One Norwood Street resident appeared before the Sherman City Council Monday to protest the proposed annexation of nearly 20 acres on the street into the city.
Stephen Hearrell used the public hearing held during Monday’s special called meeting of the council to raise concerns about the size of the proposed lots to be annexed and the impact they would have on his property’s value.
“I don’t know anybody on our side of the street that’s in favor of this annexation as it is currently proposed,” Hearrell, who also voiced his opposition to the annexation during the first public hearing earlier in the month. “The map we have in front of us so far has tiny lots and we’re not in favor of that. I hope you understand, that living across from it, whatever you do is going to affect my property values very directly — so yes, I am very concerned when I see tiny lots coming in across the street from me.”
The 19.379 acres of land would be 20 lots in Kings Ridge on Norwood Street, which is south of U.S. Highway 82 and west of FM 1417.
“This is the second public hearing for the proposed annexation for the area that’s on the east side of Norwood (Street) there, just adjacent to where we annexed, last year, Carriage Estates,” City Manager Robby Hefton said. “This annexation comes because the property owner requested annexation because they want access to city utilities, facilities, etc.”
The petition for annexation shows the 20 lots, which range from 1 to 1.6 acres, are all owned by Robert J. Tate and Tate Construction Inc. As Tate signed the annexation petition, city staff noted — in a document prepared for the council — that Sherman has received a petition for 100 percent of the properties to be annexed.
“It appears from us property owners that what we’re voting on here is putting 50 foot lots across the street from us,” Hearrell said during the public hearing. “And I think if you had spent a great deal of time and spent over 20 years building your home and creating your space, and somebody’s wanting to put tiny houses across the street, you’d probably be concerned also.”
Hefton said the city has more authority to regulate and work with developers when properties are within the city limits than when they aren’t.
“So from managing something that would be appropriate for the area, this would be a good thing — the concerns you’re raising can much better be addressed by this being in the city limits than not,” Hefton said.
After the meeting, Mark Smith said he’s part of a group, GLMSS LLC, negotiating with Tate to purchase 11.75 acres of the land to turn into seven lots that would “look just like” the ones on the other side of Norwood Street.
During the meeting, Hearrell also expressed concern about the aerobic septic systems the annexation would create.
“We don’t have the city sewer out there,” he said. “And that is another issue that eventually we’re going to have to deal with. At some point, sewer needs to be run there, in my opinion, and I think a lot of people would agree with me.”
Following the meeting, Hefton said the aerobic septic systems wouldn’t be a problem.
“Those are all large lots and we have large lots all over the city where it’s just more appropriate for there to be aerobic septic systems,” Hefton said. “It’s part of our development ordinances. That’s not to say there might not be consideration in the future, but lots like that are designed to have their own kind of self-contained aerobic system.”
Following the closure of the public hearing, no action was taken by the council, which had the minimum number of members in attendance for a quorum as council members Terrence Steele, Charles H. Brown Sr. and Shawn Teamann were all absent. The council will hold a final public hearing on the annexation ordinance and consider it for adoption during its Aug. 21 meeting.