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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Leland eyes annexing Lanvale Forest, could be put to referendum next election

Leland is moving along in its town-initiated attempt to annex existing properties in Lanvale Forest into its town limits.

Leland is pursuing annexation options for Lanvale Forest, a neighborhood off Highway 17 in Brunswick County. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Google Maps)
Leland is pursuing annexation options for Lanvale Forest, a neighborhood off Highway 17 in Brunswick County. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Google Maps)

LELAND — Leland is continuing its pursuit of an annexation of Lanvale Forest.

One year has passed since the town formally initiated its annexation process to add nearly 100 acres and over 100 properties into its municipal limits.

RELATED: Leland agrees to repair subdivision roads if residents agree to annexation

Now, if Leland’s Council approves the next step in the process Thursday, Lanvale Forest’s annexation could be on the ballot next municipal election.

Lanvale Forest

The neighborhood’s developer already voluntarily annexed the third phase, about 37 acres of undeveloped land, into town limits last year.

Because hundreds of Lanvale Trace’s lots are already-built out, any future annexation of previous phases would require consent on behalf of a majority of the homeowners.

Annexing — from a municipalities’ point of view — used to be a lot simpler. Before 2012, municipalities could involuntarily annex property into its limits even if a majority of subject property owners objected.

When state law changed six years ago, property owners were granted more say. Statutes mandate town-initiated annexations take place over a two-year process that culminates in a referendum. With Leland’s stated interest in growing its tax base, the town has been mostly limited to encouraging voluntary annexations to extend its corporate limits.

A majority of property owners in Lanvale Forest could vote on the annexation during the next election. If it’s approved, Leland will gain property tax revenue and extend its services.

One of those services, repairing roads, was used last year as a bargaining chip. The town told Lanvale Forest’s residents that it would fix their deteriorating roads, only if they supported annexation efforts. Currently designated as unincorporated property, Brunswick County had previously warned Lanvale Forest that the county would not issue building permits in phase three until roads were repaired. With phase three now in Leland’s town limits under a new developer, that cost could soon be shifted onto the neighborhood’s homeowners.

If Leland Town Council approves the proposed “Resolution of Intent” at its regular meeting Thursday, a public hearing on the annexation would take place in February.

Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at

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