Developer hopes for annexation benefits

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

A commercial developer said he has petitioned the city of Clovis to annex a 60-acre segment of land west of North Prince Street so a hotel being built there can benefit from city utilities.

Bill Giese, of Giese Realty Investment Corp., said he believes residences and businesses that are included within the rectangular tract from Utah Street to Wilhite Road and Lazy Lane to North Prince will also benefit by annexation into the city.

“The benefit of being in the city is city sewer, city water, city utilities and fire and police protection. The property values without sewer and water are not much,” Giese said.

County Manager Lance Pyle told county commissioners Tuesday the city is expected to file notice of intent to annex the area at today’s City Commission meeting.

A Holiday Inn Express at the northeast corner of the tract is expected to be completed late this fall, Giese said, and the city utilities and services are vital to its functionality.

“It’s kind of hard to operate a commercial business of any kind without having adequate utilities. Septic tanks and wells for water are not exactly ideal for businesses,” Giese said.

Giese said he has not heard any complaints from residents of the area.

“Most people in there are interested in upgrading,” he said.

Wilbur Cogdill said he and his wife, who have lived on Lazy Lane for 46 years, knew annexation was coming eventually.

Three times annexation has been proposed, Cogdill said, and each time residents opposed it.

But now he said he is resigned to accept it.

Annexation was likely a forgone conclusion for the city and developers, he said, because they wouldn’t have built the hotel had they thought they couldn’t access city utilities.

“When we moved here we were quite a long ways from town,” the retiree said. “We were quite a few miles out and then things started building up. Everything’s moving out this way. We were sure it would happen. I think it’s just going to happen and we (should) just as well accept it.”

“I don’t think there’s any reason to think about fighting it,” Cogdill said.

Sheryll Abdill, who lives in a home on Lazy Lane purchased by her parents in 1951, said she had not received notification on the annexation proposal and so hadn’t given the issue any thought.

But the prospect of having city water is an appealing one.

“We’re on a private water line and we’ve had some problems with leaks,” Abdill said.

If the city approves the annexation, landowners have 30 days to appeal to district court, according to state statutes.