The Lincoln City Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to ask the city council to annex the Roads End area to capture more revenue to pay for urban services rendered to Roads End residents. It’s claimed that Roads End property owners do not pay a fair share of taxes in supporting them. Those services include back-up police services, connecting roads, water, sewer, tourism promotion, community center, parks and other urban amenities.
However, in getting to that recommendation, planning commissioners had to wade through two public hearings during which many objections were raised challenging the city’s right to annex the area’s 246 acres and $241 million dollars in taxable property. A number of Roads End residents complained that they already pay enough taxes and that Lincoln City wastes taxpayers’ money by having a bloated employee roster. Others complained that they were being blackmailed into agreeing to be annexed since the city said, if they don’t agree to be annexed, the city will turn off their water thereby making their homes uninhabitable. Some residents demanded that the issue be put to a public vote among Lincoln City and Roads End residents.
In earlier discussions, city officials have outlined decades of interaction between Roads End and the city that included how to save Roads End when their water supply was over extended and their septic tanks started to fail. Over the years, the city extended its sewer and water lines into the Roads End area, investing over $9 million recently to keep the water flowing. City officials said they did so under the expectation that Roads End would eventually annex into the city. They added that the last contract for water service by Lincoln City to Roads End expired in 2003. So, under the law, the city is no longer obligated to serve the Roads End area. That conclusion has been backed up by court rulings.
City officials have often noted that the Roads End area doesn’t pay its fair share of local taxes; also that the Roads End area lies within what is called the Lincoln City Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). Under state law, residents and any businesses, that are located within such UGB’s, are forecasted to be eventually annexed into an adjacent city. City officials say state law requires such an orderly process for growth to be controlled and accommodated as well to provide the tax revenues to support it. City officials also claim that, for decades, Lincoln City residents have been burdened with having to subsidize urban services to Roads End residents who don’t pay city property taxes.
City officials contend they have sufficient property owner signatures to trigger the annexation.
Once the annexation is complete, city staff said Roads End streets, including Logan Road, will be maintained by city road crews. Currently only Logan Road is maintained, and that’s by the county. Police patrol services will be 24/7 which the county sheriff does not provide. Water and sewer bills would drop, garbage and trash pick-up fees would drop slightly and non-resident surcharge fees for the community center and other city facilities would be reduced. However, all that would not completely offset the increase in property taxes if Roads End is annexed into the city.
Following Tuesday and Wednesday night’s public hearings, the planning commission unanimously voted to recommend to the city council that the council consider annexing Roads End into the city. The city council will hold two public hearings of its own on November 19th and 20th starting at 6pm at Lincoln City City Hall. After that, the council decides whether to proceed with annexing Roads End.
A group of Roads End residents have vowed to go to court in an effort to block the annexation if the city goes through with it. They contend their constitutional rights of due process and equal protection would be violated if they were brought into the city against their will.
Again, city officials claim they have more than enough Roads End property owner signatures to initiate the annexation.Share on Facebook