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Old 10-12-2010, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
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I was reading about Katy on Wikipedia and came across something I've never heard of before, that the city of Houston retains the rights to annex Katy at anytime without the consent of the people who live in the Katy district. Here's the exact graph:

"All of the "Katy area" lies in the city of Houston's extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), not Katy's ETJ. This means that the areas of "Katy area" are controlled by the city of Houston and that city has the ability to annex it in the future. The city of Katy cannot annex this area unless the city of Houston releases the area's ETJ to Katy, which has occurred in several small chunks in recent years. The most recent instance of this was in 2001 when Houston ceded about 400 acres (1.6 km˛) of ETJ to the City of Katy to allow the Katy Mills Mall and surrounding parking lot to be built entirely within the City of Katy. The city of Katy paid 1 million dollars for this right, but also had added the threat of building the Katy Mills Mall entirely on Katy's land and placing the parking lot in Houston's ETJ. Thus being of no tax benefit to Houston.
The "Katy area" contains well over 250,000 people."

Katy, Texas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This certainly answers a long-standing question I've had about how, exactly, Houston has gotten to be so big. But is it right? I've never heard of any city having the authority to "ambush" annex surrounding areas without their consent. Seems very strange to me, being from Georgia, where municipal annexations are controlled by the affected residents / property owners. In other words, if a neighborhood wanted to be annexed into Atlanta, they would have to initiate the process, and then it could only be approved following passage by a majority of the affected voters via referendum. Annexation of undeveloped land must be initiated by the property owner(s), and then can only move forward upon passage of an intergovernmental agreement between both affected parties -- almost always a county government, and then the city that's seeking the annexation on behalf of the developer. If a county government does not approve of an annexation request (for fear of losing development controls or tax revenue, for example), it can dispute it and, in extreme cases, go to court to stop it.

A city cannot simply "grow" itself in Georgia.

Fascinating stuff, these Texas development laws.

Last edited by Newsboy; 10-12-2010 at 10:55 PM..
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:23 PM
 
Location: ITL (Houston)
8,968 posts, read 8,681,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post
I was reading about Katy on Wikipedia and came across something I've never heard of before, that the city of Houston retains the rights to annex Katy at anytime without the consent of the people who live in the Katy district. Here's the exact graph:

"All of the "Katy area" lies in the city of Houston's extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), not Katy's ETJ. This means that the areas of "Katy area" are controlled by the city of Houston and that city has the ability to annex it in the future. The city of Katy cannot annex this area unless the city of Houston releases the area's ETJ to Katy, which has occurred in several small chunks in recent years. The most recent instance of this was in 2001 when Houston ceded about 400 acres (1.6 km˛) of ETJ to the City of Katy to allow the Katy Mills Mall and surrounding parking lot to be built entirely within the City of Katy. The city of Katy paid 1 million dollars for this right, but also had added the threat of building the Katy Mills Mall entirely on Katy's land and placing the parking lot in Houston's ETJ. Thus being of no tax benefit to Houston.
The "Katy area" contains well over 250,000 people."

Katy, Texas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This certainly answers a long-standing question I've had about how, exactly, Houston has gotten to be so big. But is it right? I've never heard of any city having the authority to "ambush" annex surrounding areas without their consent. Seems very strange to me, being from Georgia, where municipal annexations are controlled by the affected residents / property owners. In other words, if a neighborhood wanted to be annexed into Atlanta, they would have to initiate the process, and then it could only be approved following passage by a majority of the affected voters via referendum. Annexation of undeveloped land must be initiated by the property owner(s), and then can only move forward upon passage of an intergovernmental agreement between both affected parties -- almost always a county government, and then the city that's seeking the annexation on behalf of the developer. If a county government does not approve of an annexation request (for fear of losing development controls or tax revenue, for example), it can dispute it and, in extreme cases, go to court to stop it.

A city cannot simply "grow" itself in Georgia.

Fascinating stuff, these Texas development laws.
Houston CAN'T annex the City of Katy, but it can annex the unincorporated areas that include a Katy address. It isn't the only area in the Houston metro like that either. But, Houston will most likely never annex the residential areas, as the city council does not want more Republican voters voting in the city. If anything, Houston will annex the commercial areas for more tax dollars for the city. And actually, that is what Houston has been doing. Now, the city is easing up and releasing a lot of its ETJ to different suburban areas. The Woodlands being the most recent development, as it will become its own city next year I believe.

Oh, and Katy Mills Mall was built in 1998, so that excerpt you posted is a few years off.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,516 posts, read 16,481,303 times
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oh lord. Not another misinformed thread.
I am going to have to be correcting people for the next three about Houston not annexing Katy.

why do people always fuel this fire?
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
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What fuel? What fire? This is a legit discussion -- I had never heard of such aggressive annexation laws anywhere in the country, surely not the kind that allows a much larger municipality to willingly annex surrounding areas without their desire or approval. Maybe I'm reading this wrong? I know the whole dynamics of local government in Houston and Texas are different than the rest of the country, and that to me is fascinating. It's not like y'all are another country (well, some would say yes). You're just four states over. In the broader sense, I think it goes a long way in explaining why a lot of discussions on this site between people from different parts of the country get so lost and angry ... different states / regions really do govern themselves in dramatically different ways, and that effects the kinds of communities they are. There are many complex reasons why Houston is different from Atlanta is different from New York is different from Los Angeles. And the differences are fascinating and worth discussing to me, to try and gain better understanding.

