Fort Wayne City Council is awaiting guidance from Mayor Tom Henry’s office on how to define the proposed annexation process of the La Cabreah neighborhood.
La Cabreah sits partly in Fort Wayne and Allen County, but 161 of its 268 homes are technically located in Huntertown. The proposal to voluntarily annex the remainder of the homes into Fort Wayne earned preliminary approval by city council in July.
But now, there’s a hitch.
In order for the annexation to be defined as “voluntary,” 51 percent of homeowners within the neighborhood must sign a petition indicating their approval. On the day the annexation was brought before the city council, nine residents pulled their signatures at the eleventh hour and thus, technically left the project, without 51 percent of neighborhood support.
If the proposal doesn’t have 51 percent approval from homeowners, it becomes an “involuntary” annexation. Council members expressed concern over the optics of such a distinction to the proposal during their weekly meeting Tuesday.
Council attorney Joe Bonahoom says the only real difference, aside from the distinction itself, is that if the annexation is “involuntary,” the city must hold six public meetings to discuss the proposal. Only three are required in a “voluntary” annexation.
Council has requested the mayor’s office for direction on how to define the project, given the circumstances. A discussion and vote on the annexation is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 23.