2015-04-22 / News

City of Lyford plans to annex 30 acres of farmland

BY TONY VINDELL
Reporter


SAY NO TO ANNEXATION! Families affected by the city action to annex or not to annex met on part of the nearly 30 acres of grass and brush land that could become part of the city limits. 
(Photo by TonyVindell) SAY NO TO ANNEXATION! Families affected by the city action to annex or not to annex met on part of the nearly 30 acres of grass and brush land that could become part of the city limits. (Photo by TonyVindell) If the council has its way, the city of Lyford will grow by about 30 acres.

The council will meet Monday and it’s expected to take action to annex 29.8 acres of farmland at the corner of Simon Gomez Road and Glen Lofton Avenue.

The council will hold a second hearing on Monday, April 27 to decide whether to annex more land.

The properties belong to the Salinas, Gutierrez, Mendoza and Balboa families, all of whom are vehemently opposed to the annexation.

By annexing the farmland, which include two houses on what is known as Gutierrez Road, the city will generate additional revenue not from the nearly 30 acres of grassland and brush that is expected to bring less than $100 on property taxes but from the houses at 7763 and 7773 altogether off Simon Gomez Road.

Joey Mendoza, one of the affected landowners, said he doesn’t like it.

“This is farmland they want to annex,” he said. “And if that is the case, why don’t they try to annex the farmland to the east or to the west of town.”

Mendoza said the city wasted a lot of money to survey the land.

“That is wasted taxpayers’ money,” he said. “I believe they are doing this because they want us to get rid of our farm animals. What you have here is mesquite, manure and grass.”

Bobby Balboa, another property owner, said he doesn’t want his farmland inside the city limits.

“We went through annexation before,” he said, “and the city said at the time you could have a horse, a few goats and chickens but no pigs.”

Balboa said some raise pigs for the livestock show, but if the city annexes the land that will come to a stop.

Erasmo and Janie Guiterrez said they see no benefit whatsoever that the city will gain from annexing the farmland.

“I can understand if the land is for development,” she said. “We already have our homes and would like to keep the acreage we have now.”

But Commissioner Wally Solis, who is the brains behind the annexation plan, said the Gutierrez and Salinas are not fighting for the farmland, but for their houses built within the area to be annexed.

“I, as a commissioner, am looking toward the future,” he said. “Right now, we (the city) are not gaining anything from this, but we need to be prepared for the future.”

Solis said the Salinas got reimbursed $14,000 a while back from the city as they paid city property taxes even though their home is outside the city limits.

He said an appraiser made a mistake about that, but it was corrected.

Janie Gutierrez said they are not against annexing the land where the two houses are located but against annexing the pastureland.

For Commissioner Pablo Morales, the annexation issue is like a Catch-22 situation.

“I understand the (property owners) situation,” he said. “I can also see where the city stands.”

Morales said he is not quite sure how he will vote.

He said some of the affected residents bought the land and started keeping farm animals, but now the city wants to deprive them of that.

As to the reason behind annexing the acres, Morales said there isn’t a lot of money to make there anyway.

Mayor Henry De La Paz said any city wants to expand its boundaries.

Asked how he feels about annexing the 30 acres of farmland, he said: “I have been looking into this, but at the end the commissioners are going to vote to see what direction they will take.”

The city held the first and second readings on March 23 and April 13 on the proposed annexation and will hold a third and final reading on Monday.

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