NC legislature approves bill to end protest petitions

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A bill eliminating one outlet for North Carolina homeowners to protest local development has passed the General Assembly and is headed to the governor, where it will likely receive final approval.

The House voted 82-28 Wednesday in favor of a bill ending protest petitions, which increase the standard needed for city councils to approve zoning changes. A supermajority is required if enough residents of the surrounding community sign a petition against the proposed changes.

The Senate already passed the bill and Gov. Pat McCrory has indicated he supports the legislation.

Democrats from larger cities say protest petitions are a way for citizens to organize themselves and fight against powerful corporations. Republicans, who control both chambers, argue the petitions are undemocratic by allowing small groups of opponents to block development.

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