Fruitvale annexation drive ramping up
Effort also includes Clifton; petition now being circulated
Efforts to annex Fruitvale into Grand Junction are heating up.
Mesa County is ready to start a whirlwind round of meetings that will coincide with a petition drive. A committee working to annex Clifton and Fruitvale into Grand Junction decided Wednesday night that initial efforts will focus on an area north and west of Interstate 70 Business Loop, south of Interstate 70 and east of 31 Road.
The push is the first of three planned efforts in the coming months to phase in the annexation of Fruitvale and Clifton. Mesa County is proposing to ask residents, first in Fruitvale and then in Clifton, to sign a petition if they want to be annexed into Grand Junction. The petition is limited to property owners. Renters in Fruitvale and Clifton do not have a vote.
The petitions will be circulated in three phases. The county is beginning its efforts in Fruitvale because surveys of residents there, done by the county at neighborhood meetings, showed Fruitvale residents view annexation into Grand Junction favorably.
Tentatively, the county has scheduled three public meetings for Oct. 7, 13 and 15 to discuss the petition drive. Times and meeting locations have not been determined. Petitions will be available at those meetings for residents to sign.
The county aims to circulate the petitions and have them submitted to the city for its review by Dec. 1, said Jon Peacock, Mesa County administrator.
State law allows 180 days from the date the first signature is collected to submit the petition to the city clerk.
According to state law, there are three ways to annex:
• The petition method, chosen by Mesa County for the Fruitvale area, requires 50 percent of the property owners, who represent 50 percent of the land, to approve of the annexation in order for the petition to be submitted to the city for its review.
• State law allows for an election where residents, not just landowners, may vote.
• There is also an allowance for a unilateral annexation of an enclave or land owned by a municipality.