Oak Creek The Oak Creek Town Board denied an annexation proposal during a lengthy and well-attended meeting Thursday night, saying the 24-acre Darling Annexation was not within the town's designated future growth area and citing concerns about soil stability.
The decision came after a 30-minute discussion amongst board members and public comments from community members in favor of and against the proposal.
Town Clerk Karen Halterman said Mayor J. Elliott voted in favor of the annexation, while Mayor Pro-Tem Angie KenCairn and board members John Crawford, Dave Fischer and Tom Bleuer voted against it. Board member Steve "Spike" Beven" did not attend Thursday's meeting.
The denial comes on the heels of the town's decision to update its 10-year-old comprehensive plan, which outlines how Oak Creek wants to grow.
In January, the Town Board told Heather Kline, the Stagecoach resident and Lynx Funding owner who proposed the annexation, that it wanted more time to address its comprehensive plan before making any decisions regarding future growth.
However, Kline did not feel that was what the board had done. She said denying the annexation was premature and "not what the town wanted."
"I felt like the last time it was tabled, the board wanted to look at the area plan to address some of those growth areas," she said. "They haven't done any work on it or changed anything."
The Darling Annexation would have brought 24 acres of land west of downtown Oak Creek and south of Twentymile Road into city limits. Kline intended to build 17 homes on the land, which she said is one of the last options for growth in Oak Creek.
"(The land) borders the town - it's just sitting there and it's a good place to build homes," she said. "I really feel this is a good plan for our town, and we need to look at making some of those non-growth areas, growth areas."
"I think it's an excellent place to build because we need people coming to town," he said. "We don't have a lot of land to develop because we're geographically landlocked."
Elliott said he understood the other board members' "apprehension and reasoning" but hoped Kline would come back to the board with another plan.
"I hope they haven't given up on it and can come back with a more palpable idea that the rest of the board can agree on," Elliott said. "I think it's a good idea, and we need it."
Halterman said residents should attend upcoming comprehensive plan meetings in light of the decision.
"(The board) encouraged all the people in the room to attend these meetings when they begin, because if there's a huge public outcry for this to be designated as a future growth area, it can be readdressed," she said.
Kline said she plans to address the board in the future regarding the decision.
"I thought I was going to be a part of the discussion - how developers could pay their way, affordable housing," she said. "I was surprised because I thought we were going to work together."
KenCairn, Fischer, Crawford and Bleuer could not be reached for comment Friday night.