Tryon’s annexation lawsuit in court beginning Monday

Published 12:57 pm Monday, July 13, 2009

Plans are for motions to be heard and possibly the hearing to begin Monday in Polk County Civil Superior Court.

Tryon approved the involuntary annexation of an estimated 406 residents in the Gillette Woods, Country Club Road, Harmon Field Road and Hwy. 108 areas of its township last April.

The annexation was done after the town decided to rescind a previously approved involuntary annexation of an area that encompassed much of Lynn. CAFA sued the town after the first annexation and after a few months town council rescinded its decision.

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Town officials have said they feel much more confident that they followed the correct procedure with their latest annexation. The town used Isothermal Planning and Development Commission to create the annexation report for the first annexation and used Benchmark Services for the second annexation.

Tryon has said it plans to continue defending the annexation, which it says is needed to stabilize the town&39;s long-term financial condition.

The current lawsuit was filed at the end of June last year with over 40 percent of the residents in the annexation area, or 172 petitioners joining the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that the town&squo;s annexation report does not meet state statutes and names several areas of the report that are incorrect.

The lawsuit claims that the area includes numerous split lots where property owners already pay taxes to the town for the entirety of their property and that there are errors in the report, including that the annexation area does not meet the required subdivision test and that less than 60 percent of the total lots are used for urban purposes as required.

The annexation cannot be final until a ruling is made on the lawsuit. The effective date of the annexation was supposed to be one year from the approved date of April 29, 2008.