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Who with the city is in charge of annexations and trying to get people to annex into the city?  Who with the city is keeping up with new businesses and new apartments that are being built within a mile of the current city limits? I thought they were suppose to be annexed into the city if they used city water? 

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I've really enjoyed reading this discussion. I'm glad that we have so many knowledgable people on this board who are passionate about local government. A few thoughts re: annexation. For those wh

I get a kick out of people who try to characterize the most successful period of economic development in the history of this community as a failure.  Todd may or may not have been a "great" mayor. In

"the value of compact urban development and how it pays for itself many times over compared to suburban development (ie: single family residential, walmart, etc). Spartanburg may not be aggressively a

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They are dropping the ball on this as well. There have been numerous opportunities for the City to annex, but no one seems to care at the City level.

The Mayor and Sterling Anderson even voted NOT to annex the large apartment complex on the West side that asked to be annexed.  These dead beat

position holders have got to go if Spartanburg is to grow. There should be a position at the City that commits a certain amount of time in aggressively

pursuing potential annexations and use the laws to leverage as large a grab as possible.  Aggressive is a demeanor that is unheard of in Spartanburg

at the administrative, mayoral, and council levels. Some annexations will occur just prior to the next census, if they don't forget and screw that up as

well, but the majority of developments just happen with no concern from the City.  I don't even think that most of the position holders even know that

the Spartanburg Water Works deal was cut just a few years back, allowing for the more aggressive annexation.  They all wine when referring to the

State laws that prevent logical annexation, but given the tool to annex themselves, they are unwilling to make the effort.

 

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15 minutes ago, vicupstate said:

Water agreement or not, there still has to be contiguity.  I assume the water agreement requires annexation WHEN contiguity is established.   That is the way Columbia does it and I can't think of how it could otherwise be done.  

My thoughts (just educated guesses, really)

1- There is congruity with city limits. The Costco across I-26 is within the city, so they only have to go across I-26.

2- They might have gone against annexation because so many of the people who live over there are against the project.

3- They might have gone against the annexation because generally when cities annex, they have to explain how they are going to provide services to the site. The fact that it's not adjacent to city property on the same street might factor into the decision making process - you'd have to have police officers and garbage trucks running up Blackstock to serve  a single parcel which is highly inefficient. Granted it is a higher density development, but I'm unclear if that would be enough to pay for its own services... for reference, single family, in general doesn't pay for itself.

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Contiguity can be achieved by annexing public ways and most of the properties I am referring to are only separated by I-26 or a rail road. Its amazing that

Welford can annex I-85 all the way to 129 near the Business 85 split to hand out tickets so the town coffers are full and Welford has approached property

owner as far up  29 as the Old South 29 drive in, warning them of potential annexation into Welford ( that's how aggressive Welford is) , Greer's City limits

look like the tentacles on an octopus stretching for miles down winding country roads,  but Spartanburg is unwilling to annex great properties that take little

imagination to connect. The property that has agreed to be annexed on the West side of I-26 is harder to achieve contiguity than most I am referring to.  

Imagine how hard it would be to annex anything by force with these clowns in office. If they can only barely annex someone requesting it , they will never force

annexation on anyone.  Most other Cities in other States just send you a welcome to Asheville  or welcome to Charlotte, etc. type letter and that's it. With the

above mentioned case, I think you will see very few, if any annexations for 2020. They'll likely say they are gearing up for 2030 and not do anything and continue

to cry about the State laws crippling the City's ability to annex.

 

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As I understand it, much of Greer's tendril-like annexations happened when cities could use roads to establish distant contiguity, which is now illegal (not sure when exactly that law was changed).

But I agree that the City needs to be more aggressive with annexation.  I believe the townhouse development behind Sam's should be annexed (contiguity with Lowe's across I-26).  Also Drayton Mills Elementary should be annexed (contiguity with former Houston Elementary), etc.

There should also be some urgency due to the efforts by State Senator Glenn Reese and others to expand the Water System's board to include non-City residents because of controversy with Lake Bowen lots (articles here and here).  If that occurs (hopefully it won't), non-City board members would have a majority, and I suspect they'd eliminate annexation via the Water System (among other things).

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Westsider28 is right that the laws have changed.  You can annex ROW that provides direct contiguity but you can't  'travel' the ROW to pick up something that isn't contiuous.   There are still ways to cover some distance like annexing only a few feet of property depth to extend a distance, but you still have to get permission for even that.  Cities like Greer and Charleston that used ROW extensively to annex in the past can still use those to get to new areas, but they can't create new shoestrings.     

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I'll give you a fact that occurred before the mayoral election and is occurring now. Junie White does nothing as Mayor other than sit around waiting for the next meeting to occur or shooting the breeze down at the gas station.

Todd Horne would have been a great Mayor but apparently that would be a too aggressive move here in Mayberry...I mean Spartanburg.

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The properties that I was referring to for potential annexation are:

-The Hilton Garden Inn Westgate- contiguous to the City limit and had to have a new water tap

-The Residence Inn Westgate- Same

-The townhouses mentioned by Westsider28

-Drayton Mills ( which I understand will be annexed for 2020) should also be used to grab some unwilling neighbors.

-Willow Crossing which is diagonally across from the townhouses mentioned above

-Another new apartment community adjacent to Willow Crossing

-Parkwood West apartment community, which added several large new buildings a couple of years ago beside Piedmont Natural Gas

-Tru by Hilton ( this one may be the most difficult, but possibly?)

Also, Your are correct on the greatest period of development, but we are still pitiful compared to Greenville, Columbia, Charleston, Asheville, and most other

peer Cities at the next level.  On the other hand, we are doing great, if you want to compare us to Anderson, Greenwood, Florence, Orangeburg, etc. 

