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Council OKs voluntary annexation request

Three property owners voice opposition to the measure at public hearing

A voluntary annexation request from Reveiz Farms Inc. was approved by the City Council Monday night following a public hearing and verbal objections from three property owners near the proposed annexation.

This is the second time the council has addressed the annexation request from Reveiz Farms for property located south of the city. The first request came to the council at a May 17 public hearing. At that time, the city also proposed to include several acres of property by involuntary annexation, including two residential properties, owned by Doug and Pam Ryan, 1618 230th St., and Mark and Peggy Roberts, 2376 Beach St. According to a memo from Planning Director Karla Wetzler, in line with State Code, additional territory comprising not more than 20 percent of the land area may be included in the application without the consent of the owners to avoid creating an island or to create more uniform boundaries.

At the May hearing, the council declined to make a motion to proceed with the annexation at that time.

The new proposed annexation request omits the Ryan property but would still include the Roberts home.

The Ryans submitted a written opposition to the proposal and also appeared in person to voice their concerns.

“While my wife and I appreciate the latest voluntary annexation proposal from Reveiz Farms Inc. that leaves our property outside the ascribed territory, we still stand in opposition to this annexation,” he said. “We do not want to be surrounded by a housing development.”

He reiterated many of the points he voiced in his email objection to the council. He said that approval of the annexation resolution is “simply a method to increase property tax revenue.”

He also objected to many of the population projections included in the city’s comprehensive plan, saying that the projections were flawed.

Roberts also voiced his opposition to the annexation resolution. He said his biggest complaint was that he couldn’t connect to any of the city’s amenities, such as sewer and water.

“We’re just not going to get any benefit,” he said.

Roberts also said going from county tax to city tax would more than double.

Property owner Gina Monroe who owns 40 acres in the area, but not within the proposed annexation area, said she, too, was concerned about having to look out over a housing development from her property.

Councilman Logan Welch asked if the Robert property could be carved out of the planned annexation as the Ryan property was. He suggested removing two parcels of land from the involuntary annexation belonging to the State of Iowa and Katherine Finucan.

“There’s an opportunity to leave (the Roberts) out in the county and still acquire all of the Reveiz land,” he said.

Welch also pointed out that the council failed to pass the previous annexation resolution.

“So that shows me that this is not that important,” he said.

Councilman Brian Miller said he disagreed with Welch.

“We didn’t have what we wanted in front of us at the time,” Miller said. “They brought us back what we wanted. I’m a little frustrated because we left that meeting asking for exactly what we’ve gotten tonight.”

Miller said even if the Roberts property could be carved out of the involuntary annexation, he doubted they would be happy because the rest of the surrounding property would be included in the annexation.

“It goes back to we need to do what is best for the city, not what is popular,” Miller said.

Miller moved to approve the annexation request. Welch cast the only no vote.

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