On a split vote, Delta City Council approved a disconnection from the city late last year. With a similar request before them June 6 -- and fearing even more applications -- members unanimously denied a de-annexation request from a neighboring property owner.
In November, Delta City Council voted 3-1 to allow Wayne Gines to disconnect his property at 863 1400 Lane from the City of Delta.
His property, and that owned by current applicant Carl Wood, was annexed in 2002 as part of the Westend Addition. The only city service they receive is water. Like Gines, Wood said he never wanted to be annexed into the city to begin with.
Both properties are on the northern boundary of city limits and are adjacent to BLM land. Both are accessed by 1400 Lane, which is a private drive.
Wood said when his property was annexed, he believed the city made several promises, including road maintenance. The police don't patrol the road to his house, and he doesn't have sewer service. "I don't feel like there's any reason for me to be in the city unless you want to provide those things," he said.
He said he also objects to living under city rules that don't apply to agricultural properties in unincorporated areas of the county. "It's difficult for us to live under your rules out there in the middle of nowhere," he told the council.
"I personally don't believe chopping up the city limits and de-annexing property is conducive to what we have planned," said council member Ron Austin.
"Then provide us services. Give me sewer and give me a road and I'll be glad not to get out."
Wood added, "We're way out of the way. It's going to be a long time before there's any development out there, whether it's housing or new roads."
While owners of remote parcels of land may not feel they benefit from being in the city, city manager David Torgler said it's probably not in the city's best interest to have a hole between the city and BLM land. He agreed city services may be limited because of the remoteness of the property, but he assured Wood the police would respond if there was an emergency.
Police chief Luke Fedler chimed in. "Our patrols may not get to you, because you're the last house on the road, but I promise you 1400 Lane is patrolled more than you might realize."
When questioned by the council, community development director Glen Black said two other remote parcels, in addition to Gines', have been disconnected from the city.
Council members began to envision one property, then another, de-annexing from the city. "I can't in good conscience agree to that," Austin said.
"When you start something like this, you find it doesn't end," said council member Bill Raley.