Belton City Hall

Belton City Hall

The city of Belton will renew a series of non-annexation development agreements following City Council approval on Tuesday.

“Non-annexation development agreements allow property owners to remain in the city’s (extraterritorial jurisdiction) only if their property is exempt in accordance with state law by being limited in use to agricultural, timber or wildlife management,” Planning Director Bob van Til said in a staff report.

When 50 non-annexation development agreements were approved on Nov. 22, 2016 — a month prior to the annexation of 543 acres — 35 of the agreements were scheduled to expire five years later.

However, the other 15 were scheduled to expire on Nov. 22, 2026, according to the city of Belton.

“Since that time, some properties have been sold or combined, but many have remained unchanged,” van Til said. “The remaining 28 parcels (could) receive an extension of their non-annexation development agreements.”

The planning director highlighted how these agreements can provide an important “balance of interests” between the city of Belton and property owners.

“Properties remain outside the city while no development is planned but if development is contemplated, the city has an opportunity to evaluate annexation, given surrounding conditions,” van Til said.

In June, City Council expressed its favorability of extending eligible non-annexation development agreements.

“Rather than initiating annexation or allowing the agreements to expire, the council’s consensus was to extend all the eligible non-annexation development agreements for another five-year term,” van Til said.

That sentiment has remained.

“We set this up a long time ago, so I think for those that are living up to their agreement that we extend,” Councilman David K. Leigh said when the agenda item was approved on Tuesday. “I think that’s pretty easy.”