THE HUNTER REPORT
LENOIR CITYíS ANNEXATION POLICY NEEDS TWEAKING
Barry White (L) Eddie Simpson, Bill Thomas, Kenneth Wilkerson ,Monty Ross, Leslie Johnson, Herb Lingenfelter (R)
Lenoir City Regional Planning Commission
BY: PAT HUNTER
Who in Lenoir City government wants forced annexations?
Annexation talk stirred the interest of some who were not keen about the idea of a proposed policy that would allow forced annexations by Lenoir City.
Citizens were present to hear the Lenoir City Regional Planning Commission discuss the proposed draft policy. RELATED STORY LENOIR CITY PLANNING MEETING FEB 1, 2011
According to Lenoir City Codes/Planner Leslie Johnson, the annexation policy was part of a 2-year work plan.
On occasion Lenoir City had requests for annexations from property owners in and outside of the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). Johnson wanted to set perimeters. Itís a starting point about what do we want to do, how do we want to set policies and procedures.
Lenoir City Regional Planning Chairperson Monty Ross recalled an agreement between Loudon County and the City but she thought that a certain percentage (50%) of people in the affected area would have to agree to annexation. Ross asked fellow Lenoir City Planning Eddie Simpson (Councilman) what he recalled. Simpson replied, ďon residential property.Ē And thatís still our standing agreement with the County said Simpson; no replied Lenoir City Codes/Planner Leslie Johnson. Eddie Simpson is also the Loudon County Superintendent of Roads.
A brief history was given about the agreement. Back in 2005, the two governmental bodies, Lenoir City and Loudon County entered into an interlocal agreement, which did away with forced annexations. The agreement set conditions and terms that govern future annexations (SEE BELOW). Two years earlier, Lenoir City had annexed 40 parcels of property along Hwy. 321 within the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). Loudon County Commission voted to halt the annexations, with a court challenge. After 1 1/2 year back and forth legal wrangling, both governmental bodies agreed on terms, which resulted in the agreement. Long story short, no one would be annexed unless it was by request or consent, no forced annexations. Interestingly, the proposed policy included wording for forced annexation by Lenoir City. RE/ 2.2 Some Annexations will be desirable and necessary from the City's perspective... CLICK TO READ pdf Agenda #2 - Review of proposed Resolution for Administrative Policy and Procedures for Annexations - Discussion
According to Johnson, it was not the intent to put any conflict with a standing agreement with the County but to give the planning body some guidance and principles, plan of services, and to show the feasibility of a proposed annexation. Johnson also thought that property owners should be notified.
Are you going to vote on this policy, an audience member asked? Johnson said they were in no hurry and she offered to show a copy of the 2-year program to those present. Simpson asked Johnson to send him a copy of the agreement, which she agreed.
LC Codes/Planning Leslie Johnson would continue to work on the policy. Johnson said that the planning commission is an advisory body and the policy would be tweaked to include the agreement. No action was taken at this time.
(NOTE: Two county residents sit on the Lenoir City Regional Planning Commission but neither one spoke on the issue of annexation).
CLICK LENOIR CITY INTERLOCAL ANNEXATION AGREEMENT WITH LOUDON COUNTY
Newest member to join Lenoir City Regional Planning Commission
The Mayor requested that Theapholis Arnwine (l) attend his first planning commission meeting as he sat in the audience.
Arnwine will replace Terri Watson who resigned.