The TX Legislature finally passed and Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law, HB6/SB6 that protects areas in the ETJ of a municipality from being annexed by the municipality without a positive vote by the people to be annexed.
This is a HUGE victory for places like Wells Branch, Steiner Ranch, River Place, etc….. who have fought the City of Austin’s attempts to annex for YEARS! The lobbyists hired by the these areas were instrumental in passing legislation years ago that mandated a city must provide the same level of service to the area being annexed as the rest of it’s residents. By the same token, the area being annexed couldn’t have its level of services reduced, meaning the entire city must have those higher levels. That legislation has deterred Austin, so far. BUT, we all knew stronger protection was needed. Two years ago, we were close, we thought it would happen in this past regular session. Thankfully, it passed in special session and takes effect 12/1/17.
In a nutshell, Austin must get the voters in (for example) Wells Branch to vote to be annexed. We have such a great community with: 2 heated pools, basketball and tennis courts, sand volleyball, community center, recreation center, gazebos, a stocked pond, a historic cabin, beautiful parks, trails and disk golf….not to mention a vibrant, active neighborhood association with lots of events to really pull the community together. I really DON’T think the residents of Wells Branch will be voting to be annexed anytime soon!