Oak Ridge North considers possible annexation for commercial development

The City of Oak Ridge North is considering annexing two separate tracts of land on the east side of the city that may be used for future retail and office development.

City Manager Vicky Rudy said there is a tract of land behind City Hall, located at 27424 Robinson Road, which had been owned by a homeowner for several years. The developer of the adjacent Compadre's Texas Cafe recently purchased the tract with the plan to develop the land into retail and office space, Rudy said.

Rudy told the City Council at a meeting March 25 that was the only remaining tract of land which could be annexed without annexing Robinson Road and Hanna Road. The same developer also owns a tract of land along Robinson Road east of the railroad tracks, but the city cannot annex the land without first annexing Robinson Road.

The City Council expressed concern with the maintenance of Robinson and Hanna roads, because Montgomery County currently maintains them. The city may be required to maintain the roads if it were to take ownership. Rudy said she has not spoken with Montgomery County representatives yet, but said there could be future development benefits along the two roadways if the City chose to annex them.

"That's a decision for council, and if they want to take advantage of economic development, then there's a lot of benefit to it," Rudy said.

She said she would contact the county and hopes to bring information to council at an upcoming meeting in April. The city cannot forcefully annex property without a petition, Rudy said.