The current state laws for annexation favor the cities and leave the counties with little to no recourse. We need changes made to the annexation laws to create a level playing field. This is a property rights issue.
I will work with our state delegation to support the representatives that are willing to sponsor bills to make these changes. I will also lobby representatives from all over the state to share the details of several of the most egregious annexations we have experienced here in Cherokee County so they will understand just how important this issue is.
The county had a growth boundary agreement with Woodstock, Ball Ground, and Canton at one time. I will work with the commissioners to re-establish growth boundaries with all the cities in Cherokee County in an effort to stop the land grabs into our rural areas.
I do not support cleaning up the city/county boundaries as suggested by my opponent. That would be forced annexation, and it is illegal. Years ago, the cities were able to annex property that were unincorporated islands and they could annex these properties without the owner’s permission. Thankfully, our state legislature passed a bill to stop this.
Another issue to consider is that the county has given higher density zoning in the past to certain properties in an effort to keep them from annexing into a city. This also helped to block the cities from extending further out into our rural areas. If any of those properties were to be annexed into a city, that would allow the city to annex any property that has a 50-foot contiguous boundary with that property. This would open the gate to spur additional annexations.