House Bill 201 would end that right, and Rep. Jonathan Jordan is a proud co-sponsor, because he loves the rights of citizens so much.
Protest petitions do not necessarily squelch development, but if enough neighbors protest, then a super-majority of city council members are required to pass a rezoning. A protest petition is a red flag, in other words, for people in charge to pay particular and close attention to what's being done to a neighborhood.
A 49,000-sq.-ft. Publix store was proposed for a larger shopping center in a north Raleigh neighborhood. A protest petition by the neighborhood -- signed by some 2,000 residents -- triggered the super-majority requirement on the Raleigh City Council. "I daresay no one objects to Publix opening a store in north Raleigh," a citizen leading the protest said. "We oppose rezoning, and this out-of-town developer's efforts to reshape the landscape for their own financial gain with no regard for the thousands of hours (and tax dollars) that went into Raleigh's 2030 Comprehensive Plan, and the people who trusted it."
So what? When 2,000 established residents are up against a major corporation, Republicans like Jonathan Jordan are going to side with the corporation. Every time. Because they love freedom so much.