Delaware City Council is considering the annexation of approximately 44 acres of land from Berlin Township into the city as part of the Evans Farm development. The proposal to make the annexation official, however, contains an issue that officials are working to address.
Speaking during Monday’s council meeting, City Manager Tom Homan discussed the complication, which centers around which New Community Authority (NCA) the annexed portion of Evans Farm would serve.
Evans Farm has an existing NCA with a millage rate of 10.5 that encompasses the entirety of the development, including the land that has been proposed to be annexed into Delaware. However, that land also sits within the city’s Delaware South NCA, which has a rate of 7.5 mills.
“It has always been contemplated that, if that land is annexed into the city, that land, like all the land around it, would be required to pay the 7.5 mills that help service the debt that we issued to pay for Glenn Parkway,” Homan told council. “So, there’s a conflict, and we’re trying to resolve it.”
Homan said City Attorney Darren Shulman has been meeting with Evans Farm representation to go over options, which, according to city documents, include to “pay the present value of the expected Delaware South NCA revenue that would have been collected if they joined the Delaware South NCA” or “direct the existing Evans Farm NCA to pay the city what the Delaware South NCA charge would collect until the Delaware South NCA debt is paid.”
To further complicate matters, a resolution is time-sensitive as the city has until Jan. 6 to take action on the annexation proposal before it is automatically denied per the regulations of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC).
Homan said that if the issue can’t be resolved within the time frame mandated by the ORC, the recommendation would be to decline the annexation.
“The easy thing, in our opinion, would be they just don’t extend the 10.5 mills up into that area, but if you’re the Evans Farm developers, you’re counting on that millage to offset some of the expenses they have for their project,” Homan said, adding that the city is doing the same thing with the Delaware South NCA.
If the annexation isn’t ultimately accepted, but Evans Farm chooses to proceed with developing that land, Homan said there would then be issues in regard to the utility services for that land, which resides within the city’s utility service area, meaning the city is responsible for servicing the land.
Council has previously approved a resolution of services for the proposed development, and the concept plan was reviewed by the Delaware Planning Commission in September.
The proposed subdivision would include 103 single-family units on approximately 43.85 acres on Peachblow Road, just east of the recently approved Winterbrook Place subdivision and just south of the existing Glenross community.
Homan said he hopes to have “a more complete report” on where the annexation stands at a subsequent meeting.