Weatherford Democrat

Aledo ExtrA

July 15, 2014

Low turnout at Annetta annexation hearing

WEATHERFORD — By CHRISTIN COYNE

Few spoke during public hearings last week regarding the latest proposed annexation by the Town of Annetta.

A golf course and about 36 homes, including 34 homes in Split Rail Estates and one under construction in the neighborhood, would be included if the city council chooses to annex the approximately 515 acres on the north side of the city.

The council, which voted June 19 to accept the annexation petition signed by 54 residents, a majority of qualified voters in the area, is expected to vote on the proposed annexation during a specially called meeting scheduled for July 31.

“Annexations used to draw a big crowd,” Mayor Bruce Pinckard said. “I don’t know what the deal is. Maybe people have seen the wisdom.”

One of the Split Rail residents who organized the petition drive, Richard Lane, thanked the city council during the public hearing Thursday for working with residents to speed through the process with three specially called meetings.

Lane told the newspaper that the primary reason he’d like to see the area annexed is to give residents structure.

“When you’re unincorporated and don’t have an HOA, you don’t have a way to bring people together,” Lane said. “And you have no codes, no organization to air out any grievance you have or anything else. Once you get in the city, you get all these codes and everything.”

Plus, Lane said he expects the annexation to bring together the neighborhoods of Split Rail West and Split Rail East, which is inside Annetta currently.

“It sort of clears up where we are and who we are,” Lane said. “When you see all these developments moving our way, you don’t want to get encircled and find yourself the object of desire of every community around. You want to be your own community so that you can establish your own way of doing things.”

The idea had been percolating for a couple years and when Annetta annexed the Deer Creek area, Split Rail residents really started talking about it, according to Lane, who said it makes sense for the community to establish itself as part of Annetta rather than remain unincorporated.

A couple of Annetta residents expressed support for the annexation, as well.

“I’m disappointed that it’s this easy for them,” joked Dennis Thompson, who worked for months to have the Deer Creek Estates area annexed, a controversial annexation last year.

One landowner, Michael Harrison, who would be affected by the annexation, showed up minutes after the Thursday evening hearing ended and told city leaders that he opposed annexation.

“I don’t want to be annexed,” Harrison said. “I’m not on water. I’m not on sewer. It’s nothing but a loss for me.”

Harris said he may want build another building for his business and doesn’t want to have to apply to the city for a permit.

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