Questions regarding proposed annexation
Two public hearings have been held to date concerning the annexation by the City of Mesquite of land in Kaufman County. Many of the questions asked by citizens who have attended the hearings may be of interest to you. The third and final public hearing on the annexation will be held on August 7, 2006, at 3:00 PM.
What land uses are permissible after annexation?
Current land uses will continue after annexation. The City can enforce regulations pertaining to:
Will the discharge of firearms be prohibited following annexation?
- Sexually oriented businesses
- Public nuisances (dilapidated structures, junk vehicles, etc.)
- Flood control
- Prevention of imminent harm to persons or property
- Hazardous substances
- Sale and use of fireworks
The City cannot prohibit discharging firearms after annexation on properties of at least 10 acres and more than 150 feet from any other residence or occupied building located on another property (Local Gov. Code Sec. 229.002). The City may also grant a permit allowing for certain limited discharging of firearms for lawful purposes under Sec. 10.9 of the Municipal Code.
Will the City enforce code violations (high grass and weeds, trash and junk, etc.) in the newly annexed area?
Nuisance codes would apply. However, Code Enforcement Officers will be authorized to exercise administrative flexibility under the circumstances, i.e., on a case-by-case basis.
What school district will my children attend?
School district boundaries are not affected by a person’s city of residence. Residents whose children attend Forney ISD schools will continue to do so. School district boundaries frequently overlap multiple city limit lines.
Are there any plans to construct a fire station in the annexation area?
The Fire Department considers the tipping point for construction of a new station to be 300-350 single-family homes. Intense commercial and industrial development may also escalate the requirement for a new station.
The Insurance Services Organization (ISO) rating in the annexation area is currently 10. Simply annexing the area could possibly lower the ISO rating slightly. Mesquite has an ISO rating of 3. Some insurance companies use the ISO rating as a basis for homeowner’s insurance rates. The rating is based upon many factors including equipment, water supplies and personnel.
What is the response time for medical or fire emergencies to the newly annexed area?
Fire and ambulance response time from Mesquite’s Station No. 7 on Clay Mathis Road is 11 minutes and 30 seconds to I-20 and FM 740 with a fully staffed engine and ambulance prepared to deal with the emergency. Currently the proposed annexation area is served by a volunteer fire department with a response time from the Forney Central Fire Station of 7 minutes and 6 seconds during the day. It is 5 minutes and 2 seconds from an unmanned equipment station located at FM 741 and Windy Ln. It should be noted that Forney response time is only the drive time for the equipment and does not include the crew’s arrival on scene.
State law requires response times to newly annexed areas to be comparable to other areas of the City with similar topography, land use and population density.
Since Mesquite is interested in controlling development along the I-20 corridor, why doesn’t the City simply annex a strip of land along I-20 and leave the rest of the area alone?
While it is possible to engage in “strip” annexation, doing this would not conform to generally accepted planning principles. State law specifies an annexed strip of land must be at least 1,000 feet wide, which would leave some large tracts only partially within the city limits, creating a hardship for both property owners and the City. The boundary lines were derived after much thought and consideration and follow tract lines as much as possible.
Will my postal address change from Forney to Mesquite, Texas?
Addresses will continue to be Forney, Texas unless the City of Mesquite requests a change. If a change is requested, the Postal Service will survey residents of area regarding their preference.
Will residents in the proposed annexation area located in Kaufman County continue to have to pay out-of-county tuition rates to attend classes at Dallas County Community Colleges?
Yes, tuition is based on the county of residence and is not affected by the city of residence. Tuition rates for Kaufman County residents would not be affected by annexation.
What entity is responsible for establishing taxable values for land Mesquite may annex in Kaufman County?
The City of Mesquite has the option of having the properties appraised by the Dallas Central Appraisal District (DCAD) or the Kaufman County Appraisal District (KCAD). If the City chooses to have the property appraised by DCAD, state law provides that DCAD and KCAD would work together to establish a market value for properties in the annexed area. Property owners would be required to file any exemption requests with both appraisal districts. Final taxable value will be determined by the exemptions granted.
When would property owners in the annexation area receive their first tax statements from the City of Mesquite?
The tax statements issued in October 2007 will be the first tax bills newly annexed residents would receive from Mesquite. The taxes would become delinquent on January 31, 2008.
Once newly annexed residents begin paying City of Mesquite taxes, when can they expect to have a sanitary sewer connection at their homes?
Property taxes are not the funding mechanism for the construction of sanitary sewer lines. Water and sewer customers pay for the cost of sewer lines through separate charges for these services. Customers not connected do not pay for services they are not receiving. Developers are responsible for infrastructure construction in new residential subdivisions or commercial developments.
The density of development generally triggers construction of sanitary sewer lines. Residents of an existing development who want sanitary sewer extended to their home, may make a request to City Council. Staff would then evaluate the cost and number of homes in the area the line would serve.
What benefits would the residents of the proposed annexation area receive from annexation?
Regular police patrols, fire protection and ambulance service will begin immediately after annexation. The City of Mesquite will also use its planning and zoning authority to make sure development in the annexed area is orderly and does not hurt property values. Mesquite residents are entitled to discounts and reduced fees on many recreation and athletic activities, as well as facility rentals. Senior citizens over 65 are entitled to a homestead property tax exemption of $65,000. In addition, persons receiving an over 65 or disabled property tax exemption also receive a “tax ceiling” on their taxes set at the amount of taxes paid in the year that one qualifies for the exemption.