- Real Estate
- Paris Flash
The Paris City Council will consider 25 requests for disannexation tonight — including 23 along Airport Road near Cox Field Airport – but probably have less going for them now similar requests in the past.
Last March, when the council looked at three disannexation requests, District 3 City Councilman John Wright said the city should either provide promised city services, reduce rates or disannex the properties. The council tabled the requests after asking the city attorney to seek an attorney general’s opinion to clear up some issues.
The three are back on tonight’s agenda at the request of Mayor AJ Hashmi, who said earlier this month that the council should address concerns that the three disannexation requests were put on the back burner and forgotten.
But during the summer, the council adopted a new policy on annexations and disannexations. City Manager John Godwin says all three of the tabled requests– plus 22 new requests this month on properties totaling almost 800 acres, all in the airport area — fail the requirements that were put into the new policy.
At the tail end of tonight’s agenda, the council is asked to “discuss and provide direction to city staff” on applications for disannexation filed by:
In regard to disannexation, the new policy states:
“The City will consider disannexation of any area within its corporate limits if so requested by a majority of the property owners and if the area fails to meet at least one of seven criteria, and if the proposed disannexation is part of an identifiable, logical whole (vs. individual parcels) which neither create “holes” within the existing corporate city limits, nor force any other area of the city outside the revised city limit boundary line (“islands” outside the revised lines).
The city criteria for annexation that are referenced are: 1) enclave, 2) urban development, 3) growth center, 4) adverse impact, 5) option to expand, 6) populated area, and 7) long-term development.
“The Spencer tract could be disannexed without impact to other property, and it is an un developed lot of its own that is not connected with the Denison tract,” Godwin said in his internal briefing to council members.
“However, because it is on a city street and adjacent to other lots, disannexation could create an opportunity for an undesired and unregulated land use,” the city manager said.
Also, it violates the new policy requirement that a disannexed area must include more than a single parcel, the city manager said.
The two most recent disannexations granted by the council in September and October of 2012 were for single-parcel properties.
The Denison property, if disannexed, would isolate property owned by Celeste Wilcox, the city manager said, “so it is ineligible for disannexation based both on generally accepted planning practices and on the city’s annexation policy.”
The Hudgens property near the airport, if considered alone, would have been ineligible for disannexation because of the hole in the city limit it would create, Godwin said.
Even lumped in with the 22 disannexation requests on or around Airport Road that the city received on Sept. 6 “there remains the possibility of islands and/or holes being created, as well as very irregular boundaries,” he said.
Furthermore, it appears that criteria 2, 3, 4 and 7 “are met by most, if not all, of the properties” in the vicinity of Airport Road, Godwin said.
“These basically go back to the very reason Texas cities are permitted annexation authority — to protect their borders and control the land uses in and close to them,” the city manager said.
“The disannexation of some of these parcels would result in the physical separation of the airport from the remainder of the city limits, which we would recommend against.”
Disannexation of the properties along Airport Road would eliminate the city’s ability to manage future development in the vicinity of the airport, Godwin noted.
“Parcels that are disannexed in this manner may not be annexed again for at least 10 years. Also, a ripple effect can occur if areas located on the city’s outer edges are disannexed, thereby moving other parcels not now on the edge to the fringe themselves, and possibly generating new disannexation requests from still more property owners,” Godwin said.
Last March, when asked pros and cons of disannexation, Director of Community Development Shawn Napier said a property owner would pay less in taxes to the city and to the college, permit fees would not be required, and there would be no city regulations or code enforcement.
On the negative side, he said there would be a higher cost for water; potential septic system; zoning rules that would not apply, meaning a neighbor could build anything they wanted to build and you would have no control; there would be no building inspections, possibly leading to substandard structures; and insurance rates would be higher.
City Planning Director Alan Efrussy said in March, concerning pros, a person could do virtually almost anything with regard to land usage. As to cons, Efrussy said the design of the city could be disrupted, and chipping away at the city would leave no zoning control. He said adjacent land uses could suffer because of incompatible land uses.
City Attorney Kent McIlyar added that if the city disannexes the properties, it would be giving up zoning regulations, and disannexation of parcels of land not on the boundary’s edge would result in a redesign of the city’s boundary limits. McIlyar said he saw no reason to support this disannexation.
When the mayor asked the council last spring how it wished to proceed, District 5 Councilman Matt Frierson and District 6 Councilwoman Cleonne Drake said they favored getting an attorney general’s opinion on the legality issues, and the council voted 7-0 to table all three disannexation requests.
By Charles Richards, eParisExtra