The Anna City Council building was abuzz on Tuesday, April 25, with the second public hearing discussing the annexation of 466 acres of land within the J. Chalmers Survey and S. Craft Sr. Survey. Lou Gigliotti, owner of LG Sports, is in the process of building a members-only racetrack. He is against the annexation due to the building codes that comes with it.
Misty Ventura, legal counsel for Gigliotti, approached the quorum and said the city council was violating Texas Local Government Code 43.035 – stating that a municipality cannot annex land without a developer agreement. However, Mayor Mike Crist said the legal counsel for the city is well informed about the requirements for annexation.
“We have studied this issue and believe that we are in compliance with both the letter and spirit of the law,” Crist said.
Even though the city is only required to send developer agreements to property owners with a current agriculture exemption, Crist said they sent one out to every property owner with an attempt to treat all of them equally.
Jimmy Morgan, a resident of the area of land that Anna is wanting to annex, was originally against the annexation. However, after learning that the annexation might stop the construction of the racetrack, he changed his stance on it. Morgan said if the annexation will protect him from the noise and nuisance of a racetrack, he’ll vote yes.
In response to Morgan’s statement, Gigliotti said his racetrack is going to be like a country club setting. It is going to be members-only and not like the Texas Motor Speedway. Gigliotti said the facility will be for businessmen with exotic cars, and he plans to put up a sound barrier. City Councilman Kenneth Pelham said that he once lived by a racetrack.
“Even though my house was two miles from the track, it still impacted me,” Pelham said. “I still had to put up with the noise.”
After the residents each had their time to voice their concerns, either for or against the annexation, the city council gave their thoughts.
“It’s not about limiting the rights of the residents, but more to protect them,” Crist said.
Council added that residents will be impacted by companies that will follow LG Sports and start setting up business in that part of Anna. In order to guarantee high quality businesses, rules must be set in place, councilors said.
But not all council members are in agreement for the annexation. John Beazley does not think it is the city’s responsibility to police the extraterritorial jurisdiction.
“Involuntary annexation is unfair — it gives the resident no appeal process,” Beazley said.
Crist said the developer agreement is the middle ground for the city and resident.
The city council is going to hold the third and last public hearing over the annexation issue on May 9, then hold the vote on May 16.
City Council also had the agenda item for finding a public necessity and authorizing the city staff to use lawful means, including negotiations and, if necessary, proceedings in eminent domain to acquire the easement of the three pieces of the Luscombe property. City council voted 5-2 for finding a public necessity on two of the pieces of property. City councilors said they will not negotiate from the bench and that it is a two-way street. Negotiations were successfully completed for the third piece of property that was in question.
Crist also proclaimed that starting May 2017, and every May to follow, be proclaimed Motorcycle Awareness month, and also proclaimed May 7-13 National City Secretaries Week.