Friday, August 25, 2006

If Mom Says No, Go Ask Dad...

Interesting story in Wednesday's Provo Daily Herald about a brewing dispute between Mapleton and Spanish Fork over the annexation of some 1,000 acres. Seems the owner approached Mapleton to discuss possible development plans, and didn't like the answer -- so, off to the neighboring community to work out a better deal.

The area is apparently in Mapleton's annexation plan, and the two cities have an annually renewable agreement between them to honor each other's annexation plans. But Spanish Forks hints that they may just wait until the first of the year, when the agreement expires, and then consider the annexation.

When your city is the only game in town, it's easy to set annexation goals and policies and stick to them, but when "competing" cities are viable alternatives, it can lend itself to the kind of thing that is happening in Utah County. And whether the development is in your city or not, the impact on the character of the area will be there regardless. So should you annex to control, refuse to annex until you get an agreement with the landowners as to what should be developed, and what are relationships like between the competing cities?

All questions that I may have to address when I present a session at the upcoming Utah League of Cities and Towns conference on whether to annex or not to annex. Can't say that I know the answers to those questions...

2 Comments:

At 10:04 AM, Blogger google_PEAK_OIL said...

I read the article and it's the same old story. It looks like Mapleton is clinging to the dream of low density single use auto dependent residential neighborhoods subsidized by sales taxes. The developers, however are starting to smell the coffee and want to develop for the future rather than the past. The future is higher density mixed use transit served walkable neighborhoods.

 
At 6:52 AM, Blogger Prof Simmons said...

City Councils spend a lot of effort trying to prevent the future from happening. In my city they want to prevent in-fill development in the old "Brigham Young" blocks. Unlike with Mapleton, property owners on the old blocks cannot ask to go to another city--they are stuck with the city they have and a city council that does not understand that preventing in-fill only encourages sprawling subdivisions.

 

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