Warner Robins planning and zoning recommends approval for 80 annexation requests

WARNER ROBINS -- About a dozen residents protested against annexations Tuesday during a meeting of the Warner Robins Planning and Zoning Board during which the board recommended 80 annexations for City Council approval.

Most residents who attended oppose the annexation of land across the street from property the board recently approved for an apartment complex, while others spoke out against proposed annexations on a list of 79 properties located in several Houston County “islands” in the city.

City Council is expected to vote on the 80 annexations Monday at its regular meeting.

The most protested annexation is on South Corder Road Extension at South Houston Lake Road. The 27 acres are across the street from 40 acres that were annexed and rezoned in July for an apartment complex and commercial business.

Jim Rollins, of The Summit Group, said the owners of the land needed to annex the 27 acres because it became an island after the 40 acres were rezoned.

Allyn Bruninga, who lives on Mossy Ridge, said he’s frustrated with the continuing annexation surrounding his property. It creates additional traffic and clutter, he said. Bruninga bought his house seven years ago.

“It’s increasingly being encroached on on all sides,” Bruninga said. He added, “they’re not thinking when they rezone something for developers.”

The second item of annexations on Tuesday’s agenda was a request from the city of Warner Robins.

The properties are clustered in Houston County islands -- surrounded by Warner Robins land -- at Watson Boulevard and Carl Vinson Parkway, on Booth Road, along Corder Road, at Russell Parkway and Kimberly Road, and at Moody Road and Feagin Mill Road.

City Council has approved more than 500 annexations in the past year as part of an effort to round up land within its boundaries. Mayor Chuck Shaheen said last week the 79 properties are the last of the “low-hanging fruit” in terms of available land the city can annex.

Councilman Paul Shealy has said those properties are in areas where water and sewer lines soon will be extended.

However, resident Madeline Kitchens said she doesn’t want those services. She told the board she has no need for the city services officials tout as reasons to join the city, including sewer services, and police and fire protection.

“I don’t see any reason why you would want to annex my land,” she said.

City Attorney Jim Elliott said City Council doesn’t have any plans to require annexed properties that are on septic tanks -- such as Kitchens’ -- to connect to the city’s sewer service.

However, the state is no longer issuing permits for new septic systems.

The current fee for hooking into the city’s sewer system is $750, Elliott said.

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.