A lot has changed in the 18 years since Dana Stamler moved into his house northeast of Boca Raton in unincorporated Palm Beach County.
“Jog Road used to be one lane in each direction,” he remembered.
Just like the expanded road, Boca Raton may expand its city limits to include Stamler’s house in Newport Bay Club.
“I think the whole perception of Boca Raton is positive; an affluent city,” Stamler said. “I think it could only be good for home values.”
But he and others who live in five neighborhoods the city has targeted have a long list of questions: Will taxes go up? Will police and fire response times change? What services will they gain?
Boca's city council members got a briefing on the annexation Monday. They'll formally start the process Tuesday. It includes two public hearings before residents of the neighborhoods vote on the November ballot whether to be annexed.
Mayor Susan Haynie believes fire and police services would improve in these neighborhoods and throughout the city.
“We’ll be adding additional public safety personal to monitor and patrol these areas. That will bring up the level of service for our current residents,” she pointed out.
As for taxes, the mayor wanted to assure potential new residents their taxes will remain about the same.
“It’ll be about a wash,” she said explaining new residents won’t have to pay a fire and library tax they pay in the county.
The city initiated the annexation process and stands to gain more than $700,000 in new tax revenue every year.
The city targeted five neighborhoods northwest of the city, near Clint Moore and Jog Roads. They are Newport Bay Club, Le Lac, Azura, Fieldbrook Estates and Boniello Acres.
Boniello Acres is the only neighborhood which isn’t gated. Residents there are allowed to have horses, chickens and other livestock on their property. Many wonder how annexation into the city would affect those rules.
It will be up to Stamler and about 700 others to vote in November on whether they'll become part of the city.