County sets new municipal boundaries with spots joining and exiting reserve


Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
Residents along a short dirt road raised enough dust Tuesday night to get moved into Gainesville's urban reserve area as the Alachua County Commission set new municipal boundaries.
Meanwhile, residents of the Rochelle community got their wish to be taken out of Gainesville's reserve and Evinston out of Micanopy's.
The commission's approval of the maps for each city Tuesday night was part of a two-year process of revising the county's boundary adjustment act. The new lines will be in effect for the next five years.
"This has not been the easiest task," Commission Chairman Lee Pinkoson said. "We'll see you again the next time around."
The boundary adjustment act sets the urban reserve areas and extraterritorial areas. The act is designed to efficiently provide urban services and ensure that areas are not annexed until municipal services are provided. It is reviewed every five years.
Urban reserves are the zones around cities that they will eventually be able to annex. Extraterritorial areas are zones set for future consideration for inclusion into a city's urban reserve.
Each city proposed its reserve and extraterritorial area. The county then drew up recommended boundaries that sorted out conflicts between the cities.
Much of the debate centered on NW 93rd Avenue and Rochelle, a community east of Gainesville off Hawthorne Road.
Currently 93rd Avenue is in Gainesville's urban reserve. However, it was placed in Alachua's in the proposed map.
About 60 property owners live on the graded road. A petition showed that more than half want to be in Gainesville's reserve. Several said Gainesville can offer better services.
"I feel the services that can be provided by the city of Gainesville are much stronger just based on financial resources," Richard Gorman said.
Two residents spoke in favor of being in Alachua's reserve, one saying she represented about 10 other residents.
"This is about planning and efficiency," Virginia Johns said. "We are in favor of being in Alachua."
Alachua city officials lobbied to have 93rd Avenue in the city but county commissioners said that it appeared a majority wanted to side with Gainesville and voted for that.
A sizable contingent from Rochelle attended the meeting, marked by their yellow signs reading "Rochelle Says No!!!!!" in black letters.
Residents said they do not want their rural heritage compromised by being in an urban reserve.
"We'd like to preserve our small, quiet, historic, rural community and its setting for quality outdoor life," said resident Gladys S. Wright.
"We are not urban in character. Our proud heritage is rural and we love it."
The final map approved by the commission leaves Rochelle out of an urban reserve. Commissioners also excised Grove Park from Hawthorne's reserve and Evinston from Micanopy's.
Commissioner Mike Byerly said Hawthorne and Micanopy are not currently providing the urban service of police protection to their own residents, so their urban reserve should not be expanded.
Micanopy officials did not try to retain Evinston but did ask commissioners to expand their urban reserve northward. Officials added they have been discussing paying the sheriff's office for patrols.

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