Annexation offers owners protection they want, need
The Lacey's Spring area of Southeast Morgan County has for decades looked to Huntsville as its trade center. As Huntsville spread south, annexation across the Tennessee River became a matter of time.
Time apparently is now for a group of property owners who want Huntsville City Council to annex land in Morgan County near Lacey's Spring and along the Marshall County shoreline.
As expected, this request brought debate about the legality of Huntsville jumping the river and taking in Morgan County land. As usual, some people ardently oppose both encroachment and annexation.
Yet, annexation for a major subdivision of as many as 1,200 lots needs the protection that Morgan County doesn't offer, and Huntsville does. Developers also hope Huntsville can block a rock quarry planned in the proposed annexation tract.
Vera Thomas has lived in Lacey's Spring for 34 years and knows the headaches associated with letting everybody do as they want with their property.
In favor of annexation, she said:
"We would have some laws that would protect us a lot and get rid of stray dogs and stray cats. And maybe, it would get rid of some of the junked cars around. People have half a dozen cars parked in their yard. I would have gone for incorporation, too. I would have loved it."
A majority of rural residents fail to accept that planning and zoning and building inspections protect them, too. While these measures do restrict activities and dictate standards, high-growth areas must conform or everybody's property values suffer. Call it the march of progress.
Lacey's Spring postal clerk Peggy Malone said most people coming into the post office don't seem to support annexation. That, however, is of little consequence if the property owners involved control at least 60 percent of the land in question.
Apparently, they do. Thus, the best thing the opposition can do now is to ask for county help in offering the protections that Huntsville offers. Otherwise, annexation will continue.