After a lengthy report from staff and a long discussion from Councilmembers, the Galt City Council at their teleconference meeting on Oct. 6 voted 3-0 to annex the county island property planned for the Fairway Oaks development. Councilmembers Paige Lampson and Shawn Farmer recused themselves due to conflicts of interest; both Councilmembers live within 500 feet of the property.

On Aug. 4, council approved the subdivision map for the development but tabled the annexation until staff could address area residents’ concerns. Mayor Paul Sandhu thanked staff for a more clearly presented report.

City Clerk Tina Hubert read public comments from 10 residents with their thoughts on the annexation. Most were from residents within the county island who opposed annexation. Some were residents of Creekside with varied opinions on annexation. Some were in favor of annexation but many on both sides of the annexation wrote about their concerns with Ranch Road being a link to Highway 99, fearing it as a safety issue.

Dale and LaRonda Templeton live inside what was the county island. They chronicled many problems they’ve had over the years dealing with the city. Their letter stated they fear losing many freedoms as rural residents.

Council also heard from staff that asked for approval of a Community Facilities District (CFD) for the Liberty Ranch development. The 504-acre parcel is mostly planned for residential homes, and lies between Twin Cities to the north and the Union Pacific rails to the south and is bordered by Cherokee Lane to the east and Marengo Road to the west. There will be 12.6 acres dedicated to commercial development, 16.6 acres of parks, 44.5 acres of open space and landscaping, with 65+ acres of public/quasi public areas.

The council approved a special election and, once sealed votes were opened, Hubert reported it passed. The special tax for the CSD will be capped at 1.9% of each home’s value.

Sandhu and other Councilmembers made it clear that the special tax would only pertain to owners within the Liberty Ranch development.

Public Works Director Michael Selling asked Council to approve a contract agreement with GHD consultants for the Walnut Avenue/Highway 99 interchange project for a total of $503,000, with a first appropriation of $359,000.

Selling said GHD would be working on preparing project initiation documentation, conceptual alternatives, traffic analysis, public outreach, workshops, city council direction, determination on right-of-way needs, preliminary cost estimates, interchange spacing design, preliminary environmental analysis and preparing a project study report.

“The sooner we start, the less it will cost,” Selling said.

The motion was approved 5-0.

Council approved the pre-zoning of the 58-acre Summerfield project 4-1, with Farmer voting “no.”

Council appointed Mary Maaga and Jessica Hill as adult mentors to the Youth Commission.

Nearly an hour of the meeting was spent during public comment, as residents of Oberlin Drive voiced their concerns about a home and its occupants.

Resident Daniel Mariani sent an email about the residents of 241 Oberlin Drive, which he said he and neighbors believed were selling illegal drugs at all hours of the day and night. He said he was aware of more than 100 calls being placed to the police and other agencies regarding the home.

His letter read that, in August [2016], the home at the time was completely destroyed by fire because of “massive hoarding and accumulation of junk.” He said, once again, there are many inoperable vehicles parked round the house and on the front lawn, and junk is visible from the street. He asked the city to consider the safety and health of the neighbors that have to live next to unsafe conditions, and compel the owner to clean up his property.