Amarillo, Texas - As Amarillo continues to grow, city leaders look to change its annexation policy.
Planning and zoning staff members are talking with commissioners about changing the philosophy of current annexation plan practices.
They are looking to be more proactive in how they protect the areas that are growing.
Currently Amarillo has a little over 100 square miles within the city limits, and the community is continuing to expand.
In the past, annexations happened if a property owner specifically asked to be annexed.
With so much growth going on right now outside of the city limits, city planning director Kelly Shaw says we need to protect those areas by expanding.
He says, "basically west of Soncy, south of Hollywood, those are some areas that we're really seeing some rapid growth. Some of those areas we might look at very soon. This year, the remainder of this year, and next year."
Many people have negative thoughts about annexation because they think taxes will go way up.
Shaw says, "a lot of those areas that we are looking at are appraised as agricultural land. So the taxes, yes they would be added to the city's tax roll, but the actual amount of revenue on a property that's appraised as agricultural land really isn't significant. So it's not like we would be annexing to generate a lot of revenue."
A main purpose, he says is to protect areas for further growth, not be a revenue producer.