|A Union Pacific train moves from Wellington to Price along the area where the annexation is planned.|
After two public hearings and an outpouring of community comments Wellington's planning and zoning boardmembers voted June 4 to send a proposed annexation policy to the city council.
The state-mandated policy was protested by a number of residents from the unincorporated areas of Carbon County at May 7 and June 4 hearings.
Last week's hearing drew a smaller crowd than the first. However, one resident had a concrete plan to submit.
"I believe your map covers too vast of an area," said Karla Rhodes. "You are taking up too much of the agricultural area."
Rhodes showed the board a map she had created that she said she thought would be more appropriate.
"I've even squared this off for you," said the resident.
Boardmember Ellis Willson reminded Rhodes that she is out of the perimeter of the original map that accompanies the plan.
Despite being spared from inclusion into the proposed areas, Rhodes said borders of the map still go too far.
"You go almost all the way to the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands," she said.
The boundaries of annexation include on the north up to the sod farm and the Houskeeper property; the northwest located west, north and east of Hillside and Hillcrest subdivisions; south to the border of the industrial area annexation; southeast from 2400 East Main to southern most boundary of the city west from the present city limit to the northwest border of the Hillside subdivision.
If officials were to change the map, Willson said the city would have to do an entire new plan.
When word of Wellington's intent to develop an annexation policy hit the community, it caused outcry from residents living outside the city limits.
Confusion seemed to reign as the policy came to light in May and many people believed it an attempt by the city to annex their property.
At the May 7 meeting Wellington City Recorder Ken Powell carefully explained the policy in no way meant there was annexation being planned.
He tried to clarify for the crowd that the city can't initiate annexation that only property owners can.
He then handed out the state code on the process. Of particular interest to the crowd gathered at the hearing are:
Annexation is initiated by petition of property owners
A petition must include signatures from a majority of the affected property owners
The property owners who sign the petition must represent property that is one-third of the valuation of all the private property in the proposed area
In addition to the above outlined conditions residents also learned that no annexation would be hoisted upon them without their notice.
Powell assured them that the county would be responsible for notifying them if a petition was filed. And the Utah code 10-2-403 states further that anyone intending to file a petition shall mail a notice to "each owner of real property located within the area proposed to be annexed and each owner of real property located within 300 feet of the area proposed to be annexed."
At the June 4 meeting Rhodes re-expressed some of the main concerns of unincorporated area residents to annexation.
"We want to be able to have our cows and horses, our animal rights that we have living in the county area," she said.
Her personal concern is keeping her family farm intact.
"I want to be able to hand this down to my children, like my father did to me," she said.
She also said she didn't like the fact the map was drawn up from input by Wellington residents.
But she was reminded that the same unincorporated areas if they border for example Price that they could just as easily be pulled into that city's annexation plan.
"This is just a wish list," Boardmember Kirt Tatton said. "If we didn't include the areas, they are out there for Price or for Green River."
Anyone interested in attending the public hearing for the annexation policy should check the Sun Advocate legal page as it will be posted for two weeks before the meeting.