New Law May Affect How Palmview Annexation Moves Forward

Posted: Dec 04, 2017 11:18 PM Updated: Dec 04, 2017 11:18 PM

PALMVIEW – Cities that want to expand boundaries will have to go to residents for permission first. That's the result of a new state law.

The city of Palmview has had eight annexations since 1972 and they are looking forward to continue expanding.

The current annexation won't be affected by the new law – their one's future will be.

Green Gate Grove has been home to the Uhrmachers for 22 years. Now, they're looking forward to being a part of the city of Palmview.

Dick Uhrmacher said, "We're all for it really. We think that it'll give us some improved road maintenance, better security, and a little bit of independence from the county.”

According to Palmview Interim City Manager Leo Olivarez, if the city approves the annexation they will receive benefits.

"Typically, police, fire, ambulance, parks programs, code enforcement, animal control," said Olivarez.

Homeowners will have to pay extra taxes if they're annexed by the city.

Before Dec. 1, residents had to go along with the decision. A new law requires residents consent through a vote or petition to be annexed.

Residents now have the power to stop the expansion.

There are guidelines for growth, explained Larry McElvain, a South Texas College political science assistant professor.

"There are some constitutional guidelines. There's time limits like if you annex this year, you have to wait. There's a limit on how much you can do. Like, if you annex so much, you're going to be limited in terms of how much more you can add,” said McElvain.

The Palmview interim city manager says the new law won't change the current annexation; the process began before the law went into effect. It will change how they move forward.

"It makes it harder for cities to annex, absolutely; but, it's going to be a more collaborative approach rather than a one-sided approach," adds Olivarez.

Residents like Urmacher may approve the city's current annexation plans, but they want a say next time, "I think that we're the people that are going to be affected the most. If we're going to be a part of their community, we should have a right to say whether or not we want to join them."

The fate of Green Gate is scheduled to be decided Dec. 19, but residents will get to shape future growth.

Should the city not fulfill their end of the plan, residents still have the right to file a dis-annexation petition.

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