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City switches gears, approves annexation

Last night the Sunnyside City Council reconsidered and approved the annexation of Sunnyview Park and property owned by Gregg Marrs.

On Nov. 22, dairymen opposed to the annexation provided testimony as to why the annexation should not be approved and council sided with them by a 4-3 vote.

Last night, however, a brief discussion between the council members ended with a vote of 4-3 approving the annexation.

Among the dairymen opposing the annexation was Joe Rollinger and his brother Chuck.

Changing his vote was Mayor Jim Restucci, who said he wrestled with the decision. He said, "I can't, at the end of the day, see how it hurts the Rollingers."

He added that he sees a failure to approve the annexation as harming the city of Sunnyside.

Councilman Don Vlieger voted in favor of the annexation at the earlier meeting and again last night. He said last night, "I respect property rights, and the dairymen's right to use their land as they see fit. I also believe Blueline (owned by Marrs) has the right to use their property as they see fit."

Councilman Tom Gehlen continued to be against the annexation, stating he believes the city of Sunnyside should respect the wishes of property owners neighboring the properties that might be annexed.

Councilman Pablo Garcia said he believes in respecting property owners, "but I first voted to approve (the annexation) because there is no perceived harm to the Rollingers and neighboring property owners." He voted in favor of the annexation both last night and at the Nov. 22 meeting.

Councilwoman Theresa Hancock pointed out Sunnyview Park and the property owned by Marrs will not be rezoned, therefore no direct changes in use will be made with the annexation.

She voted in favor of the annexation and said she feels the city's decision to annex the property will help protect the Rollingers, instead. She believed the protection is provided because the city will be able to regulate how the property owned by Marrs and the city is used.

A final vote on the annexation was taken and Gehlen, Deputy Mayor Nick Paulakis and Councilman Mike Farmer dissented.

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