As Oakdale city leaders proposed annexing a portion of Crane Crossing and expanding its sphere of influence, some property owners spoke out causing the Oakdale City Council to delay the item until more information could be heard.
Oakdale Public Service Director Thom Clark informed the council that the proposed annexation along “Area 3” was consistent with the city’s 2030 proposed general plan and its land use designations.
Clark also said a group of property owners within the proposed area have come forward as proponents of annexation of that area.
Affected property owner David Nestle from the Crane Crossing area said he had spoken to a number of other property owners who have told him they wanted nothing to do with the annexation.
“We really don’t find any help to us as property owners,” Nestle said. “The information we’ve gathered has found it will decrease, not increase our property values.”
Nestle also said it would be counter-intuitive for the city, claiming to be the “Cowboy Capital of the World” to be removing rural land in favor of industrial zoning.
Kimberlynn Dillon told the council she purposely bought rural property along West F Street for farming and produce sales and supplies.
Dillon plans on a fruit stand and a building to house the produce but said that according to the zoning of the annexation, that wouldn’t allow her to conduct her planned activities.
“But when you rezone it to the way you’re proposing, it will force me to fight you when I purposely purchased ag property to use it in that manner,” Dillon said.
She also added she did not know anyone in her area that was in favor about being annexed by the city.
City Manager Bryan Whitemyer stated that residents would still be able to use their land in the same manner they were prior to annexation.
One speaker countered that claim, stating that with any sale by the original owner, the new buyer wouldn’t be allowed to conduct similar activities.
Clark clarified that the annexation would be somewhat restrictive because the intent is to have the property in that area converted to industrial use.
“It’s a downfall to those that live there,” said land owner Tom Reinhardt, who told the council he bought land in the area to keep his horses. “With new owners coming in having to convert to industrial – we don’t want to lose that.”
Whitemyer pointed out that the goal for the city was to wean itself off the Measure Y sales tax revenue but to do that, the city needed an area for new development to be established due to “sales tax leakage.”
“This is a critical piece in our overall plan to try to help the city be financially feasible,” said Whitemyer.
Councilman J.R. McCarty stated he wanted to obtain more information and wasn’t comfortable in voting at the time to have an application forwarded to LAFCO.
Due to the vacancy on the panel due to former Councilman Don Petersen’s resignation, and Councilman Tom Dunlop recusing himself due to a conflict of interest, there were not sufficient votes so the measure was delayed to allow additional information to be forwarded to the council.
Whitemyer said it was important that the city learn from its past decisions that when they bypass the opportunity to bring retail development the only ones to have lost were the city and the residents.
“We keep demanding additional services, but the revenue being generated is in neighboring cities,” Whitemyer said. “If we don’t build it, it will be built somewhere else.”