This is no criticism of Houston. I'm not MISinformed. I'm UNinformed. I want to understand this stuff. If you don't want to participate, fine. I'm sure plenty of my other C-D Houston friends are willing to shed some light.

NEWSBOY
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:41 PM
 
Location: The Greater Houston Metro Area
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I would - but I am busy with processing the paperwork to annex Dallas.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
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you misread the article believing that Houston would annex Katy. But what it is saying is the extraterritorial area belongs to Houston not Katy. Houston can annex these areas or give it up to Katy.

Tomorrow people like Killakoolaide and kidPhilly are going to come in here and say that Houston is annexing Katy to get bigger.

It is a misrepresentation of the truth and it is adding fuel to the fire of lies they have been spreading for the last couple of months. Houston did not make the rules, they just use it to their benefit. Katy is the great suburb it is now simply because of its proximity to Houston. Katy was founded as a stop on the KT railroad which ran through Houston. Katy itself is not that small in land area. The Katy area is larger than a lot of big cities.



This is a picture of Houston's ETJ. see how small of its jurisdiction it occupies? Notice how few things Houston has annexed in the last 35 years? In the last 35 years Houston's population has boomed, and yet it has annexed little. so those lie spreaders who claim houston got big because it annexed land knows very little

Last edited by HtownLove; 10-13-2010 at 12:05 AM..
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,516 posts, read 16,481,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheryjohns View Post
I would - but I am busy with processing the paperwork to annex Dallas.
I thought we agreed to annex Austin before we went after Dallas. Or was that Dallas first then San Antonio? I dunno, we are so busy annexing stuff that I lose track of who we are gobbling up
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:05 AM
 
Location: The Greater Houston Metro Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HtownLove View Post
I thought we agreed to annex Austin before we went after Dallas. Or was that Dallas first then San Antonio? I dunno, we are so busy annexing stuff that I lose track of who we are gobbling up
Dallas, then Austin, then SA, then, believe it or not - Oklahoma City. It will be a little more complicated, being out of the state.
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA
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No, I didn't misread the article. It said that Houston could annex the "Katy Area" which I assume to be the unincorporated areas around the city of Katy, at will, but that Katy had no authority to annex adjoining areas itself without getting special dispensation from Houston. That to me makes Houston out to be like, I said, a "bully." I'm sure that's not the case, but why should Houston have so much more authority over an area that's not even within its corporate limits? Does Harris County not have any constitutional authority to manage unincorporated areas, or do only cities provide those type services in Texas? This is what I'm trying to understand. In Georgia, counties function exactly the same way as cities, except with certain greater responsibilities (like maintaining courts, jails, tax collections, etc.). There's very little incentive for existing areas to be annexed by a municipality because there's really no great benefit, service wise. Instead, the newly annexed area just becomes more tax revenue for a city.

Maybe that's different in Houston? I'd never even heard the term extraterritorial jurisdiction until today.

Now, incorporation -- not annexation --- is a totally different issue. It's very easy now in Georgia for unincorporated areas to IN-corporate and form their own city government. This has happened a dozen times in the Atlanta metro in the past 10 years, oftentimes by areas that for years had fought off attempts by the city to annex it, and finally just formed their own city government to prevent it from ever happening.

The Buckhead section of Atlanta was unincorporated until it was annexed by the city in the 1950s. Since then, only two other successful annexations by Atlanta have taken place, both small tracts on the city's southwest side that were predominantly black and very affluent and where residents felt they weren't being properly serviced. But otherwise it's very rare here. As I said before, about the only way Georgia cities can grow their corporate boundaries is by annexing UNDEVELOPED (raw) land at the request of a developer, usually to get more favorable zoning for it. Here in the Savannah area, there is an upscale golf course community with about 10,000 residents that's in the unincorporated county, and Savannah and Garden City, an adjacent suburb, are fighting to convince the residents to let them annex. But the decision is up to the residents themselves, and many of them don't want to be in EITHER city. The cities can't just make a claim and take control without voter approval.

As this map shows, the vast majority of Metro Atlanta is not part of any city. But the City of Atlanta has no jurisdiction whatsoever over these or even adjacent areas. Atlanta's corporate limits are pretty much prevented from expanding any further because it's surrounded on all sides by other municipalities or other counties.



http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/71/Atlanta-suburbs.png (broken link)

Last edited by Newsboy; 10-13-2010 at 12:27 AM..
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,516 posts, read 16,481,303 times
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go back and look at the map I posted. all of Katy is in Houston's ETJ. all Texas cities are like that. Cities can annex areas in its ETJ and the areas discussed are in Houston's ETJ.

That is just Texas law. don't make Houston out to be the evil bad guy, it is how cities do things in Texas
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