Property owners lash out at city's annexation plan

By Matt Ward —

Frustrated residents living in a 145-acre area southeast of Fredericksburg along U.S 290 East voiced their opposition to being annexed by the City of Fredericksburg during a public hearing held Monday evening.

“At the first meeting, we asked a lot of detailed questions about what was going to be involved, but what I don’t think was said that night is ‘I don’t want to be annexed,’” Danz Lane resident Wayne Turrentine said. “I speak for a lot of my neighbors who will come up and tell you the same thing.”

No decision was made by the council, though they are expected to begin the institution of annexation proceedings during a special meeting on Sept. 8.

Residents in the area with an agriculture-exemption on their property taxes have until 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, to opt out of annexation for a 15-year period. As of Monday, three of the 10 ag-exempt properties have opted to delay annexation.

“I didn’t ever want to be annexed,” resident Brandon Behrends said. “My kid can play out there. I don’t have to worry about crime on a private street. We can shoot fireworks off. He gets to see wildlife in the backyard. I don’t want to be annexed.”

Brian Jordan, city director of development services, said that the city is not currently looking at re-evaluating the annexation plans at this time, but that is always a possibility.

“My daddy didn’t want to be annexed either and this was back in the ’60s,” Mayor Linda Langerhans said. “I certainly understand what you’re saying. Any time there is an annexation, it’s really difficult for the landowners in those areas to accept it and it does change the way you look at growth in your area.”

Estimates developed by city finance director Brad Kott indicate that the city will receive approximately $19,275 in additional property taxes based on an effective tax rate of $0.2482 per $100 valuation.

A chart that shows each property’s calculation and estimated tax payment as well as annexation maps are available online at www.fbgtx.org.

“You haven’t sold us on the opportunity or told us that there’s a lot of positives to this (annexation),” Danz Lane resident John Thomas said.

Langerhans said that affected property owners can contact individual council members to express their opinions on a one-on-one basis prior to the Sept. 8 decision.

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