Denison could soon be getting a new subdivision along FM 131.
The Denison Planning and Zoning Commission approved the plat for the subdivision Tuesday, amid concerns from the applicants regarding annexation. Applicants Forrest Dusek and Dale Gouge approached the commission to plot 20 acres of land at the intersection of Davy Lane and FM 131 for six new lots with a rural feel.
However, when Gouge and Dusek presented the plat for the development to P&Z, they learned that they would be required to annex three lots outside of the city limits in order to tap into the city water and other services. Gouge said he had already started to work on the project and was only alerted of the requirement about five days prior to the meeting.
“Now all of a sudden it appears we are going to have to annex it,” Gouge said during Tuesday’s meeting. “I don’t see why it needs to be done for just three lots.”
In his address to the commission, Gouge said this was the first time in his more than 50 years in development that he has had this issue with the city. He added that other residents along the same corridor have access to the city system without incorporation into city limits.
Glenn Davis, who is in negotiations to purchase one of the lots, said he was planning to build a workshop area on the property. If the land was annexed, his designs for the shop, and choice of building material, would likely be struck down by the governing boards, he said, voicing his opposition to the annexation.
Commission Chair Charles Shearer said the commission is required by law to approve the plat if everything is correct with the paperwork and designs. As the annexation is not a part of the plat process itself, Shearer said Gouge would need to pull the request to stop the process.
“The annexation, if I am correct, cannot be a part of this today,” Shearer said, adding the conversation would be better suited for staff and the City Council, who have final say over any annexations.
Development Services Director Gabe Reaume said the city has offered increased rates for some residents who live outside of city limits. However, this is meant as a rare exception to the rule and not normal practice, he said.
As the city moves forward with growth, and works on an anticipated update to its comprehensive plan, Reaume said the city would likely save that practice for customers who were not connected directly to city limits. Others would be asked to incorporate if they wished to take city services, he said.
Other options include the use of private wells and septic systems, Reaume said.
Following the meeting, Reaume met with the developers for talks that he described as productive. Reaume said some of the confusion was regarding what could be done prior to the city’s annexation, including work on setting up the lots and selling them. Reaume said the process, which could take about two months, would not stop Gouge from selling the lots prior to the annexation.
In a phone interview Wednesday, Gouge said he now plans to move forward with the annexation in order to tap into the city waterline.