The Lucas, Tx city council voted to annex the remaining lots in Cimarron, Edgewood Estates and Claremont Springs that were not part of the city of Lucas. Several residents showed up to express their displeasure at being annexed. They felt that the citizens should have had the right to vote. The majority of the city council felt that since the areas were in “swiss cheese” areas of Lucas and because the city was required to pay for police, emt and fire protection for these areas, the residents should be citizens of Lucas and pay for their fare share of city services. Two members of the council were opposed to any annexation with agreement by vote of the residents. The city mentioned that a new state law required cities to annex ETJ (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction) areas by 12/1 or lose the right of annexation.
Here’s the Rub on Annexation
Annexing property into Lucas, Parker, or Fairview Texas always seems to be a contentious issue. From the town’s point of view, those homeowners are getting police and fire protection even though they aren’t part of the city and paying city taxes. After all, the fire dept can’t just drive by a burning home or not treat someone who’s having a heart attack because it hasn’t been annexed into the city. That also goes when city policing is involved.
From the homeowner’s point of view, they’re already getting those services without paying city taxes so what’s their incentive to be brought in to pay more? Developers and homeowners understandably fight for higher density zoning because they can get more homes on the lots, and thus, the land can be sold for more and there’s more profit to be made. If you’re the landowner, why wouldn’t you want to sell your land for more money with higher density zoning.
There’s more to annexing into a town than the fire and police protection too. The city has limited control on what developers and even homeowners in unannexed areas can do on the land. Because these three developments were never brought into Lucas, the town could not enforce the two acre zoning which was intended for it. You might notice how those homes are a bit closer together on one and one half acre lots than the surrounding developments with 2 acre zoning.
Fireworks are another issue you might not think about. Although you can shoot fireworks in unannexed areas, the town still has rights to protect the areas within the city by requiring a buffer distance from their town. Not too many years ago I used to see a guy sitting alone dove hunting in a lawnchair right on Bethany Rd where Rockland Farms is now located. He was way too far from the homes for the pellets to hit them so I guess it wasn’t enforced by the town of Lucas.
Slowly but surely, the towns are pulling the remaining areas in. I’m going to check with the town of Fairview and update this, but I believe they have already completed annexing in the areas already. I’ll clarify that this week.
FYI, the town of Lucas recently rejected 1.5 acre zoning on the corner of Blondy Jhune Rd (my favorite Lucas street) and Country Club Rd. They could do that because it had already been annexed into the town.
We’re not taking sides, just reporting what happened and explaining the issue. We’ll be providing updates from both the town of Fairview and Parker city council and planning and zoning meetings so please stay tuned to our blog.