The Metro Council tomorrow will take up a measure that would annex several unincorporated properties in the Willow Ridge subdivision out of the proposed city of St. George and into Baton Rouge.
If the council approves the item, which it deferred last month, Baton Rouge’s city limits would expand to include the 13 additional properties, as well as a portion of Willow Bay Drive and a triangular plot of private property east of the neighborhood, both of which are needed to create a contiguous connection between several homes and the municipality. The move comes after 26 other residents attacked the proposal in September, saying it would lead to confusion about how municipal services like police surveillance and fire protection would be split within the 40-home subdivision.
Attorney Charles Landry, who filed the four petitions on behalf of the 13 homeowners currently seeking annexation, had no comment for this story. However, Landry has previously told Daily Report the situation would not be any different than in any neighborhood that is on the boundary of the two cities, with police and fire departments simply responding to the municipal address making the call.
However, HOA president Keith Richardson, who opposes the measure, isn’t so sure, saying it would at the very least create immense confusion. Moreover, Richardson says one person has retracted his annexation request over the past month, bringing the number of homeowners wanting to keep the entire neighborhood within St. George up to 27.
“That gives us a 67.5% majority of homeowners, as well as over 66% of property values, who want to keep our subdivision intact,” Richardson says. “A two-thirds majority in number and property value should be enough for the council to say, ‘Why should we disrupt this thing?’ If it’s really the people’s right to annex into Baton Rouge, why does there need to be a lawyer, why is it sitting before city council and why isn’t it a simpler process?”
Meanwhile, Landry has argued that it’s every resident’s right to seek annexation into the city if they wish to do so.
Wednesday’s meeting will be at 4 p.m. in the third-floor council chambers at 222 Saint Louis Street. Read the full agenda.