By John L. Ross
Sam Lawson says no.
He’s one of 74 people who signed a petition from the Croley Bend area of the county who do not want to be annexed into the Williamsburg city limits.
Lawson, who said he resides in the area in question, came to the Williamsburg City Council Monday to present the petition he and other residents gathered together.
“All are in opposition (to annexation),” Lawson said after Monday’s meeting.
Panic spread about annexation after the city revealed its 20-year Comprehensive Plan in November, which includes sites listed for possible places to annex into the city limits. There are 13 areas listed in that plan which could be reviewed for possible future annexation into the city — including the Croley Bend area.
He said there were 79 citizens considered residents of the Croley Bend area — and Lawson added he was certain the ones his group was unable to contact would likely agree with their neighbors.
Lawson said the Croley Bend area already is set up with various services, including a septic system through the Department of Health, sanitation services, and electric and water service. That area encompasses 470 acres of land.
He told council members that a few Croley Bend residents got together “and went door-to-door (asking people) how they felt about it.”
He added he wanted council members to have a “heads up” on how residents viewed annexation into the city.
“(There are) not any plans in the immediate future — (it’s) one area possible to annex,” Mayor Roddy Harrison told Lawson.
No action was required on this petition, however, annexation came up again during Monday’s council meeting.
This annexation only involves rights-of-way from Exit 15 of I-75 toward the Ballard Ford pump station. Monday was a first read of the annexation ordinance.
“This does not annex anyone’s property,” stressed Harrison. “(We’re) not annexing at this point — it does not annex anyone into town.”
The annexation of this right-of-way property will allow for possible future annexation, according to Harrison.
“We can’t spot annex,” he said. “You have to have contiguous lines that touch the city of Williamsburg — this allows us the opportunity to grow as a city.”
Total property on the ordinance to annex equals 72.14 acres.
“No one’s property will be taken,” Harrison reiterated. “(This is) just the right of way.”
He added that residents living along that right-of-way annexation would have the opportunity to become part of the city by request.
No action was required for the first read — the second reading of the ordinance will be during the next regular meeting of city council, when a vote on the measure is expected.