RALEIGH, N.C. -

The Republican-led General Assembly still isn't finished trying to reduce the powers and clout of North Carolina's municipalities, two years after lawmakers passed historic annexation changes.
    
Several bills intervening in municipal affairs have been debated and passed at least one chamber during this year's session. Some legislation has targeted specific cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh or Asheville. Others seek to rein in local governments for home building inspection and appearance and design standards.
    
Sen. Tom Apodaca of Hendersonville says municipalities are being restrained as population shifts to urban centers and cities dominate counties where they sit.
    
Democrats call this year's legislation partisan in nature. They point out that most big cities are led by members of their party.

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