by E.I. Hillin
Oklahoma City councilmembers voted on Tuesday to deny an application to de-annex a two-mile portion south of Mustang. The area proposed is south of S.W. 89th Street, east of South Mustang Road, west of South Sara Road, and north of S.W. 119th Street abutting the City of Mustang.
Mustang City Manager Tim Rooney said while the city was ready to take steps to annex the land, the proposal did not come from the city of Mustang.
“This wasn’t anything we were proposing,” Rooney said. “It was applicant driven.”
Crout Companies Land Developers represented the property owners who petitioned for the de-annexation of the land. Those applicants are James Little, trustee of the Margaret Little Family Trust, David Mark II Anderson, Christine Anderson, Steven Robert, Karen Wilson, David Anderson, and Deborah Anderson.
The OKC council vote was 5-4, with support from OKC Mayor Mick Cornett, Ward 3 Councilman Larry McAtee, who represents the area, Councilman Mark Stonecipher, and Councilman Todd Stone.
McAtee described Mustang as a “shoebox” and suggested the council consider how the plot of land in the proposed de-annex was far removed from OKC with no water or sewer services.
“It sits across the street from a city willing to provide those services,” he said.
Although McAtee voiced his approval and stated the de-annex a “win-win situation for everybody,” other council members did not see it that way.
One fear of opposing voters was what the de-annexation could mean for the city’s future. Many voiced concerns approval might set a policy precedent for OKC in regards to bordering cities following suit and petitioning for similar de-annexations. Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid said the vote was the most important decision that has come before him in his six years of serving on the council.
“It would open a door, a mechanism, for similar proposals to sprout up throughout all 620 square miles,” he said.
Another reference used by opposing voters was the benefits verse costs of the proposed de-annexation. According to OKC staff evaluation, the estimated economic benefit to OKC is $70,700 per year in avoided maintenance and public safety service costs. The estimated economic cost to OKC is between $192,000 and $549,000 per year in unrealized revenue from property and sales tax.
Members of the council were open to the idea of a workshop addressing what policy precedent OKC would like to enact in response to proposals like de-annexation. The long process of the de-annexation of land south of Mustang began in April 2015, when land owners petitioned The City of Oklahoma City to de-annex approximately 1,000 acres south of Mustang along the Highway 4 corridor so it could be annexed into the City of Mustang and provided with urban services.
In September of 2016 the OKC Planning Commission held a public hearing on the petition and recommended that the de-annexation be approved with certain conditions related to clarification of rights-of-way and other items that should be made the subject of an agreement between Mustang and OKC.
One of the applicants petitioning for the de-annexation is David Anderson. He said his motive for de-annexation is simple.
“I want to live in Mustang, and I consider myself a Mustang resident,” Anderson said. “It wasn’t that Oklahoma City wasn’t doing something.”
Anderson does live in the Mustang Public School District and serves as commissioner for Canadian County District 2. He said from the point of view of a commissioner, he understands why the OKC council voted against the proposal.
“I think it is wise they are taking this slowly,” he said.