The city approved the annexation of a piece of property that sits along the city limits at its Aug. 3 meeting, bringing it within the city limits.
Attorney Doug Thompson represented the property owners, requesting the city not to bring the piece of property within the city limits.
Thompson expressed concern that the property owners — the Sutter family — would not be able to use barbed wire to keep their cattle penned if this annexation took place. Barbed wire is allowed out in the county but banned within city limits. Chickens are also allowed in the county but forbidden to be kept in the city and Thompson expressed concern that if the owners might not be able to add chickens to their farm if they were brought fully into the Junction City limits.
“The only purpose I’ve been able to see from it is to straighten the county line,” Thompson said.
He said the owners were concerned because their land is partially used for agricultural purposes.
He said the elderly couple’s taxes would increase if the property was moved within city limits.
“I have been city attorney for many cities … I understand the need for certain annexations that have to take place,” Thompson said and objected to the fact that the only reason for this annexation was to straighten the boundary of the county and city.
“The problem is — the reality of this — is it affects that 75-year-old man back there who makes a living in part from raising cattle,” he said. “The county has him classified different than the city does.”
He said the city classified the property as residential and the county has the property classified as agricultural land.
Thompson said the family had no desire to move.
“They’ve lived there since 1978,” Thompson said. “It will be 43 years they have lived there and they don’t anticipate that coming to an end until at such time that one or both expire.”
The city chose to bring the property into the city limits.
According to City Manager Allen Dinkel, the barbed wire could be grandfathered in.
“I don’t think it’s an issue at this point in time,” he said.
City Attorney Britain Stites said the property owners currently benefit from city resources such as city streets, city water, and other city utilities. The Junction City Fire Department services the property as does the Junction City Police Department.
“He’s getting all of the benefits of the city without being in the city,” Stites said.
This figured into the choice to bring the full property within the city limits.
The vote to annex the property was unanimous.