The property is owned by Becky Werth and has existing businesses
on site. The request is being made contingent upon an accompanying
application to the Lincoln Zoning Board of Appeals for the placement
of a billboard on the property. If the application for the billboard
is denied, the request for annexation will be withdrawn.
The property in question is the business location for Werth Realty,
the Hearing Aid Center, and the Gun Shop. Those businesses are
located in a single building with the front doors facing north and
looking onto Woodlawn Road. Behind the business building, there is a
self-storage unit going in an east to west direction. To the west of
that storage unit is a second unit going in a north to south
The request being made to the zoning board will be to place a
billboard at the north end of the far west storage unit. According
to a conversation with City Administrator Clay Johnson after the
meeting, the county codes for allowing a billboard are much more
restrictive than the codes of the city. The property owner is making
the request for annexation because it was likely that the county
would not approve the request for the billboard.
On Tuesday night, Johnson told the council that the annexation was a
“voluntary annexation,” which meant that the approval of the
billboard was part of the deal. The city does have the option to do
a “non-voluntary annexation,” in which case the matter of the
billboard would have no effect on the decision.
When the floor opened for discussion, Todd Mourning asked if the
location of the new billboard would be in compliance with the rules
concerning distance between two billboards. Johnson said the rule
was billboards could be no closer than 300 feet apart, and the
distance between the proposed billboard and the nearest existing
billboard exceeded that distance.
Mourning said he was in favor of the annexation, but not necessarily
in favor of the billboard.
Rick Hoefle asked if the billboard would be used for advertising
Werth’s business. She said that it would not. She plans to lease the
advertising space to another entity.
Hoefle and Mourning both had questions about the city services that
come with annexation. Werth told the council that currently her
business building has city water, but a private sewer. Mourning
wondered if the city would have to provide the sewer if the property
were annexed. Johnson said yes, but not right away. He added that
more than likely, adding the business to the city sewer system would
involve installing another lift station, which he said would cost
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Mourning then asked about the property tax capture. City Treasurer Chuck Conzo
said that, yes, the city would be able to claim its share of the property tax
when annexation was completed. He said property tax is currently $710 per year,
but the figure would increase with the addition of the billboard.
Conzo also noted that the city would be able to capture the sales tax collected
from the gun shop and the hearing aid business.
Tracy Welch asked if there was any sales tax involved in the leasing of the sign
and was told there would not be.
Conzo speculated that there could be a residual effect. If the advertising on
the billboard is for a local business, it could increase sales for that
business, which in turn would increase sales tax revenue for the city.
Finally, Werth was asked if she had any other development plans for the
property, and she responded that she did not at this time.
It was decided that the item could be placed on the agenda for a vote. Johnson
told the council that there were official notices that needed to be published
regarding the annexation. To allow time for those notices, he recommended that
the item be placed on the February 1st agenda instead of the agenda for this
The Lincoln City Council will hold its Monday night voting session on Tuesday
this week, due to the Martin Luther King Holiday.