Gates Four annexation could be in limbo


As Fayetteville city leaders start working on next year's budget, at least for now, they are not counting on any money from Gates Four homeowners.

"It's disappointing. I think it's about $580,000 that we were thinking could be proposed in the budget," said Councilman D.J. Haire. "I'm kind of thinking it may not go forward."

As demonstrators banged pots and spoons outside the state legislature in Raleigh Wednesday protesting Republican lawmakers' agenda, a State Senate committee approved a bill that undid forced annexation in nine cities including the Gates Four community in Fayetteville.

Residents in the affluent gated community were cautiously optimistic.

"We have been fighting this thing for 12 years," said Gates Four Homeowners' Association Spokesperson, Mike Molin.  "When I see it, I will believe it."

The city has tried since 2003 to annex the roughly 650 homes and an 18 hole golf-course community. Several council members hope to find some kind of middle ground.

"I've always said we need to reach a medium, a system that allows cities to grow but at the same time respecting the rights of citizens," said Councilman Bill Crisp.

And the citizens in Gates Four said all they want is for Fayetteville to leave them alone. They're pleased with the Senate vote, but they know it's not over.

"Yes, we are happy that maybe for the time being it's come to final conclusion, but you just never know what's going to happen in the future," said Molin.

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