With a 2-1 majority, Douglas County commissioners have decided to let the Lawrence City Commission consider the annexation of 51 acres of land west of the city.
Commissioners Jim Flory and Mike Gaughan plan to vote in favor of the request, with Commission Chairwoman Nancy Thellman dissenting.
Flory and Gaughan said the request is in line with the city’s comprehensive planning documents, the K-10 Turnpike Plan and the Horizon 2020 Plan.
The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce is in favor of annexation, and the city’s Planning and Development Division requested the County Commission approve the request.
The decision before the county was to find that “the annexation of such land will not hinder or prevent the proper growth and development of the area.” Flory and Gaughan said the annexation would enhance growth of the area.
“It was very difficult balancing the neighboring community’s concerns with the city of Lawrence plan for growth,” Gaughan said. “Logically, I’m moved to the conclusion that this annexation is what the area plan is looking for.”
The official vote has not yet occurred. Commissioners wanted to postpone the official decision in order to craft the resolution carefully.
The language used must be particularly precise because of the likelihood of a lawsuit. Commissioners broke into executive sessions twice during the three-hour-long meeting to consult an attorney.
The land at the southwest corner of North 1800 Road (Farmer’s Turnpike) and East 1000 Road. Because the tract is not adjacent to the city, it is an island annexation, which requires county approval before the City Commission can move forward to approve or deny annexation.
The final decision will be made at the next meeting, 6:35 p.m. Dec. 8, at Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Mass.