Harg-area residents decided Tuesday night to petition against Billy Sapp’s latest 169-acre voluntary annexation proposal.
Members of the Harg Area Residents for Responsible Growth said at a meeting that Sapp’s scaled-down proposal is nothing but a steppingstone to accomplish his initial plan.
“It would be silly to let this go in,” group spokeswoman Renee Richmond said. “It’s the same development. They haven’t taken account of our concerns.”
The group successfully petitioned against Sapp’s initial 965-acre annexation proposal in early February.
Before the group announced its decision, Billy Sapp and spokesman Don Stamper spoke to it about the new and the old proposal.
“I was born and raised in Boone County,” Sapp said. “I’m trying to build a quality project.”
Later in the meeting, Sapp expressed frustrations at how easy it is to block a voluntary annexation.
Under state law, the group could kill the new plan if the petition is signed by 2 percent of Columbia registered voters.
When a voluntary annexation is stopped, involuntary annexation can be pursued if 15 percent of the land is contiguous to the city. Sapp’s new proposal does not meet that standard.
Richmond passed out petitions at the meeting to members who will begin collecting signatures this week. She said the group wants to submit the petition to the city by March 21.