From Sylvania Township resident Joe Verkennes
The Board of Lucas County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, at 2 p.m. in the Commissioners Hearing Room, One Government Center, Toledo, Ohio. They will vote whether to approve or disapprove a forced annexation attempt by the City of Sylvania of homes in Sylvania Township near King and Brint roads. At the hearing, residents will be able to testify about the implications of this annexation.It is imperative that those who are against this money grab show up to testify and/or email the Lucas County Commissioners. UPDATE: The city has not only sued these homeowners but HAS NOW ALSO FILED LAWSUITS AGAINST MANY HOMEOWNERS IN COUNTRY WALK, WHICH IS SEPARATE FROM COUNTRY WALK CIRCLE.
The City of Sylvania has used stall tactics and this will now be the third scheduled meeting on this topics. Don't let the game-playing and backroom politics at Sylvania City Hall win the day. This decision will set the precedent on the whole annexation issue and will have ramifications of hundreds of homes down the line. It will change the landscape for Northwest Ohio forever.
EMAIL YOUR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND SHOW UP WITH US TO FIGHT THIS HUGE TAX GRAB BY THE CITY.
Tina Skeldon Wozniak:
The general phone number is (419) 213-4500.
HERE IS THE LEGAL ARGUMENT AGAINST ANNEXATION:
Ohio law states that on balance, the general good of the territory proposed to be annexed will be served, and the benefits to the territory proposed to be annexed and the surrounding area will outweigh the detriments to the territory proposed to be annexed and the surrounding area, if the annexation petition is granted. “Surrounding area" means the territory within the unincorporated area of any township located one-half mile or less from any of the territory proposed to be annexed.
Consider why this annexation does not meet the standard of the law, and let the Commissioners know why:
-The City of Sylvania is compelling non-citizens to agree to annexation through threat of discontinuing water service. Few of the signatories to the present petition signed for any other reason than the threat of loss of water service. The general good of any territory is not served by direct threat of by a governmental authority to take away a necessity of life from the residents of Sylvania Township.
- The City of Sylvania has made sure that the citizens of Sylvania Township know they are serious about their threat by filing a lawsuit against those who would not sign the annexation petition. A lawsuit is currently pending in Lucas County Common Pleas Court against the owners of 9 of the 31 parcels being annexed that seeks to compel those persons to sign an annexation petition. The general good of any territory is not served by a governmental authority suing its citizens to compel compliance with a strong arm annexation effort.
-The actions of the City of Sylvania in attempting annexation of these parcels is a first step in a process that will incorporate nearly 400 homes within several subdivisions. In fact, an additional 71 property owners have recently received letters from the City of Sylvania requesting they sign annexation petitions. Those who have not signed are being sued. It is asserted that these parcels were selected for no other reason than the possibility of increased tax revenue for the City of Sylvania as the property values are high and they are in a more affluent part of the community where people with higher incomes live. It is important to note that there is no talk of annexing other areas of Sylvania Township that are also adjacent to the City of Sylvania (Alexis Rd. area, etc.) where the properties are valued less and the citizens that live there likely have lower incomes to tax.
-Sylvania Township provides more than adequate public services to the area being annexed and the City of Sylvania will only be providing the same level of services, not anything superior or different than that which is currently being provided. There is no real benefit by receiving the same services.
-The surrounding territory of Sylvania Township has no benefit at all to annexation and the surrounding township area will suffer a real loss of tax revenue of removal of these 31 parcels currently, and ultimately an additional 400-800 more parcels. This loss of revenue could result in less services being provided to the surrounding area and/or higher tax rates to offset the lost revenue due to annexation.
IN SUMMARY: There is little to no benefit to the annexed territory and surrounding area and any benefit is far less than the harm that will be caused to the annexation area and surrounding territory by incorporating it into the City of Sylvania. The standard set by the Ohio Revised Code has not been met.
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