The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Magnolia, February 23 – Residents of Woodlane subdivision were recently baffled when they received a letter that their property is part of a proposed annexation by the Westwood Magnolia Parkway Improvement District (WMPID), which intends to annex additional commercial area during the 87th Texas Legislative Session in Austin. While WMPID only annexes commercial properties at the present time, there are a few residential properties in the proposed annexation, because “we believe those properties should become commercial due to planned development,” WMPID Executive Director Rob Eissler told The Golden Hammer yesterday.
Some of the residential properties exist in the beautiful and quiet Woodlane subdivision just to the west of F.M. 2978 with huge lots, beautiful forest, and quiet streets. Unfortunately for the individuals who reside in that subdivision’s southwest quadrant, they live very close to Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley’s beloved Wood Trace Boulevard Extension (WBX), Riley’s replacement for the Woodlands Parkway Extension (WPX), which voters defeated in the May, 2015, bond election.
WBX or WPX are critical to Riley’s planned commercial development, to his campaign coffers, and to the wallets of his largest political contributors, because the demographic studies supporting the issuance of bonds for the TX-249 Tollway, also known as the “Decimation of Hope Highway,” depended upon a means to bring substantial traffic from The Woodlands over to the tollroad. Riley clearly will do anything to make the Decimation of Hope Highway profitable, as it is currently losing enormous amounts of money each month.
Residential properties, such as that of Mark and Denise Lackey at 30511 Vickie Lane in Magnolia, are sacrifices Riley clearly is willing to make to support the coffers of his tollroad and of his political contributors who believe they depend upon its success. The Lackeys received a letter from WMPID informing them they would become part of the special taxing district, which collects tax dollars through sales taxes rather than through property taxes.
Ginger Russell, the elected Republican Precinct Chair for the Woodlane Area and the appointed Area Chair for the Montgomery County Republican Party, had some choice words for Riley. “This situation with the extension of that unnecessary road and the destruction of the peacefulness of the Lackey’s quiet home is another example of Charlie Riley not caring a hoot about residential taxpayers and always favoring the commercial developers who are his true constituents,” Russell told this newspaper. “I’m horrified to think of what will happen to the Lackeys’ beautiful home.
The Lackeys’ home does sit in a unique area, as they are very close to where the WBX construction is occurring. WMPIX Executive Director Eissler said, “It’s a real advantage for homes to be in our District. They’ll receive extra police protection, because we have four full-time Sheriff’s Deputies assigned to our territory. They’ll also be exempt from annexation by the City of Conroe under the District’s inter-local agreement with the city.”
Eissler stressed that the Lackeys may opt out of the annexation by contacting him before the Texas Legislature takes action. “We are currently just trying to fill in holes in commercial territory, so that the District’s jurisdiction is contiguous,” Eissler explained.
The precise location of the Lackeys’ property and its proximity to WBX appears in the following map.