|P&Z said to be closely studying annexation plan|
|Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor|
Nov. 29, 2005 -- Members of Sulphur Springs' Planning and Zoning Commission say they want to take a much closer look at some of the areas proposed for annexation before making any recommendation to the city council.
"Their reasoning was, 'If we are going to extend the highway all the way to State Highway 19, we ought to at least consider this issue before we make a recommendation,'" City Manager Marc Maxwell explained.
The commission spent some time in their meeting on Nov. 21 reviewing city staff recommendations for annexation. Several commission members identified a potential need to expand city boundaries to include not only the area between State Highway 154 and FM 2297 (Arbala Road), but all the way to SH 19.
Included in the area P&Z commissioners want to consider for annexation is an area bounded by Interstate 30 on the north, SH 154 on the east, SH 19 on the west and south around the planned extension connecting SH 154 and SH 19 that is not already in the city.
"The fact is, we need to annex the future [State] Highway 11 extension before it happens," the city manager said. "Bringing property along that highway into the city limits has been a 'foregone conclusion' for years."
The city's latest look at expanding the city limits was the result of a developer asking that a planned residential area be annexed into the city.
In that October council meeting, Councilman Joe Crouch said he understood there was also a need for some annexation to square up some of the city's boundary lines.
The city manager agreed and also said discussions had been ongoing for several years regarding the annexation of property adjacent to the city limits.
"This subject came up several years ago when we kicked around a couple of ideas and even produced a map of different areas we might look at in the future," Maxwell said. "It really never got any further than that."
With anticipated growth and development, especially along the southern boundaries of the city, the city manger said now would be the time to consider bringing more property into the city because it is easier to annex property before it is developed than afterwards.
Maxwell said he did not anticipate anything coming before the city council before the commission has had time to fully explore the plan and to seek public comment.
City staff is asking for input from residents of the areas to be considered for annexation, as well as anyone else interested, to express their concerns as early as possible.
"Now is the time, not when it is happening," Maxwell said. "If there are concerns, we need to hear from folks."