You’re the Town of Haymarket, a quaint community in western Prince William County, and your population doubled in the last decade, from 879 to 1,782, but you’re less than one square mile in size. You need some leg room.
So Haymarket’s going for a straight-up land grab from Prince William. It’s called annexation, and it was common back in the days when maybe boundaries weren’t quite set in stone, with groups of folks who wanted to be part of one area instead of another. Less so in the last couple centuries. But here, according to a letter from the Town Council reported by Keith Walker on InsideNova.com, Haymarket just wants more land because of a “need to expand its tax resources” and “a need to obtain land for industrial or commercial use.” Yeah, we all have those needs. But do we suddenly go grabbing a piece of the county?
Neither the article nor the town’s Web site indicate exactly which boundary Haymarket wants to push further out. But there’s a Wal-Mart, and a Kohl’s now under construction and Prince William Hospital just outside the town’s west side, so that would be a nice little commercial pickup for Haymarket. (NOTE: This story has been updated to note that the Wal-Mart and Kohl’s are under construction, not currently existing.)
Prince William has told Haymarket to go pound sand, Walker reports. Annexation wouldn’t enhance anyone’s services, it’s not being sought by any disaffected Prince William residents, and it would raise taxes, county spokesman Jason Grant said. That would seem to be a trifecta of no.
But Haymarket Councilman Bob Weir (not the Grateful Dead guitarist) sounded pretty confident that they could take their claim to the state court system and they’d have a “98 percent likelihood” of winning an annexation suit, Walker reported.
So, Weir said, Prince William needed to let that deal go down or “When it’s all said and done and we win the annexation suit...It’s just going to cost the county $1 million” in legal fees.
Well. Some Prince Williamites have suggested that an alternative might be to disband Haymarket, if they are in dire financial straits. Trouble ahead, trouble behind, the Dead might say. We’ll see what notion crosses a Prince William judge’s mind, if Haymarket really takes that route.
InsideNova’s full story is here. Here’s a map showing Haymarket:
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