Sunday, March 18, 2007

Land Battle ends for Roswell, Milton

Two cities split properties, but deal's like a 'mess'

By PAUL KAPLAN, DOUG NURSE The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Published on: 03/18/07

If you live between Roswell and the city of Milton in northwest Fulton County, you can come out of the house now. The war is over.The two cities have settled their differences and divvied up a three-mile stretch of unincorporated land that sits between them.

Coupled with last year's approval of the new cities of Milton and Johns Creek, the annexation deal between Roswell and Milton for the land south of Arnold Mill Road means the incorporation of north Fulton County is complete.The wheeling and dealing between the two cities ended with boundary lines that will make map makers dizzy.

"The border looks like a total mess over there, but that doesn't bother me," said Rep. Jan Jones (R-Alpharetta), who helped broker the deal. "The border between Roswell and Alpharetta looks like a mess, too, and nobody cleaned that up to make it look nice."The "mess" is the result of the two cities trying to grab the same land for their tax rolls. The process got so frantic late last year that Roswell and Milton both annexed several of the same properties, under differing annexation formulas.

The result was a stalemate, threats of legal action, and some bruised feelings.
In the end, however, they worked out a compromise — and split two of the most coveted properties.Roswell gets Ted Turner's 114-acre spread, a densely wooded tract tucked along a quiet back road.

Milton gets Union Primitive Baptist Church, a little red brick prayer hall built in the 1820s.
The small church property is significant because it connects Milton to several large tracts whose owners wanted to join Milton but couldn't have if the church had gone to Roswell.
A city only can annex land that's contiguous to it, and the church gave Milton contiguity to the larger tracts southwest of the church.

"We got most of what we wanted," Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood said. "We gave a little and they gave a little and we cut a deal."

No comments: