Lubbock’s Land Annexation Committee Prepares to Present Recommendation
The City of Lubbock is set to receive recommendations for annexing new land from a committee, formed last September, at the first city council meeting in May.
Councilwoman Latrelle Joy, the council liaison to the committee, said the committee was formed amid a “flurry” of annexation requests within the last year. More than 700 acres of annexation requests have been addressed in a single council meeting. Joy said the committee recommendation should establish parameters for further land-grabs, factoring in variables such as the extension of streets, water, sewer and emergency services.
The committee includes a development engineer and land and housing developers such as George McMahon. They have received recommendations from many city departments including Fire, Police and Water, said Joy.
Councilmembers Joy and Victor Hernandez have brought up issues with the “donut” or Central Lubbock neighborhoods potentially missing out on improvements to their aging infrastructure, including streets, due to the possibility of capital improvement monies being spent on newly incorporated areas.
At the crux of the land annexation committee’s recommendation, said Joy, was the implementation of impact fees on developers making annexation requests. Impact fees would basically be fees imposed on developers to offset capital improvement costs incurred on the citizens of Lubbock if extension of city services are required.
Joy said the committee looked at a multitude of cities within Texas with impact fees including Fort Worth and Frisco and has seen rate structures that have allowed the municipalities to see, in some cases, “astronomical growth.”
Mayor Glen Robertson said the annexation committee is important for the city to grow safely, but he said he disagreed with Joy in that the city could not “expect development and growth to wait on the council.” Robertson said he wished a recommendation had been made nearly a year ago because he believed the committee has had good facts to make a decision for some time.
Robertson also said incorporating new land into Lubbock is paramount for growing school districts like Cooper ISD and Frenship ISD as well as more area for the city to garner sales tax revenue rather than losing the area to surrounding cities like Wolfforth.