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Spartan

New Annexation

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The City is moving forward with its plans to annex in the Hillbrook area. I think this is a good thing, and apositive step. There are those out there who disagree though. The city has not calculated the exact area to be annexed yet, but this info should be available soon.

They are accomplishing this by the fact that the city owns the sweres in that area, and the owners in that area have a contractual agreement by using the city service to be anneed at some point.

Here are two articles:

City making annexation plans

City officials: Annexation offers benefits for residents

I encourage you to look at both links, but particularly the second link (use BugMeNot to get around the password), and scroll to the bottom. You will see the attitude towards the city that is prevalent in the County. Any thoughts?

(I'll post a zoning map later that shows the approximate area to be annexed)

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It sounds like the city is getting ready to cash in some chips from Hillbrook which is about time. A long time ago they let people have sewer service by signing that they would not oppose annexation in the future. Now that it appears that around 75% have done that, they can move forward with annexation. You will still have some who are still on a well and septic that will oppose the idea, but I think it is great for the tax base.

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It sounds like the city is getting ready to cash in some chips from Hillbrook which is about time. A long time ago they let people have sewer service by signing that they would not oppose annexation in the future. Now that it appears that around 75% have done that, they can move forward with annexation. You will still have some who are still on a well and septic that will oppose the idea, but I think it is great for the tax base.

Yep. They are trying to annex in such a way that they get 75% of land owners while still maintaining 75% of the balance of the land in order to maximize the area they can annex.

Here is a map that I took from the City's zoning map. I circled the Hillbrook area in red. That is the area defined by the article that is not in the city. Just because I have it circled doesn't mean that it will be annexed.

hillbrookannexation.jpg

You can check out the PDF of the city's zoning here. Hillbrook is on the Eastside, which is the northeastern part of the city on this map. You can see than the annexed areas here are very patchy.

It fits with teh city's over all annexation goals, which were outlines a couple of years ago. Here is a map that shows the areas they want to annex:

annex.jpg

I can't decide what the colors on this map correspond too. I am guessing it represents some sort of yearly goal, which sort of makes sense. The orange areas have been anexed recently, and the brown area corresponds the the approximate Hillbrook area defined by this topic. I could be wrong about it though.

I registered as a member and it still won't let me see it. It keeps asking me to register over and over.

That means you aren't typing in your password correctly. That happens to me all the time. They don't believe in error messages for some reason.

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Finally got to the articles. Thanks Spartan.

This is long overdue and needed. How can Sburg maintain it's profile as a major city if 6 Charleston suburbs outrank it in population? I hope the Mayor and Council have the stomach for the backlash.

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Well, I ask myself that on a regaular basis. I think that in actuality it still will be in some respects. However, most people will say- oh, Spartanburg only has 40,000, its not major. The city has to annex more land into the city.

I also think that it would help if the income were present to emulate Charleston, which actually has lower taxes than the county. Realyl give people an incentive to ask to be annexed. I'm not all for blindly annexing everything, because that won't solve all of the problems.

I think people ahve a negative connotation of the city. I don't fully understand why though. I can justify it in some respects, but not in most of them.

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I am truely finding the outrage against the City wanting to expand its limits fasciniating. While I do believe that most people understand what is happening, this vocal minority is very revealing of the attitude that must be faced if our city is to ever make something of itself.

Some people think that the City is this evil entity that wants to destroy the very fabric of our existance.

Check out this article and the replies below it.

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Well, here's one problem: "the city separated its water and sewer service from city government."

The attitudes reflected by many who are anti-annexation explains why our restrictive annexation laws are in place to begin with. Residents of this state need to understand that the majority of the state's population lives in urban areas and if our cities, and hence our states, are to become successful, they must GROW as any living entity must do in order to survive.

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The Hillbrook annexation is being reconsidered by the city. The city is looking to annex 103 parcels, 23% of them by force. Kudos to Spartanburg. If they're using urban services, they should be in a city. If you don't want them, then move to the country.

