If annexed, subdivision could benefit city’s tax base

Published 9:47 am Tuesday, October 3, 2017

By Chuck Witt

Clark County is about to get a new — and large — subdivision.

It will be called Twin Oaks and is to be located off U.S. 627 South, just a few hundred yards south of the intersection of that road and the Bypass.

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It will contain nearly 180 single-family homes and connect to a section of Lyndale subdivision.

Of course, this is all if the plans are finally approved by the Clark County Fiscal Court and it is likely that full development of the subdivision will take several years.

With this major new addition to the housing availability here, it is time for the city administration to give careful and thoughtful consideration to annexing this subdivision.

In the past, many new subdivisions avoided annexation because they were created well outside the urban services area and were not contiguous to areas already within the city limits.  These are two conditions which make annexation difficult unless the developer or the residents request it.

The problem has been further compounded when a subdivision is under development and it then becomes necessary for the majority of those living there to agree to request annexation.

This process is greatly simplified if the city can get the developer to agree to annexation before the first resident moves in.

Twin Oaks is separated by only a small distance from other city properties which lie just on the other side of the Bypass and it is contiguous to property already annexed by the city, the U.S. 627 right-of-way extending out to and including the property of the new high school.

So conditions exist to make annexation of Twin Oaks a realistic goal.

The inclusion of so many residences within the city would go a long way toward aiding the tax base of the city, allowing it to utilize potential funds to upgrade infrastructure and possibly to deal with a number of improvements needed within the city.

The developers of this subdivision would show themselves to be good stewards of development if they would actively seek annexation and there would seem to be no detriment to the development were it to become part of the city.

This is the first major new subdivision to be approved in a number of years.  Not only should it become a part of the city, but its approval should become part of a trend which sees any future such developments given careful consideration regarding their impact on the tax base of both the city and the county.

If Twin Oaks were to be annexed, it would not create a detriment to the county since the county tax base would remain intact and no additional services would be required of county government that were not to be provided if the development were not annexed.

In fact, the streets of the subdivision would be incorporated into the city street system, which would remove the maintenance requirements from county government.

Twin Oaks may be the impetus for additional development in this area, especially once the remainder of the Bypass is completed to connect to U.S. 627 South.

It is time to think creatively about how new development will impact and be beneficial to the growth of Winchester.

Chuck Witt is a retired architect and a lifelong resident of Winchester. He can be reached at chuck740@bellsouth.net.