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Annexation meeting draws large crowd, much discussion about proposal

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Photo/ Tammy Curtis Jerry Adams with Cherokee Village Planning and Zoning discusses with landowner Bryan Sutterfield the advantages of annexing land he owns for hunting into Cherokee Village at the public meeting with Cherokee Village City Council members Oct. 14.
The much debated issue of annexing white areas in Cherokee Village, known locally as 160 acres and Big Oak Estates, was discussed at a public meeting Oct. 14 before Cherokee Village City Council at Cherokee Village City Hall.

These white areas are defined as areas that are located within the geological barriers of the city, yet when the city of Cherokee Village was incorporated in 1998, these and a few other regions were not included in the city boundaries.

Present for the public hearing were landowners from both regions, who voiced their opinions and concerns about the possible annexation of the areas.

First to speak was Nathan Circle who owns land in Big Oak Estates. Circle told the council that he bought the land for hunting purposes and said that he had spoken with the majority of the other landowners and they all want the land to remain zoned as it is, not rezoned to a R-1, which was later defined as "hunting area" by members of the council. Circle also addressed the police and fire protection that would be a part of the annexation. He said that the owners did not want these services from the city and if they did have a need they would call the county.

Bryan Sutterfield, one of the owners of the 160 acres being considered for annexation spoke to the council about the possibility of increased taxes, namely SID, which seems to be one of the main issues with many of the landowners. He advised council that he did not want to pay taxes to keep up the golf courses and lakes in the city. He said he did not utilize these services, therefore, did not want to pay for their upkeep in the form of a tax.

Cherokee Village Mayor Lloyd Hefley explained to Sutterfield that in the event the 160 acres was annexed into the city, the only increase in taxes would be 2 mills due to the different zone and the owners would not have to pay SID taxes. Cherokee Village Alderman Peter Martin explained to Sutterfield that the SID is a separate entity than the city and therefore property owners would be exempt from the SID tax. Hefley told Sutterfield that until the property was sold to another owner, the city had no jurisdiction over it.

Sutterfield was also concerned with reasons why the city wanted to annex the area into the city's boundaries. Jerry Adams with Cherokee Village Planning and Zoning Committee advised Sutterfield the city would like to clean up the boundaries, increase the population to over 5,000, allowing the city more turnback funds, as well as creating revenue for the city through an Advertising and Promotions Tax on rentals from tourism. Hefley also informed Sutterfield that the proposed annexation document will allow the landowners in the 160 acres to hunt in the same manner as they were accustomed to. Sutterfield, however, was concerned that a few years later the city could be governed by a new mayor and new city council and that they could change the rules.

City Attorney Jon Abele said the city could grandfather in a clause regarding the use of the land, but did say the current city council could not govern what future councils could change in regard to the annexation and zoning of the areas.

Renee Clay-Circle also spoke to the council and advised that the words "and heirs" should be included in the ordinance in the event property owners would like to pass their property and the rights to hunt on the land to their heirs. Clay-Circle's suggestion was taken into consideration by members of council.

Following the public meeting on Oct. 14, was the regular monthly meeting of Cherokee Village City Council Oct. 15. At the meeting, members of council agreed to forego voting on the annexation issue until they had an opportunity to discuss the issue and rewrite the potential ordinance to reflect the considerations made by the public. The issue is set to be voted on during the November city council meeting set for Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at Cherokee Village City Hall.

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So if this passes, they can still hunt, pay only the 2 mill tax, will not pay SID nor use SID properties. They don't want CVPD or CVFD services so they actually will pay moneies to the city for being in the city. And the city gets all the good stuff. The city keeps talking about the Ad/Promo tax on rentals. What does that have to do with annexation of this area. I am sure the rental people love this idea. And everyone wants us to use local businesses and the city wants to add a new tax. DUH. 2010 come on in.

-- Posted by troutman on Thu, Oct 22, 2009, at 9:32 AM

They say they don't want CVPD or CVFD services, but who is going to have to go help them when someone is hunting thier property or it has a fire. will they build thier own fire dept,I guess the circles will build thier own fire and police protection.

-- Posted by visitor1 on Tue, Oct 27, 2009, at 9:43 AM

To increase the city's population to 5,000. Does that mean that over 400 people live in the proposed area. Or is this just some more city BS.

-- Posted by troutman on Wed, Oct 28, 2009, at 12:51 PM

This is just another scam by the City to get more revenue by instituting a tax on people already taxed to the max. I say kick out this Mayor and council and start all over again.

-- Posted by J.B. on Mon, Nov 16, 2009, at 8:15 PM

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