Kensington is taking the next step to expand town boundaries.
The motion to send its application to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC) passed unanimously at this week's council meeting, despite protests from several residents in attendance.
Pamela Murray was one of the affected citizens at the meeting.
“Of course, I want to see Kensington grow and prosper, and all the Island, just not at the expense of my tax dollars,” she said.
“I guess we just have to wait and see what happens.”
A Dec. 11 letter sent to affected residents said Kensington has run out of room to grow.
Expanding the boundaries will increase opportunities for future development, provide land use planning and allow more sustainable and environmentally sensitive growth.
A new business park will draw investors to the region, town officials are hoping.
Newly included properties would benefit the Kensington police and fire services right away, as well as public works and the municipality's help with land use planning. Only properties that are physically connected to the town’s water and sewer system would be charged for those services.
Letters were sent to 106 landowners asking for feedback and informing them of the process.
The town received 45 responses, 16 were supportive of the expansion, 29 were not. All 29 sent comments; most said they were not interested in higher taxes for no change in services.
Finally, the larger area would mean a larger tax base that would allow the town offer more services and programs.
Annexed landowners will have four years before they are charged the full municipal tax rates.
If approved, the annexation will take in an additional 106 properties and grow the town’s footprint by 50 per cent. Despite the much larger landmass, the assessed value of land will only increase by 7.8 per cent, according to the consultant’s report.
“If you guys get us into the town, where’s our tax dollars going? What’s it for?” affected resident John Kelly asked.
“All of the revenue goes into the general coffers of the town,” said Kensington Mayor Rowan Caseley.
“We’re looking at the sustainability of the town and we’re looking at expanding the town boundaries to make sure the town stays strong in future.”
Kensington’s application is headed to IRAC for further consideration.