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Annexation issues in Columbia

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Mungo subdivision requests annexation, city staff says 'no'

This is from the Columbia Star

Stewart Mungo of Pond Branch Associates and The Mungo Company asked council to annex his 144 acres between Screaming Eagle Road and Percival Road, near I-20. A Richland 2 middle school site is less than 3,000 feet away, according to Mungo. City planning staff executive Chip Land reported city staff recommended denial on the grounds of expensive police and fire installations to meet adequate safety standard. Also, water supply was in question, and sewer appeared provided by private interests. Councilman-elect Finlay asked what, exactly, was city policy in such annexation matters, and he heard mostly circumlocution. Sinclair related the city's experience at Harbison, and Coble talked about various criteria. Finlay recommended a defined cohesive annexation policy, a shared strategic vision. Council referred the matter back to city staff.

I think the city should take the long-term view and approve this. If a new school is going in, there will be tons of other subdivisions coming that could also annex. At a minimum, they should try to combine other areas to this annexation in an attempt to make the numbers work. Ask Joe Riley how Charleston would handle this situation. I bet he would have some answers.

As for Harbison, I seriously doubt that the city has lost money on that annexation, considering Columbiana Centre was included.

Anyone know what circumlocution is?

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So can the city still choose to annex it in a next meeting. That's silly, plus thousands of more homes are planned in Elgin and that area is pretty close to it. They should use this oppurtinity to annex the area.

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Circumlocution is pretty much the runaround, at least in this context.

I think the city should also consider annexing this area, especially since it will make it easier to annex future developments due to contingency.

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Since it was referred back to city staff, it will be back before council, probably in a month or two.

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Council would be much more stupid than I have previously thought if they refuse to annex this development!

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There are plusses and minuses to annexing this subdivision; would the demographics fit the city? Would the city be burdened with a white elephant of service costs; What does Mungo really want? I personally don't trust Michael Mungo as far as I could throw him.

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Matt, what do you mean by "demographics fitting the city"? I'm lost on that one.

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I'm with Krazeeboi, as far as demographics. You can't make assumptions about who will or won't be buying these houses.

As for Mungo, they have a reputation for crappy construction, but I assume they need the sewer lines in order to build the subdivision, and the city is the most logical provider. As long as he is not asking for tap fee discounts, or something that any other developer annexing wouldn't ask for, I don't think you can infer anything under-handed.

I agree that the city shouldn't put an undo burden on itself to serve this area, but you have to look at the long-term too. This is a chance for suburban growth to actually grow the city itself. Corners could probably be cut on services until more land in the vicinity is annexed. Police response times might be high for that area, which would bring down the city average, but the city can just accept a statistical annomanly. Again, as the area grows, the cost justification for police and fire substations would eventualy be realized.

I'm sure Charleston had issues with providing services to Daniel Island when there was nothing there. But look at the payoff now - rising population, expoding tax base and city-wide tax rate reductions. For the long-term, it was the right choice.

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By demographics I mean anything from using more in services than the city receives and also if the residents would desire to be part of the city of Columbia.

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By demographics I mean anything from using more in services than the city receives and also if the residents would desire to be part of the city of Columbia.

The cost equation has to be calculated and considered. If the numbers are just too out of balance, it might be best to pass on it. However, the city needs to try everything possible to make it work. Suggestions include allowing emergency response times that are way above the city average in the annexed area. It would probably still be much better than the Sheriff's department could provide. Other options might be to charge Mungo for all or part of the cost of extending water and sewer to the subdivision. Maybe even a TIF of some kind could be worked out. Maybe a surcharge could be added to the water and sewer bills for that area to assist with the expense. Also, the city may have to take a loss for the first few years, and get a return on it's investment down the road.

These opportunities don't come along all the time. Think where Cola would be if it had annexed the huge swath of subdivisions in the Northeast, or Irmo. Will we be saying the same thing about Screaming Eagle Road in a decade or two?

Now that Richland has the Local Sales Tax, population counts even more. The revenue is distributed based on population, among other things. Because this is so new, the city council may not realize it's importnace.

