Wellington reviews annexation policies
|A proposed annexation policy plan for the City of Wellington includes a map with five areas in the unincorporated part of the county. The city will hold a public hearing May 7 on the document. There are no current bids for annexation on the table however.|
A Carbon County resident's concern that he might find himself living within Wellington city limits turns out to be quite premature.
Jeff Adderly read a notice in the Sun Advocate Tuesday that the town's planning and zoning commission is holding a hearing May 7 on a proposed annexation policy plan.
After seeing the notice, Adderly did some homework and voiced concerns about his future.
"We looked for six years for property in the unincorporated area," said Adderly. "People who live in the county areas live there because they want to."
He said he appreciates the freedom afforded to his family because they live under county zoning.
"We want to have all the animal rights," he said. "The kids like to go north of my house and hunt for rabbits."
But according to city recorder Ken Powell, there are no plans for pulling any properties into the Wellington limits.
"This is just an annexation plan, not an annexation," Powell said Wednesday morning.
He explained that the city is required by Section 10-2-401.5 of the Utah Code to have an annexation policy in place in the event that any residents in the unincorporated area might submit annexation petitions.
"This will just provide guidelines for the city," he said.
Powell stressed that his office has not received any petitions.
Adderly seemed especially concerned about a letter that accompanied the annexation packet which stated that a public hearing before Wellington planning and zoning had been conducted April 2 on the proposed policy.
The letter was addressed to the Carbon County Commissioners, the Transportation and Recreation Special Service District, Price River Water Improvement District, the Carbon County School District and Carbon Water Conservancy.
He said he called around to the addressed entities and found that those he talked to said that they hadn't even had a chance to review the documents and couldn't comment at the time.
Wednesday, County Planning Director Dave Levanger said that his office had just received the packet and that they were surprised as well.
However, the letter specifically states: "Wellington city is not proposing or recommending any expansion or annexation at this time nor have any petitions for annexation which may be filed in the future."
It is not up to a city to initiate the actual process, that is done by residents in unincorporated areas by submitting petitions, said Powell.
The state has several requirements that must be met before annexation can be pursued, as well.
The following criteria are outlined in Utah's process:
The property proposed for annexation must lay contiguous to an existing city boundary.
Annexation is initiated by petition of a property owner or owners.
The petition must include signatures of a majority of property owners within the proposed area.
The property owners must represent property having at least one-third of the assessed valuation of all private property within the boundaries.
The petition must be accompanied by an accurate plat of the proposed area.
Wellington's proposed plan includes a map of five areas that meet the contiguous boundary requirements.
Deemed expansion areas, the map includes northwest Wellington, which is located west, north and east of Hillside and Hillcrest subdivisions and south along Old Wellington Road; north Wellington, which begins at Old Wellington Road and runs east to approximately 2400 East Main; southeast Wellington, which begins at 2400 East Main and runs west to the most southern boundary of the city; south Wellington, which extends south of the existing city boundary and borders the industrial area annexation; and west Wellington, which covers from the present city boundary southwest to the northwest border of the Hillside subdivision.
Powell said that any future petition for annexation would have to be carefully scrutinized by the city to determine what costs might be encumbered by Wellington's current residents.
"If it's not feasible we could just say no," he said.
As for the public hearing, Powell said all comments from the hearing would be included in the minutes of the meeting and inserted into the packet of the proposed plan.
The movement of the process will depend on the outcome of the May 7 planning and zoning meeting, according to Powell.
If the commission approves the plan it would then be sent back to the city council.
The earliest that a decision could be made on it would be at the May 28 Wellington City Council meeting, Powell said.
The town's planning and zoning commission will conduct the public hearing on the proposed annexation plan May 7 at Wellington City Hall, 150 West Main St.
For more information, local residents may call Ken Powell 636-5213.