The City of Sylvania has again withdrawn a petition to force the annexation of a residential area of Sylvania Township into the city.

This time, the city withdrew its petition during a meeting of the Lucas County commissioners meant to decide whether to approve the petitionor deny it.

In December, the city withdrew the petition to annex the properties about 90 minutes prior to the county commissioners’ meeting which could have resulted in a decisive vote on the long-simmering issue.

The issue last December was the city’s failure to properly advertise the public hearing. The most recent withdrawal dealt with the critical issue of the number of valid signatures on the petition for annexation.

A majority of those directly effected by the annexation of an area must sign a petition seeking annexation.

Richard Malone, an attorney for the township, said he had earlier informed the city that they did not have a sufficient number of valid signatures.

He said there are a number of issues, such as some signatures no longer being valid because they were signed more than 180 days ago, or in some instances someone has signed as a trustee,
but without any documentation of that person’s authority as a trustee.

Mr. Malone said the process can’t seem to get to the point of whether an annexation of the 33 properties in the Country Walk
subdivision has benefits which outweigh detriments to the site and the surrounding area.

He said that is a point which must be shown before commissioners can approve the forced annexation.

An earlier public hearing by the Lucas County commissioners on the issue had township officials and residents unanimously rejecting the annexation attempt.

The City of Sylvania contends that in exchange for water service, residents signed a paper promising to sign a petition favoring annexation.

At the earlier public hearing residents complained that annexation would make them subject to municipal income tax and that they were satisfied with township services. They contended the city of Sylvania would provide improvement.

Residents termed the move by he city a “money grab,” and said the value of their homes would drop as a result of homeowners
becoming liable for the municipal income tax.

At the most recent hearing, Sheila McAdams, an attorney representing the city of Sylvania, argued that the city should be granted a continuance to file an amendment to the petition to “cure procedural defects.”

After the commissioners unanimously voted against granting a continuance, Leslie Brinning, Sylvania law director, apologized to the commissioners and said she was withdrawing the petition.

City officials reportedly indicated they would resume the process of seeking to annex the properties.

Before that issue was dealt with, county commissioners did approve the annexation of nearly two acres at Brint and Holland-Sylvania roads into the city of Sylvania from Sylvania Township.

It is the site of the former Village Inn which is currently being renovated, Oliver Turner, township administrator, told county commissioners that after the city of Sylvania filed their annexation
petition for that property he reached out to the city.

He said he proposed the opportunity of perhaps establishing the area as a Joint Economic Development project, but the city failed to respond.

Mr. Turner said he would rather be working on cooperative efforts with the city of Sylvania than continuing to fight
annexation battles.


Written by:  Mike Jones, Public Information Officer

Published Date:  February 26, 2020

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