San Antonio Express-News Article Wrongly Associates Save Fair Oaks Ranch group with lawsuit filed by disgruntled "new" residents.
Posted Jan. 7, 2018
A January 6, 2018 page A3 story titled “Fair Oaks Ranch sued over annexations” featured a file photo from 2014 that implies the Save Fair Oaks Ranch citizens group opposes the recent annexation and supports the new residents' lawsuit. That is incorrect. In fact, the Save Fair Oaks Ranch group strongly supports the annexation and is encouraging the city to vigorously defend the annexation in court.
For a historical perspective on the motivation behind the recent annexation of properties in our ETJ:
About four years ago, a handful of your concerned neighbors founded Save Fair Oaks Ranch (SFOR) and led the charge to prevent the ill-advised annexation of The Reserve, a proposed development in our ETJ that was poorly planned and totally out-of- character with the rural, northern area of the City. Thanks to the more than 2,400 of you who signed our petition, we stopped The Reserve from moving forward, at least so far.
As part of a 3-Step process, SFOR has worked to keep you informed of growth around the Ranch and, most importantly, to encourage citizens to become involved in shaping the future of our City.
Step 1 was to prevent the ill-advised annexation of The Reserve, which we accomplished in March 2014.
Step 2 was to secure strong leadership on the council, which we did in the May 2015 and May 2016 elections with our candidates receiving 80% of the vote.
Step 3 was to transition Fair Oaks Ranch from General Law to Home Rule, which was done in May 2017
With your YES vote, you transferred the majority of the control and direction of the city from the Council to the citizens. Your YES vote allowed our City leaders to utilize a broader range of tools so that we could effectively manage growth within our City and proactively plan the nature/use of our undeveloped ETJ (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction).
As a Home Rule City, one of the more important tools available at the time of the adoption of the Home Rule Charter was:
Enhanced Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) Authority- Local Government Codes gave the City Council broader authority to proactively manage growth in our ETJ. As citizens of FOR, it gave us a seat at the bargaining table to ensure that our +/- 2000 acres of ETJ retained the unique hometown look and feel we all enjoy today with ample green space, nature, and a respite from the urban sprawl that is quickly closing in on us from all directions.
As the council moved forward with plans to annex the properties in our ETJ, legislation was introduced and voted upon to take away our ability to manage growth in our surrounding ETJ. An arbitrary deadline of December 1, 2017 was set by legislation that forced our City to accelerate annexation plans in order to accomplish our goal of responsible management of growth set forth more than 2 years ago. The annexations that took place in November 2017 were accomplished legally under the then-current Local Government Code AND were done in a transparent manner.
It is unfortunate that there is a small group of homeowners (7) who are unhappy with the annexation of their properties into the City of Fair Oaks Ranch. It is that small group which has now filed a lawsuit against the City. The article published in the San Antonio Express-News on January 6th mistakenly used an old photo from 2014 which showed one of the signs used by Save Fair Oaks Ranch group to fight the proposed annexation of a highly controversial property in our northern ETJ. Annexation of that particular property was a VERY BAD idea due to an extremely ill-advised development agreement signed in 2013. Save Fair Oaks Ranch is in no way affiliated with the group of homeowners that have now filed the lawsuit against the City of Fair Oaks Ranch and in no way support their agenda.
Save Fair Oaks Ranch continues to support our current Mayor and Council and believe they have done an excellent job guiding our City.
Save Fair Oaks Ranch