LELAND — The Town of Leland has grown by 37-acres after annexing phase three of Lanvale Forest, a subdivision located in unincorporated Brunswick County during a Thursday evening meeting.
But Town Council hopes to gain the entire subdivision into the town’s tax base — and it is using the deteriorating roads in the subdivision as an incentive for residents to vote in favor of annexation.
The decision to annex the undeveloped property came after several month’s of delay and discussion on the annexation.
The town also agreed to start the process of an involuntary annexation of phases one and two of the neighborhood, but this is not a simple process.
According to Economic and Development Director Gary Vidmar, “A town-initiated annexation is roughly a two-year process which will culminate in a referendum vote by the property owners in the proposed annexation area.”
The roads in Lanvale Forest are currently in disrepair and potholes as well as exposed manhole covers litter the streets.
Leland has agreed to repair the unfinished, and deteriorating streets located within the Lanvale Forest subdivision phases one and two, but not until the successful annexation of the neighborhood.
This means residents of the subdivision will have no relief from the deteriorated roads for at least two years.
Brunswick County has previously stated that it would not issue building permits for phase three until the roads in phases one and two were brought up to standards — now, the developer is able to avoid the demands of the county, and upon successful annexation will have passed the obligation of fixing the roads onto Leland and its tax payers.
The current developer, M & JM LLC, did not own the property when the first two phases were constructed. It’s representatives said the company does not believe it should be held responsible for the shortcomings of the previous developer.
The developer, represented by Michael Kaney said, “The developer is very interested in resolution to the matter – we would designate a route for construction traffic and agree to maintain that road in its current condition.”
In order to successful annex Lanvale Forest, there will have to be a vote from those affected by the annexation, with a majority in favor of the takeover.
Several residents spoke out against the annexation of Phase Three before the annexation Phases One and Two during the public hearing
“We would love to see the homes completed in our development but we don’t want to see construction continue to the detriment of the people who live there. Our developer has chosen not to do anything to the roads right now, he benefits more than any citizens in the community. We would like to see annexation of phase three but we would like to see it with phase one and two. We asked the developer to step up and he hasn’t done that at this time,” resident and President Elect for the Home Owners Association Dominick Falink said.
In order to successfully annex Lanvale Forest phases one and two, there will have to be a vote from those affected by the annexation, and a majority in favor of the takeover.
Falink said that nearly 75 percent of residents he has spoken with have said they would be in favor of annexation of the first two phases.
The justification for the annexation and taking on the fiscal responsibility to maintain the roads, Vidmar said the new tax base the town gains through the annexation will offset the cost associated with repairing the streets.
Michael Praats can be reached at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org