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Auburn residents file for deannexation from city

WINDER - Three Auburn residents whose properties were forcibly annexed in 2006 filed in January for deannexation.

Violette Lyle and Edgar and Donna Evans, residents of Lyle Road, are petitioning Auburn officials to allow their properties to leave Auburn's city limits. Barrow County's Board of Commissioners will vote Tuesday whether to support the deannexation.

The Board has no legal jurisdiction over the proposed deannexation, County Commission Chairman Doug Garrison said.

"We will publicly go on record," Garrison said. "We didn't feel they should have annexed those properties to start with."

Lyle has lived on her property since 1949 and is adverse to joining a municipality.

"I don't want to be inside any city, it has nothing to do with Auburn," Lyle said. "We do have a farm, animals and manure."

Auburn forcibly annexed 17 properties into the city limits in November 2006 on the grounds those properties were islands of unincorporated Barrow County surrounded on all sides by Auburn's city limits. State law encourages that cities annex those islands and makes it illegal to create more islands, said Jack Wilson, Auburn's attorney.

"Georgia law does not allow the city to deannex your property, since doing so would create (or recreate) an island. This is prohibited by state law," read letters from Wilson to Evans and Lyle.

Auburn originally attempted to annex 25 properties, but eight of those were annexed into the neighboring city of Carl before Auburn officials could take action. Carl does not charge its residents a property tax.

As far as deannexing those properties, Auburn's hands are tied, Mayor Linda Blechinger said.

"We can't, because if we did, it would create islands," she said. "We asked our lawyer to see what we could do for anybody who wanted to be deannexed."

Auburn officials have no plans to vote on the proposed deannexation, Blechinger said, adding that the city did not charge Evans or Lyle the $1,000 filing fee for the deannexation request.

"We did that benevolently," Blechinger said. "We could have taken their money and the result would have been the same."