Residents in Raleigh 'doughnut' fighting annexation
Homeowners in a Wake County neighborhood are upset that Raleigh wants to annex them, saying that they cannot afford the fees for municipal water and sewer service.Posted — Updated
The Winter Park community includes 66 homes on James Road and Woodlawn Drive, off New Hope Road east of Louisburg Road. It's one of four areas that Raleigh officials hope to annex by summer.
Raleigh Planning Director Mitchell Silver said it's only logical for the city to annex Winter Park, which he called a "doughnut hole" because it is an unincorporated area surrounded by the city.
"When they move into a location and they're within the city's jurisdiction, there should be some expectation that eventually they will come into the city of Raleigh," Silver said. "You're sending a sheriff out through miles of city of Raleigh just to have a little portion of Wake County."
Because a city sewer line already runs through the neighborhood, each homeowner would be assessed as much as $5,850. Anyone who wants to dump their septic tank and tap into the sewer line would have to pay another $3,715.
A water line doesn't serve the area, so Winter Park residents could forgo joining the municipal water system. But if one homeowner asks for city water, every resident would have to pay $4,200 to lay a line to the neighborhood. Anyone who wants to tap on would have to pay another $3,973.
"My first reaction was to start crying," resident Jamie Miller said, recalling when the city notice arrived in the mail. "There's absolutely no way that we could afford that payment."
"The price tag is unreasonable," resident Rick Boggs said, noting that he and his neighbors already get "good water" from a well.
"It would be devastating for some members of this neighborhood," he said.
Silver said the city offers payment plans for anyone looking to receive water and sewer service.
The other areas targeted for annexation are Sumerset Acres, off Trawick Road; Verona Place and Broad Street, off Ray Road; and a right-of-way near the intersection of Wade Avenue and Interstate 40.
The City Council is expected to vote on the annexations on April 6. If approved, the moves would take effect at the end of June.