About 800 other parcels are also being considered for annexation on the west side including the following neighborhoods: Four Seasons Farms, Old Georgia Farms, Bordeaux, Shannon Forest and Blackstock Trace. I'm not very familiar with these neighborhoods, but I'm assuming that they are in the dark green area shown in this map of future annexation areas:

annex.jpg

They may also be in the light green and red/pink areas below the airport.

Apparently all of this will happen in July. An annexation of over 900 new parcels is a huge number for any city in South Carolina. Spartanburg's population will undoubtably be well above 40,000 in 2010.

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I'm glad to see the city grow and add urbanized area to the city limits, but I'm curious what makes some areas on the map candidates for future annexation and others not. Do all the shaded areas on the map currently receive some city services (e.g., sewer & water)? That's a pretty large area to the southwest; looks like it goes all the way to Roebuck.

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I haven't kept up with the annexation efforts in Sburg lately. Why is the Hillbrook annexation being 'reconsidered'? Did the city look at it previously and think it would be a bigger drain than improvement to revenue?

Has Spartanburg had much success in the last 2-3 years in annexing additional areas? What is that status of these 800 parcels? Are they merely targeted by the city, or have the petitions been completed and submitted?

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As far as I know, this is the first anyone has heard of the 800 parcels.

The City has been talking about annexing Hillbrook for about three years, so the issue comes and goes.

The annexation petitions are tied to the sewer service that the city provided to areas adjacent to the city years ago. It's exactly like Greer's arrangement for sewer service, but the annexations were never executed for some reason. Now the City is calling in those agreements, which are viewed as voluntary, thus the 'forced' annexation.

Aside from this, I think the city has only annexed a few parcels a year. Probably not amounting to much. The biggest one in recent memory is probably the former Lan-Yair Country Club site, so at least a golf course worth of land there.

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The Hillbrook annexation is being reconsidered by the city. The city is looking to annex 103 parcels, 23% of them by force. Kudos to Spartanburg. If they're using urban services, they should be in a city. If you don't want them, then move to the country.

About 800 other parcels are also being considered for annexation on the west side including the following neighborhoods: Four Seasons Farms, Old Georgia Farms, Bordeaux, Shannon Forest and Blackstock Trace. I'm not very familiar with these neighborhoods, but I'm assuming that they are in the dark green area shown in this map of future annexation areas:

annex.jpg

They may also be in the light green and red/pink areas below the airport.

Apparently all of this will happen in July. An annexation of over 900 new parcels is a huge number for any city in South Carolina. Spartanburg's population will undoubtably be well above 40,000 in 2010.

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Probably, but there's not much that can be done about it since the agreements were signed.

The article also said if you have a septic system that functions then you won't have to hook up.

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I was a little surprised at the difference taxes for a 150000 home and two cars. I would have thought it would be more. I am really glad to see Spartanburg take this step and get aggressive on annexation. Greer has found a way to get people who live on rural farms annexed who shouldn't be in the City of Greer, but Hillbrook should have been in the City of Spartanburg for years. If the other 800 parcels could be annexed too, Maybe the differance in taxes would be even less. If the tax burden is spread out among more properties, then hopefully the overall tax would go down. I was talking to a new resident from Atlanta who lives about a mile and a half past I-26 on Reidville Road and they thought they were in the City limits and very surprised when I told them that they weren't.

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What I want to know if why some of you think Hillbrook should have been in the city for years? What is the basis for this argument?

Luckily my septic system as well as my neighbors works just fine so they will not be able to annex us. Hooray!!

If I wanted to be in the city I would have moved into the city. I don't need Barnet (who gets to bend every law when it comes to his new residence) or Malmott telling all the great benefits that you get living in the city. What are you going to send 1 more cop car down my street every other day? To me thats 1 cop car that could be somewhere else where its really needed. Or you're gonna come by and pick up my lawn crap when its easier for both me and the city if I just burn it myself. The people that are being forced to be annexed are just getting screwed by the city and their sewer agreement that was pushed on them. I have a copy of one of these "sewer contracts" that a buddy of mine showed me and its almost criminal the way its written.

