Azle looks to annex land ahead of state law change

A new state law that goes into effect next month makes it harder for cities to annex properties, so some North Texas cities are trying to getting ahead of the new rules.

The topic is drawing a lot of opinions on main street in Azle, where the city is looking to annex some nearby land.

Shop owner Marie Kisner sees the pluses of adding to the city’s base, but she also owns land outside the current city limits.

"As a business owner on Main Street I [see benefits] because they're putting money into improvements of Main Street,” Kisner said. "However, I bought land so I couldn't reach out and touch my neighbor. Not happy if the rules change."

In the future, Kisner and others are counting on a new state law starting Dec. 1 that requires voter approval for annexation. Azle Mayor Alan Brundrett acknowledges the timing did affect this latest annexation plan.

"We were basically told by our attorneys we better hurry up and get it done, quit talking about it and do it, targeting basically commercial property, gateways to the city,” Brundrett said

Joseph Leslie and his wife Rachel moved to the outskirts of Azle. They said they love the city, but want their independence.

"It's absolutely not anti-growth or anti-annexation, just the right to have a voice and true representation which we don't have now,” Leslie said.

Rural property owners hope the new law works for them when annexation comes calling and casts a shadow on their property.

“The thought of someone coming out and saying you can't do this and you can do this with your land is not really why we bought all that land,” said property owner Cristina Calk. “What to have, animals we want, build what we want without restrictions."

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