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Columbia jumped quick to annex a couple of miles up the road in the million dollar homes at Woodcreek...Which is what like a minute from Screaming Eagle Rd. but I guess they don't want these Mungo Homes...More development is def gonna come and the city should take advantage

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Columbia jumped quick to annex a couple of miles up the road in the million dollar homes at Woodcreek...Which is what like a minute from Screaming Eagle Rd. but I guess they don't want these Mungo Homes...More development is def gonna come and the city should take advantage

City Council, the city manager and the annexation chief talked about it at length in last week's city council meeting. The issues are: 1) the money it will take to run water from where it ends now to the area in question and 2) whether Fort Jackson will view it as encroachment. The issue of encroachment was big in the recent BRAC closings, and Columbia must make sure to continue to keep Fort Jackson very happy for future rounds of BRAC closings. But they ended the conversation by agreeing to have city staff devise a cohesive annexation master plan, if you will, for the best overall annexation policy for the city as a whole. Kirkman Finlay pushed for it and everyone agreed. Northeast Columbia was a major part of the conversation.

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Thanks for that inside info. I don't understand the Ft. Jax issue. It's not like there is an airport on the base. If this really is a legit issue, then easements need to be placed on the properties in question.

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I made the following statement on the mayors blog relative to the same subject. I still feel just as adamant now as I did then!

"If Columbia does not annex this new development and take this opportunity to expand our borders into some of the highest growth real estate in South Carolina we are being penny wise and pound foolish. Refusing to annex this property will in the future be determined to be as stupid a move as refusing to sell water to Blythewood was a number of years back! It will fall also into the category as our originally telling Fort Jackson that we were not interested in handling their water infrastructure.

I feel so passionate about this particular subject that I will personally go on a concentrated campaign to unseat any council member that does not support this annexation! We have done some grossly stupid things in our existence as a city; but refusing Mungo on this annexation will go down as one of the worst."

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Hopefully they will approve because I know that area is growing and it'll be a matter of time before other developments come along and the city will be in a good position in that area..Was the city being cheap like this before the Northeast took off? Is that why it's out of control out here. The city has done well in Southeast Columbia in controlling growth by annexing down Garners Ferry like you said.

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The reasons for annexation revolve around money. A city is required to proved services for its residents, and residential lots require more costs by the city than industrial or commercial. The decision is never solely about adding more people. That said, I think the city should do it.

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The reasons for annexation revolve around money. A city is required to proved services for its residents, and residential lots require more costs by the city than industrial or commercial. The decision is never solely about adding more people. That said, I think the city should do it.

_______________________________________________________________________

This is exactly what I am talking about when I accuse our city politicians of being short sighted. All they think about is the right here, right now. They are more concerned about 'ratables' than the future of Columbia. I do wish that more of them would truly open their eyes. I do believe that Mayor Bob has a good grip on things, however, the majority of City Council is blind as a bat.

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Looks like Columbia is starting to get tough with those donut-hole residents and are threatening to shut off their water and sewer if they don't request annexation into the city. While this is a legitimate way to do it, I'm not sure it's the best way but the city had better do something, because Charleston is working pretty aggressively at annexation and could possibly become the state's largest city once again.

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So here's the situation the city has been dreading, which puts it on the other side of its push to annex residents in donut holes, many of whom have resisted: two low-income subdivisions want to come into the city. Annexing the properties, located off S.C. 277, would require the city to spend $400,000 to fix the area’s private water system, plus an additional $375,000 a year to maintain it. And Police Chief Randy Scott said the expected 542 police calls from the neighborhood every year — more than one per day — would require him to hire four more police officers and spend $290,000 to equip them and $196,000 a year to pay them.

City council has not wanted these two subdivisions for a long time. In 1996, when they were first built, council objected because they were low income housing built next door to low income housing, which violated the city’s policy of spreading low income housing throughout the city. Council tried to forcibly stop the project by refusing to hook it up to the city’s water system. But the developers built the project anyway, digging a well and installing a water tank to serve the neighborhood.

But Mayor Steve Benjamin said if the city is serious about getting rid of doughnut holes, it can’t pick and choose which ones it will annex.

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I have to agree with the mayor.

I also want to point out that if it had been in the city to start with, the development standards might have been higher, and the infrastructure would have absolutely been higher quality. This is a good example of how ignoring problems wont make them go away.

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