considered by council during its March 20 meeting and annexation and rezoning hearings in May.

Some sort of subdivision would most likely be constructed if the annexation is approved by the Albemarle council later this year, according to the agenda packet.

During a public hearing about the agreement, two individuals discussed reservations not about the interlocal agreement but about the consequences of the agreement — mainly that if the property did get annexed and a subdivision was built, it would put more of a strain on the school system.

Former Stanly County Schools employee and New London resident Danny Buchanan told council that several schools in the northern area, including North Stanly High, North Stanly Middle, Richfield Elementary and Badin Elementary, are already near capacity and a possible influx of new students would present a challenge.

In a hypothetical scenario, “if you put 400 houses in there… we are looking at another 400 students that somehow or another you’re going to have to put into the school system,” he said.

Jody Cook was concerned that a development would put a strain on not just the school system, but resources like police and fire departments.

“I don’t think that we need to reach out and try to do this,” Cook told council.

Following the public hearing, council approved the agreement by a 4-3 vote. Council members Bill Aldridge, Benton Dry and Martha Sue Hall were opposed.

Aldridge agreed with Buchanan regarding the concern about school system capacity if multiple homes were to get built on the property.

“These kids will have to have somewhere to go to school and we’ll have to have law enforcement and fire protection,” he said. “We need to take a look at that.”

Mayor Ronnie Michael said those concerns would come up if the annexation agreement is passed by both municipalities and council has to consider annexing the property.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

email author More by Chris