TOP STORY > >Gravel Ridge annexed again
Leader staff writer
After three elections and an annexation ordinance, Sherwood still needed to approve one more ordinance to bring the community of Gravel Ridge into the city.
Now Gravel Ridge will officially become part of Sherwood on May 8 after the proper legal paperwork is filed with the secretary of state.
Monday night, the council unanimously approved an ordinance that verified the first ordinance and the election results, gave the legal description of the 2,500 acres taken in and split Gravel Ridge’s political base between two wards.
Part of Gravel Ridge went to Ward 1, whose aldermen are Becki Vassar and Charles Harmon, and the remaining portion of Gravel Ridge was put into Ward 2, whose aldermen are Butch Davis and David Henry.
The ordinance also states that all of Gravel Ridge will be placed under rules and regulations of single-family home (R-1) zoning until the city council has time to update the Sherwood zoning map.
This means any plans for apartments or commercial developments will have to seek special approval and variances before going through thenormal approval process.
On April 1, Gravel Ridge residents voted overwhelmingly to become part of Sherwood instead of Jacksonville, bringing to an end a four-month effort by both Jacksonville and Sherwood to annex the community of 3,500.
According the Pulaski County Election Commission, 632 residents, or 74 percent, voted to join Sherwood, while 221, or 26 percent, voted to become part of Jacksonville.
“We are so excited to have our neighbors in Gravel Ridge joining us,” said Sherwood Mayor Virginia Hillman.
That appreciation was emphasized in section four of the ordinance, which states “the city council extends its gratitude to the citizens of Gravel Ridge and welcomes them into the city of Sherwood.”
Jacksonville was the first to vote to annex Gravel Ridge back in December and set a February election date. Sherwood soon followed suit and set a March election vote.
When cities initiate annexation procedures as Jacksonville and Sherwood did, both the city and the affected area must vote on the issue.
Jacksonville’s annexation vote—which included Jacksonville and Gravel Ridge voters only—was Feb. 5. In that election, 66 percent of the votes were for the annexation, and 34 percent were against annexation, but about 70 percent of the Gravel Ridge voters were against the idea.
Sherwood’s vote to annex Gravel Ridge—which included Sherwood and Gravel Ridge voters only—was March 11.
In that election, 82 percent of the votes were for annexation and 18 percent were against. Even the Gravel Ridge residents approved of the annexation.