LAFAYETTE — City-parish government this month will consider annexing more than 100 acres into Lafayette in a continuing effort to extend the city’s boundaries after years of limited expansion.
The City-Parish Council on Tuesday is scheduled to begin consideration of five different annexations totaling 128 acres and then vote on the annexations later this month.
That is on top of 109 acres that the council has already brought into the city, according to figures from the City-Parish Department of Planning, Zoning and Codes.
The annexation push began last year, when the city annexed more than 1,400 acres.
The bulk of the 2010 annexations were for city-owned property that was outside the city limits and 735 acres at the Lafayette Regional Airport.
But the city last year also annexed about 220 acres along the new stretch of Ambassador Caffery Parkway in south Lafayette, sparking an ongoing legal battle with neighbor Broussard, which wanted some of the land Lafayette had annexed.
The recent annexation activity stands in stark contrast to prior years.
There were no annexations in 2008, and the city brought in 11 acres in 2009, according to figures from city-parish government.
Most of the annexations this year have been driven by businesses or residents seeking city amenities, such as curbside recycling, city utilities and access to the city’s fiber-optic Internet, telephone and television service, said Frank Thibeaux, the annexation coordinator in the Planning, Zoning and Codes Department.
“I think there is continued interest in getting municipal services,” Thibeaux said.
City-Parish President Joey Durel has also taken a more active role in annexation issues during the past year, and city-parish government has been doing public outreach to gauge interest in annexation and to make the case for why residents might want to make the switch from country to city.
City residents pay more in property taxes, but Thibeaux said that home insurance rates are generally lower because of the city’s fire and police protection and utilities are often less expensive.
“With the savings they get from other services, it’s basically a wash in many cases,” Thibeaux said.
City-Parish Council Chairman Kenneth Boudreaux said annexations are a critical part of Lafayette’s future growth, especially considering that some smaller municipalities in the parish have been aggressive in expanding toward their larger neighbor.
“Land is the one thing you can’t get any more of,” Boudreaux said.
Boudreaux also said that the city already provides fire and police protection to some pockets of unincorporated areas and that those residents should be urged to come into the city limits to pay the property taxes that support the police and fire departments.
The annexations that the council will consider this month are a mix of commercial and residential properties, with the largest tract being about 85-acres in south Lafayette off of La Neuville Road.
The area includes the Walker’s Lake subdivision, about half of which is already within the city.
Councilman William Theriot, who represents the area, said the remaining residents have differing opinions on the annexation.
If more than 50 percent of the residents in the area sign a petition to be annexed, the council could approve the annexation despite the protests of the other residents.
“That’s a decision the subdivision has to make,” Theriot said.