Process to alter BLR annexation agreement begins

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The process of changing the nearly 30-year-old Banning Lewis Ranch annexation agreement has begun.

TischlerBise, an economic impact firm, presented its findings Tuesday to City Council showing the city has been a big loser to development skipping over BLR over the years because of the city's annexation requirements.

The study also showed the 18,000-acre ranch could be a bonanza for jobs and new construction in the next 30 years.

For example, Carson Bise, president of the consultancy, said long term impact could total $41.7 billion.
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Missing from the presentation was any analysis of what BLR will cost the citizens in the way of roads, police and fire stations, utility extensions and other public infrastructure.

Councilor Jill Gaebler expressed frustration that Council was given the presentation just moments before it began. "I’m sure I will have questions, but right now I haven’t had time to absorb this information," she said.

Councilor Bill Murray slammed the study, saying, "This thing is just made up." He wondered whether the data was based on the current master plan or one the Council hasn't seen.

"As far as Im’m concerned, we can shelve this thing and go back to square one, because we don’t know what’s going to be built," he said.

Councilor Andy Pico chastised Murray, saying his comments were "inappropriate and out of line."

"There's a lot more information that will come," Pico said. "Just wait and you’ll get it.
I urge a little bit of patience and restraint. The analysis is based on the current master plan; it is based on potential changes and what the impact is."

Turns out, Pico and Councilor Tom Strand have been meeting for at least six months with city staff and developers about the study and the annexation agreement and simply haven't briefed Council, for which Strand apologized.

No specific calendar was unveiled for how and when Council will make any decisions on altering the annexation agreement, though city officials said public meetings will be held. For a history of that area, which comprises roughly a third of the city and lies to the east of Powers Boulevard, go here.

Find the TischlerBise report here:

See related PDF 7.C._CS_EIA_City_Council_.pdf

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