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Largest ever voluntary annexation on the table

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While many residents in Monkey Junction fought involuntary annexation, the thought of being annexed actually appeals to some people. An area developer wants to be annexed by the city of Wilmington. It will be the largest voluntary annexation the city has seen.

More than 1300 acres of land along River Road will soon be a self-contained residential and commercial property called Riverlights.

Developer Keith Hurand of Newland Communities wants his development to have a city address. “The city’s mixed used ordinance really allows us to complete that vision.”

Hurand says joining the city means more opportunity to spread out his development, making it energy efficient and pedestrian-friendly. “We’re allowed to put street trees in the medians, it allows us to put street trees in the right away, creating more of a parkway feel rather than a highway feel running through the community.”

River road is a state owned highway. That means, if this area is annexed, the city may be responsible not only for the land, but the part of River Road that the development sits on.

A city ordinance favors mixed communities like Riverlights, primarily because due to a government statute, cities have more flexibility when working with developers, than counties do.

“The spirit and intent of our community is to go out, and enjoy the environment, enjoy their neighbors, create a lot more of a livable factor, rather than the standard communities that you see in other areas,” Hurand said.

Financially, Hurand says staying in the county or the city makes no difference. What appeals to him, and his future development is the city’s emergency services, school systems and zoning rules.

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While many residents in Monkey Junction fought involuntary annexation, the thought of being annexed actually appeals to some people. An area developer wants to be annexed by the city of Wilmington.

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Associated poll

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