Homeowners at Sunrise Estates, an acreage development in northeast Lincoln, will likely get a year’s reprieve from becoming a part of the city.
The Lincoln City Council, in a split vote Monday afternoon, agreed to annex the 203 acres near 84th and Holdrege, but that annexation would not take place until Nov. 6, 2018.
That year’s delay will give the owners time to plan for the eventual annexation, which will include higher taxes, no burn permits for handling the prairie grass that is part of the area, and moving from the Waverly School District to Lincoln Public Schools.
However, the council failed to take final action on the ordinance at the meeting. They voted only on the amendment but not on the final version as amended.
That mistake did not come to light until after the Monday meeting had ended. In a telephone interview Monday night, Council Chairman Roy Christensen said it was his fault that final vote wasn't taken. Christensen said he will be talking with City Attorney Jeff Kirkpatrick about putting the amended ordinance on the Nov. 20 council agenda for a vote.
All 28 Sunrise Estates property owners had signed a letter opposing the annexation, and last week many owners offered a variety of reasons why the council should not annex their area, ranging from concerns about fire protection to costs the city would face to provide city services to the development.
Homeowners also said they had been told by city staff their development probably wouldn’t be annexed until 2020 or later, and they would rather wait to be annexed until the city has put in the new fire station planned for near 84th and Leighton.
Homeowners in Sunrise Estates, which is surrounded on three sides by the city, said they knew their area would be annexed at some point but wanted more time to prepare for that, said Councilman Carl Eskridge, who offered the motion to annex but delay its implementation for a year.
The council voted on two separate ideas for delaying the annexation.
Councilwoman Cyndi Lamm proposed delaying the entire decision for a year, setting another public hearing for Nov. 5, 2018.
That motion failed on a 3-3 vote.
Only six council members participated in the vote because Councilwoman Jane Raybould had a conflict of interest. Her brother and sister-in-law live in Sunrise Estates.
The amendment by Eskridge to annex, but delay the actual annexation date for a year, passed on a 4-2 vote.
Voting yes were Eskridge, Bennie Shobe, Leirion Gaylor Baird and Roy Christensen. Voting against were Lamm and Jon Camp.
The northeast Lincoln development is one of eight areas of land that the Planning Department has recommended be brought into the city limits because they are surrounded on several sides by city property and have easy access to city water and sewer services.
Normally land comes into the city at the request of a developer or the homeowners of an existing acreage development because the area needs city water and sewer services, so there is seldom opposition.
But these eight annexations are being requested by the city administration, and some property owners objected during hearings before the planning commission and city council.
With action taken Monday, the council has agreed to annex five of the parcels. One area, 211 acres between 56th and 70th north of Fletcher and owned by Nebco, has been delayed while the company works out an easement agreement on the land, which is mostly in the floodplain.
Public hearings before the council on the two remaining properties under consideration for annexation will be held at the council’s Nov. 20 meeting.