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Auburn annexation case settled

AUBURN - The lawsuit between Barrow County and Auburn questioning the legality of November's mass land annexations is over.

The two entities will enter mediation regarding questions about older annexations, said Angela Davis, Barrow County's attorney.

A court-issued consent order supports the county's assertion that Auburn did not follow procedure when the city attempted to annex about a dozen properties against the owners' wishes.

"The court acknowledged Auburn did not do everything properly, like advertising, when they attempted those annexations," Davis said. "They agreed to follow proper procedure from here on out."

Jack Wilson, Auburn's attorney, had no comment.

The consent order changes nothing for those properties owners who are now unwilling Auburn residents, she said.

"The owners can seek deannexation," Davis said. "Unfortunately, deannexations must be approved by the City Council."

There is no time limit on seeking deannexations, according to Davis, meaning those property owners could request deannexation from Auburn after a new mayor and council have taken office.

Paul Jackowski, an attorney to whom questions were directed, did not return calls for information regarding the older annexations over which Auburn and Barrow County will mediate.