BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho - At an public meeting Wednesday night the Iona Planning and Zoning Commission motioned that City Council approve the annexation of the N'ur subdivision based on state statutes.
Iona's City Council, as well as Mayor Brad Anderson have proposed a forced annexation of the N'ur Subdivision in Bonneville County. It is the only way the city can annex a new 200-home subdivision, Green Valley Estates, just across the street.
Rockwell Homes, the developer of Green Valley Estates, is opposed to such an annexation. Vice President Greg Hansen said Iona once had an chance to annex the new development, but the opportunity had long passed.
"As soon as someone moved into the neighborhood that's not going to work, because those individuals moved in under the premise that they would be part of Bonneville County," said Hansen.
Hansen said it's not only unfair to his customers, but even worse for residents of the N'ur subdivision.
"These folks that live over here in the N'ur subdivision, they've lived here, some of them for over 40 years," said Hansen. "They don't want to be annexed into the city of Iona."
Rosann and Clifford Nealis are a couple who have called the N'ur subdivision home for more than 40 years.
"I see no value in moving into Iona, at all," said Rosann. "None."
The Nealis' said every N'ur landowner met and decided they didn't want to be annexed. However, the forced annexation would give them no choice.
"We don't do these things here," said Rosann. "Just come out and grab somebody's land and restrict everything from them."
The Nealis' said the annexation would restrict the number of livestock on their land, decrease property values and increase their taxes.
"By 30 to 40 percent," said Clifford. "We have a daughter in Iona and she can vouch for what the taxes are."
At the meeting Wednesday night, Hansen informed Iona that Rockwell Homes would not only sue the city if it approved the forced annexation, but sue them for the legal costs after winning.
Local News 8 reached out to Iona mayor Brad Anderson Wednesday afternoon, but our call was not returned.