ROY — Few spoke out Tuesday at what will likely be one of the last public opportunities to address the planned annexation by Roy of several unincorporated islands surrounded by the city.
Jacqueline Thompson, one of the impacted residents who's worked with city leaders as the controversial annexation process has unfolded, thinks it's probably because most figure there's nothing they can do. The majority of impacted property owners are "settled to the idea that we can't stop it from happening," she said after a Roy Planning Commission meeting Tuesday at which zoning issues related to the annexation were discussed.
Whatever the case, she lauded the city for trying to accommodate the residents to be annexed. Tuesday's action — recommending changes to keep the city zoning on the impacted parcels in line with current Weber County zoning guidelines after annexation is complete — goes a long way in easing any dismay.
"I think 95 percent of our concerns have been addressed by accepting the county zoning," she said.
Per Tuesday's action, the planning commission recommended new zoning designations for the six unincorporated islands to be annexed that will let property owners use the land as it's currently being used. If property owners can have horses on the land currently, for instance, they'll be able to maintain the same number of horses after annexation when the land becomes part of Roy.
Existing uses "are just going to transfer over," said Steve Parkinson, the Roy city planner. There will be a few changes — rights related to chinchilla-raising operations will fall away, for instance. But for the most part, property owners will be able to keep doing what they're doing.
Planning officials' recommendations will go to the Roy City Council for formal consideration on Oct. 16, when city officials are also scheduled to formally take action on annexation. If they approve annexation, the impacted property — more than 180 parcels — will become part of Roy on Jan. 1.
Two of the six islands to be incorporated are densely populated, with an estimated 300 to 500 people in all living in the areas to be annexed, and the process has gotten heated at times. Many have said they prefer to remain outside Roy, in part to avoid paying city property taxes. But change to state law limits property owners' rights to halt annexation and Weber County officials last October recommended that Roy take the six parcels over, paving the way for annexation.
Planning officials conducted a public hearing before their action on the zoning matter Tuesday and only a handful of people addressed the body, mainly seeking clarification on the changes. Another public hearing on the zoning changes will be held on Oct. 16, when the Roy City Council takes up the matter.