Annexation comes to a halt

Judge Staci Williams

Any possibility of annexing properties within the city of Mesquite’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) came to halt after Wednesday’s hearing at the Dallas County courthouse.

101st District Court Judge Staci Williams extended the temporary restraining order that was originally granted earlier this month by Kaufman County’s 86th District Court Judge Casey Blair.

In a statement released Wednesday, the city of Mesquite expressed disappointment in the action.

“We are disappointed in the judge’s decision to extend until Dec. 13, 2017 the temporary restraining order forbidding the city from annexing Dallas County properties in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction,” it states. “The city will comply with the court’s order and will continue to zealously defend the city’s actions in court. In addition, to every extent allowed by law, the city will continue to explore alternative options to annexation and increase our efforts to protect the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction from harmful and unlawful activities.”

This ruling comes before Senate Bill 6 goes into effect on Friday. The new law requires landowner or voter approval of annexations in the state’s largest counties, those with 500,000 people or more, and in counties that opt in to the bill through a petition and election process, according to the Texas Municipal League.

“The case is still going forward, they are going to try to file a motion with the court questioning our standing to file suit,” Attorney Tracy Gray said.

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