It promises to be a busy meeting Monday when the Midway City Council gathers to consider a 230-house subdivision planned for 176 acres near Islands Highway and Isle of Wight Road.
Builder Claude Dryden has asked for the property, known as the Jeffers Tract, to be rezoned and annexed by Midway. Monday evening will see the first airing of the plan before the Midway council, but city officials have balked at a similar proposal for Phase II of the Auburn Ridge subdivision on Charlie Butler Road. Dryden asked for rezoning and annexation there too and appeared at last month’s council meeting to answer questions after he and Engineer Marcus Sack presented the Auburn Ridge requests.
A number of Isle of Wight residents are opposed to the Jeffers Tract development; they say it will overwhelm government services in the area. The proposed subdivision does not extend to the Isle of Wight but residents there say the new homes will overwhelm the recycling station and burden Isle of Wight Road with excessive traffic, among other problems cited.
Annexation would mean Midway was responsible for services like fire and police protection.
One section of the oddly shaped Jeffers Tract borders Glebe Plantation at the rear; that part of the plantation is inside the current city limits of Midway and justifies the annexation request.
Cities planning annexations must notify the affected county and Liberty County Administrator Joey Brown has replied to Midway’s notice for the Charlie Butler Road project.
In his certified letter sent to Midway Mayor Levern Clancy Jr. on July 30, Brown points out that if the city annexes the property on both sides of Charlie Butler Road, the road and its maintenance become the responsibility of Midway.
Another section of Charlie Butler brings up another question: where only one side of the road is annexed a possible jurisdictional “island” may be created. State law forbids creation of new islands.
Annexation would make the city of Midway responsible for fire protection of its new territory. Midway’s volunteer fire department has had difficulty recruiting, sometimes cutting into its responses to emergencies.
Brown mentioned the possibility of contracting with the county for service delivery. His letter to Clancy closes, “We look forward to working with you . . . .”
The Midway council will meet Monday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. in the police department building at 10490 E. Oglethorpe Highway.
Parker can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.