Sedgwick County commissioners reject Valley Center de-annexation motion

Valley Center has provided adequate services to residents of the Ranchos Del Rio first and second housing additions, Sedgwick County commissioners ruled Wednesday.

Despite a petition signed by more than 90 percent of homeowners in the subdivisions, commissioners voted 3-2 to not de-annex the areas. Commissioner Richard Ranzau made a motion to de-annex the properties, and Commissioner Karl Peterjohn seconded it. Commissioners Tim Norton, Jim Skelton and Dave Unruh voted to find in favor of the city and not de-annex.

Their vote is another chapter in the longstanding conflict between the city of Valley Center and residents of the housing additions, who said roads and other services were in better condition before the city annexed the properties.

Residents of the housing additions on West Street between 77th and 81st streets said service was lacking and petitioned the county to de-annex them, which would have made them an unincorporated part of the county.

State law gives counties the responsibility of deciding whether cities and towns can annex land. It also gives counties the responsibility of deciding whether a town is providing services, such as roads and police protection, to the neighborhoods it has annexed.

County commissioners ruled in October 2010 that Valley Center had not provided adequate services after it had annexed the properties five years earlier. The 2010 ruling started the clock on de-annexation. State law says that after such a ruling, property owners can petition to be de-annexed 2 1/2 years later.

Owners did so, complaining about roads, streetlights, animal control and other issues.