Annexation proposal put to vote in Locust Grove
By Monro Roark
A large annexation proposal put forward in Locust Grove will be decided at the ballot box in a few months.
The city has chosen to use the resolution and referendum method regarding several dozen parcels on the Hwy. 42 corridor between Locust Road and Locust Grove-Griffin Road on the southeast side of town.
The issue was discussed by the Henry County Board of Com-missioners at its Nov. 3 regular meeting, and that body was in agreement with the proposal. State law requires a city-county agreement for such an action in an area where the county provides services.
County attorney Patrick Jaugstetter and a legal representative from Locust Grove laid out the procedure for the commissioners.
After the City Council passes a resolution regarding the proposed annexation, residents in the affected area would vote March 1 on the referendum after the city provides proper notice and conducts public meetings.
This would be a straight majority vote (50 percent plus one), and if it fails the city would not be able to annex any property in the affected area for two years.
A map of the area showed an odd-shaped peninsula already surrounded by city property on nearly every side.
“It’s not an island, but it’s about as close as you can get,” said Jaugstetter. “From a map standpoint, this really does make sense.”
Most of the land in question includes the Barnes Station subdivision, which one city official said is laid out in an “oddball shape” with one or two lots in the back already in the city limits.
The property meets all technical requirements for annexation as far as contiguous area and density, he added, noting that this is primarily residential property with a fairly high density and not just a small handful of landowners.
The county would have the right to object if a change in land use or zoning were on the horizon, but city officials have given no notice of that and probably won’t because most of the land is already developed and in use, Jaugstetter said.