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With terms, Crystal River votes to annex Plantation

Many are sure of the addition, but others worry it will create an enclave.

By ELENA LESLEY
Published January 10, 2007


CRYSTAL RIVER - The City Council voted Monday to annex the Plantation Inn and Golf Resort under certain conditions, even though the move might create an enclave.

"Welcome to the city," Mayor Ron Kitchen announced to hotel representatives.

While the Plantation has wanted to annex into the city so it can obtain city sewer service - and Crystal River certainly wants to bring the Plantation within its limits - a small neighborhood that lies between the two has raised concerns about the prospect.

Residents of Harbor Isle don't want to join the city. But city staffers worried that unless the neighborhood agreed to annex, bringing in the Plantation would create an illegal enclave.

City Attorney Anthony Perrone told the council that Crystal River might be able to work around the problem.

"It seems unfair that that little sliver would block us from annexing anything further west," Perrone said.

So he began researching the issue and said that according to recent changes in state law, an annexation can create an enclave if it is approved in advance by the Department of Community Affairs or negotiated with the county.

In the meantime, Perrone is still pursuing a circuit judge's opinion on whether the annexation would indeed create an enclave.

"I'm fairly sure that we will be able to annex" using one of these three methods, he said.

If all should fail, the Plantation will agree to join the city at the time that it becomes contiguous with Crystal River.

Representatives from the county and the city have said they will work together to find a solution to Harbor Isle's reliance on septic tanks.

In other council news:

- Appointments to a Charter Review Committee sparked discussion when Kitchen said he thought the spouses of council members should not hold such positions.

The council appointed Susan Kirk's husband and John Kostelnick's wife to the committee.

- The council passed, on final reading, an ordinance banning the use or sale of fast-release fertilizers in the city.

- A reminder: The theme of the Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend Celebration in Citrus County is "The Color of Love."

Here's the schedule:

Minority business summit: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church, 4221 W Gulf to Lake Highway (State Road 44). No cost. Advance registration is required. Call 220-8154 or 601-4101 or check www.cafcc.net.

Teen summit: 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Crystal River Middle School, 344 NE Crystal St. To register, call the above listed numbers or check the Web site.

Communitywide fellowship service: 5 p.m. Sunday at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church, 4221 W Gulf to Lake Highway (SR 44).

Parade and community celebration: 10 a.m. Monday. Parade begins at Crystal River Middle School and ends near Copeland Park, site of the community celebration.