Minute-long meeting shifts 18 acres from City to County

Emerson City Council approves Bevil Ridge Road de-annexation

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Calling to mind a beloved Southern expression, Monday’s Emerson City Council meeting was quicker than a hiccup — from opening to adjournment, the entire meeting lasted less than 60 seconds.

As Emerson Mayor Al Pallone noted, the special-called meeting was more of a formality than anything else. Indeed, no residents were in attendance for the pre-vote public hearing on the de-annexation of a parcel along Bevil Ridge Road, which was approved unanimously by the council.

“It was really a paperwork exercise,” Pallone said.

One member of the council, Donnie Bagwell, was not present for Monday’s meeting.

A first reading on the proposal to transfer the property along Bevil Ridge Road — which juts off Old Old Alabama Road and connects with Puckett Road — from City jurisdiction to Bartow County jurisdiction was held Feb. 25. 

Per Emerson Assistant City Manager Todd Heath, property owners requested the de-annexation to swap land with an adjacent property owner. 

“Our zoning does not allow for parcels that don’t have road frontages and the proposed parcel that they were wanting to create with the swap would not have had any frontage on Bevil Ridge Road,” he explained. “The County doesn’t have the same regulations, so we saw as one of the options for them to complete that land swap would be to de-annex.”

Heath said the proposed parcel is about 18 acres in total.

“So you wouldn’t be able to drive from the public roadway on to this parcel without crossing private property,” he said. “We, at the City, don’t allow that. All of our parcels must have road frontage … now, once they’re in the County, they can subdivide and swap their land and the parcel that they’re wanting to swap will not have to be adjacent to Bevil Ridge Road.”

Heath said he expects the economic impact of the de-annexation to be negligible.

“It’s one single-family home that was de-annexed,” he said, “so it's minimal.”

Pallone likewise said the de-annexation would hardly impact the municipality’s bottom line — that is, if it impacts the City's finances at all.

“It wasn’t a very large plot of land,” he said, “it will be zero, there’s really no economic impact.”