Annexation is the systematic expansion of a city's corporate boundaries into unincorporated (not already part of a local governmental jurisdiction) areas, and a corresponding extension of city services to the newly-annexed areas. North Carolina state statutes allow cities to undertake annexation as long as certain development characteristics exist within the areas considered for annexation. In 1959, the North Carolina State Legislature revised the statute that governs how cities may annex adjacent areas. The law stipulates that areas can't be annexed unless they meet the following two requirements:
If these two requirements are met, in addition to other less significant requirements, the cities are authorized to annex as long as specific procedures are followed.