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Because you don't live in the sticks. You live in a neighborhood (half of which is already annexed) that requires urban services, and more importantly- services that originate from the city. Hillbrook is not the only one that should be in the city though.

I also have issues with allowing new neighborhoods to have a density that is just low enough to allow septic systems to be built, but not so low that it feels rural. These are the neighborhoods where you have clear-cut land with tract houses that all look the same. It all goes back to how we want our city to look, and how we want it to function. Newer neighborhoods operate entirely on cul-de-sacs, and all of those cul-de-sacs require water service hook up. If they were built to be just a little more dense and in a more organized grid or grid-like street system, then the infrastructure they require could be built and maintained more efficiently.

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I found the article in today's HJ. After seeing the proposed annexation area, I have to admit that it's not at all what I thought it would be. I was hoping that the city would "clean up" its boundaries, not make them even more confusing. Perhaps I need to go back and check, but I thought most of Hillbrook had sewer service.

annexation_hillbrook_2009.jpg

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It is confusing on the west side of Zion Hill Rd, but east of there no one has city sewer service and no one in the Pierce Acres area has it. All of this is county area.

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It is confusing on the west side of Zion Hill Rd, but east of there no one has city sewer service and no one in the Pierce Acres area has it. All of this is county area.

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Well, let me put it this way: do you have enough land to sustain yourself without any outside infrastructure or services? If not, then you're probably in a non-rural (thus the term "urban") location. If you live in a fringe location that is NEAR rural land uses then there is grey area in my definition, but if you are surrounded on all sides by other houses and subdivisions, then you know where you are. Most of Zion Hill Rd north of Sloans Grove fits in this category (though certainly not all of it).

Show me a comparable municipality that has not expanded it's borders that is successful. Greenville annexes all the time. Most NC cities annex the new parts of town, so they are able to keep revenues high enough to provide even more services.

The city does provide other services that are not as obvious. I will add that since I don't deal with Spartanburg every day, I don't know what specifically every service they provide. One of them, I assume, is street maintenance and sidewalk installation. If you get annexed then you should request that sidewalks and street lights be installed. I certainly would. They also provide planning services (which are not provided by the county at this point), along with other infrastructure type services that we're all familiar with. Basically, if you go downtown, Hillcrest, or the Westside at all, you probably use some sort of city service, whether you realize it or not.

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Everyone seems to look at this issue from a County perspective. What if you were a City resident in Hilbrook and your property and your City neighbors totally encircled a county resident. The county resident basically gets the benefits the City provides and their neighbors pay for it. They can smoke their neighbors out with the leaves. Doesn't seem fair from that perspective does it? All property West of Zion Hill should have been in the City for years because those of you who are not City residents are leaching on the backs of your neighbors. One very good reason we're moving to the City is we don't have to smell the leaf burning, we don't have to worry about Dollar General building another metal monster next door, we don't have to worry about a trailer (mobile home) park next door, junk cars, stray dogs everywhere, billboard ave. eyesoar ave. (Asheville Hwy.) etc. We're moving into the heart of the City because we don't want to be one of the unforturnate ones who pays City taxes and still has to smell the leaves burn, put up with the homes that look like Sanford and Son, have the neighbors farm their front yard out to an outdoor advertising agency (billboards) because we are boardering the County. For this reason, I think anyone who is a City resident and lives on a boarder with the County should get a break on their City taxes because they are subject to these non zoned areas and their problems. This way a transitional approach to annexation could prove more effective and make it easier to annex.

In most states I've traveled, the City limits begin in the rural areas that are nothing more than forest land, cow pastures or open spaces for miles. They don't even look a city and their annexed already. These areas give a buffer to the City residents down the road so they don't have these City residents paying higher taxes and putting up with County residents making a nuisance out of themselves or devaluing their quality of life. In South Carolina, its just the opposite, City residents have to be sightly neighbors and pay for the priveledge. I know most County residents are not like this, but its an example of how unfair it can be from the other side of the City limit sign. For this reason, most States say if it looks like a City, annex it and give it a protective buffer. Make all who enjoy the benefits, share the tax burden and don't dump it all on the shoulders of a few.

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