TERRELL, Texas — A Kaufman county judge has ordered the City of Terrell to halt all proposed annexation proceedings after a temporary restraining order was granted to land and business owners who are opposed to the plans.
Kaufman County Court at Law No. 2 Judge Bobby Rich signed the temporary restraining order late Friday afternoon and ordered both the city and the landowner’s attorneys back in court within 14 days.
In the 74-page petition obtained by inForney.com, the landowner’s attorneys argue that the City of Terrell has violated its own city charter, the Texas Open Meetings Act and Chapters 42 and 43 of the Texas Government code in its recent action to extend its city limits. They also contend that city cannot annex property that extends outside of their ETJ or do so without providing the proper notice; thus making the city’s proposed annexation service plan and maps void.
“Therefore, neither the adopted Resolution, nor the Map of the Area, stated the exact metes and bounds of the area proposed for annexation, or any other appropriately descriptive language that would provide sufficient notice to a property owner what part, if any, of their property might be subject to the annexation notice,” the suit says.
“We are pleased to see this TRO granted on behalf of our clients and all landowners adversely impacted by the city’s actions. Some of these people live or own property as far as three miles outside the city limits and well outside the city's ETJ,” says attorney Elizabeth Alvarez.
“Our clients range from non-conforming business owners like fireworks stands that would have to shut down, to property owners who don't believe they will ever see the service plan executed.”
Alvarez is as an attorney for Guest & Gray, the firm hired by over 70 landowners to fight the proposed annexation. Guest & Gray has previously defeated the city of Mesquite’s attempt to annex parts of Kaufman County in December 2017.
“Our clients are looking forward to their day in court,” Alvarez says.
"The annexations addressed in the City of Terrell's August Public Hearings (areas along IH20, US80, SH34, and SH205), are now a matter pending with Kaufman County Court at Law #2. Thus, consistent with the Court’s recent preliminary action in that case, the City of Terrell will take no action related to these annexations at its September 17th City Council meeting. Since the September 17th agenda was posted prior to the receipt of this communication from the Court, items related to annexation on the September 17 agenda (items 7-18) will be deferred with no discussion and no action at this time," Terrell City manager Mike Sims said in an email to inForney.com.
The first court hearing has been scheduled for September 26 at 1:30 p.m.