Annexation for cities across Texas might get harder soon. House Bill 347 has been a topic of discussion in the Texas legislature, having already passed the House. At Monday night’s Navasota City Council meeting, the topic of annexation was up for discussion.
The bill’s basic idea has already been instituted with cities having a population above 500,000. City attorney Cary Bovey explained why HB 347 will make future annexation difficult and in short, it will make cities across Texas hold an election whenever they want to annex any area.
Property owners, however, would still be eligible to voluntarily apply for annexation without an election.
Bovey mentioned that the bill’s effective date would start September 1 of 2019, but there is actually a provision that would make the rule change immediate, so the time frame left to annex without an election is small. The bill’s passing could still take a few weeks.
Councilman Bernie Gessner stated his opposition to Navasota annexing any further right now.
“I don’t see annexation for the sake of annexation. We are still in the same situation we have been in for several year , which is we do not know exactly where the growth is going to come,” said Gessner. “It could theoretically come from four or five different directions at this point. I hate to pass up the opportunity, but not to just do it for the sake of doing it.”
The council unanimously decided to not annex further at this time.