It was a packed house for the Anna City Council meeting held Tuesday, April 11. The council held the first of two public hearings to discuss the annexation of approximately 466 acres of land within the J. Chalmers Survey, Abstract No. 0233 and the S. Craft Sr. Survey No. 0165. The area contains 26 parcels of property with five single family homes, 18 manufactured homes, and two commercial buildings under construction. Sam Rayburn Memorial Highway is south of the property, and County Road 526 runs through the property. The north boundary is County Road 525. The Anna City Council sent out notices of the hearing to all property owners within the affected area on March 10, 2017.

Lou Gigliotti, owner of LG Motorsports, is in the process of building a private racetrack. Gigliotti own 161 acres in the area that the city of Anna wants to annex. Gigliotti said he is against the annexation because the 28 pages of regulations from the city could potentially increase the cost of continued construction by 20 percent. Gigliotti said he bought the land because it was unincorporated — land that is governed by the county, not the city — 2 years ago, and the city of Anna only became interested in it when they learned he was building a racetrack. Gigliotti said the city only wants a piece of the taxes it is going to bring.

If the property does end up getting annexed, Gigliotti said he is going to have to stop construction and sell it. Gigliotti said he is disheartened by the council for wanting to annex the property.

“For government to work, the people have to be virtuous,” Gigliotti said. “I don't feel like this step is a virtuous one for the city.”

Mayor Mike Crist said he thinks annexing the land will be a positive move. He said the racetrack would bring more growth to the area, and the annexation will regulate the type and quality of new construction.

“To me, the biggest issue with the annexation is not that the racetrack is going in,” Crist said. “It's the fact that more businesses are more likely to come to support the track, and the best way to protect the citizens in the surrounding areas is the annexation.”

Crist also stated the city offered developer agreements to all the land owners, providing the same protection of annexation, but allowing the land owners to remain unincorporated for the span of a year.

“Basically, the agreement allows the property to be considered part of the city limits without making them pay taxes,” Crist said.

The second public hearing for this agenda item will be April 25.