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Cities would be able to annex areas in ways that leave a remaining island or peninsula of unincorporated county under proposed legislation.

The House on Tuesday voted 51-22 to advance HB42 to allow such action if both the city and county government approve it. The measure now goes to the Senate.

"If one party does not agree, the annexation is off," said Rep. John Westwood, R-Cedar City, the bill's sponsor. He said other requirements for annexation remain unchanged, including those allowing public comment.

"We're allowing a little flexibility in the law," he said. "We're leaving the decision in the hands of our local officials."

The bill was opposed by many Salt Lake County lawmakers. Rep. Justin Miller, D-Salt Lake City, said it could upset ongoing negotiations on how to govern unincorporated portions of that county. He attempted to amend the bill to exempt Salt Lake County, but it died on a 27-46 vote.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams has proposed a "metropolitan township" plan to create a service district in unincorporated areas to protect their boundaries, but allow them to become cities if they choose.

— Lee Davidson