I think all on this forum want the best for Spartanburg and when things start to slow down or not happen, you will see the frustrations show up here.

Also, don't forget that Junie voted no, on the annexation of the apartment community that was annexed anyway.  As for Horne, Who knows?

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"As for Horne, Who knows?"

Yeah. Who knows. Who will ever know. I know this: dude moved into the city, ran for mayor, lost the election, and then lickety-split moved back out of the city.

Maybe eventually people will stop relitigating that election and pining for the good ol' days of some alternate reality. It'd be laughable were it not so pointless.

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Oh - no idea if the annexation agreement is online somewhere. I'd email Chris Story with that question and the list of possible annexation properties. I'd be shocked if he didn't get back to you ASAP with info on the eligibility of the properties in question and the status of their annexation if they are eligible. If he won't give you that info, FOIA it. But I doubt it will come to that. 

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23 hours ago, spartanburgh said:

The properties that I was referring to for potential annexation are:

-The Hilton Garden Inn Westgate- contiguous to the City limit and had to have a new water tap

-The Residence Inn Westgate- Same

-The townhouses mentioned by Westsider28

-Drayton Mills ( which I understand will be annexed for 2020) should also be used to grab some unwilling neighbors.

-Willow Crossing which is diagonally across from the townhouses mentioned above

-Another new apartment community adjacent to Willow Crossing

-Parkwood West apartment community, which added several large new buildings a couple of years ago beside Piedmont Natural Gas

-Tru by Hilton ( this one may be the most difficult, but possibly?)

Also, Your are correct on the greatest period of development, but we are still pitiful compared to Greenville, Columbia, Charleston, Asheville, and most other

peer Cities at the next level.  On the other hand, we are doing great, if you want to compare us to Anderson, Greenwood, Florence, Orangeburg, etc. 

I think all on this forum want the best for Spartanburg and when things start to slow down or not happen, you will see the frustrations show up here.

Also, don't forget that Junie voted no, on the annexation of the apartment community that was annexed anyway.  As for Horne, Who knows?

The apartment community being built on Franklin Avenue behind Kohls and Hobby Lobby is a stones throw from Westview-Fairforest Fire Department.  Perhaps that's why Mayor White and the councilman voted against annexation.  

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50 minutes ago, spartanburgh said:

Also, There is a new large neighborhood going in across from the Deaf and Blind School on Hwy 56 that backs up to the neighborhood

on Old Caanan Rd. that should be annexed.

Maybe so? If the property taxes will be more than the cost of service, sure. You should figure out if that's the case.

Commercial annexation is the winning strategy. Residential, not so much, unless it's multifamily or high-value property directly adjacent.

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I believe you can go back and look at that city council meeting and all city council meetings on the City of Spartanburg website. You can get your answer to your question. I just happened to go to that meeting and I learned a lot about our Mayor and our Council members.

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Let me say at the outset, I believe in urban population growth in Spartanburg by both selective annexations of properties that enhance the city's tax base without excessively adding to the city's budget, and by increased density within the urban core.  I think both can help us, but I think density has more advantages than widespread annexation.  

I will elaborate.  

First, as all of you know, annexation is difficult under SC law.  No need to elaborate on that.  Sure, we "could" annex Boiling Springs, but I could also leap off the top of the Montgomery Building and fly to the top of the AC.  But even if we could, I don't know why we'd want to.  

Second, annexation can have a lot more costs than people might realize.  Sort of like Mainonmain was arguing, residential annexation by and large does not pay for itself.  Residential annexations are almost by their nature at the end of service lines - think garbage, recycling, green waste - and fire and police to boot.  Once annexed, those folks expect (rightly) the same level of service, including parks, streets maintenance, neighborhood services, all of which cost money.  Before he retired, Ed Memmott shared with me an opinion piece from the Charleston newspaper that basically said, the annexation wars are over, and the suburbs won.  Charleston (and Columbia too, I'd wager) have extensive suburban areas in their municipalities, and they spend millions serving them, while their urban core (the peninsula in Charleston) is the place where most of their revenue is generated.  Basically, the peninsula is subsidizing West Ashley.  There are definitely bragging rights to having our population go up, I'll agree.  I wish we had 60,000 people in the City of Spartanburg.  Had we done things differently a couple generations ago, our boundaries would be bigger, but we'd be a different city (maybe better, maybe not) but we'd also have different problems.  

Annexation of commercial properties is an entirely different thing.  And many of the properties on Spartanburgh's list seem like a good idea to me.  I'd like to see if they are on the City's list.  There may be problems with them - depending on when they were built or got their water tap.  

Speaking of commercial annexations, I lived through the Franklin Avenue annexation through the two trips it made through the Planning Commission last year and have the burns to prove it.  I voted for it twice despite the (non-city) residents in the room raising a ruckus, twice.  They came back and raised a ruckus twice at Council.  I was certainly disappointed that the mayor and one council member voted against it . I think the council member's main objection was traffic - and my guess is he heard from a lot of his west side constituents who are looking at west side growth and have concerns.  I disagree, but he's the one who sits on council and that's his right.  I believe that the Franklin Avenue property was an ideal get, and I think there are a few others out that way that should likewise come in and I hope they will.  

I wonder if some of the strategy might be to wait until late in the fiscal year to go annexing - based on maximizing revenue and minimizing any time the city might have to serve the area without getting the property tax revenue.  I also think maybe we have to be certain we can serve the areas or parcels we annex.  

All that is to say that I think more residential infill, more dense developments close to the core, or in the core, or on arteries leading into the core will do us better than annexation on the fringes.  I hope our next comprehensive plan will show us how to make that work.  

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