Tiptoeing around a family squabble, the Cottonwood City Council moved forward on a request to annex more than 567 acres.
Rancher Andy Groseta offered the land for incorporation, saying, "We just thought it was time given what’s going on in the Valley." The chunk of property also includes about 40 acres the City previously acquired from Groseta as part of the wastewater project.
However, George Groseta was on hand to protest the annexation. He told the council that Andy, his brother, was suing him over the property ownership. Andy Groseta is the trustee of the land, but George said he is also an individual owner and a beneficiary of the trust.
George Groseta also said his mother knew nothing about the annexation offer.
"The city doesn’t need permission at this point from the landowners," City Manager Brian Mickelsen pointed out.
The council voted unanimously to file a blank petition with the county recorder. The majority of the landowners affected, which also includes some utility companies, must sign the petition before the city can take further action.
The land in question includes five parcels in the Groseta Family Trust and one parcel of 133 acres with W Dart LLP. The property within the annexation area is south and west of the current city boundary.
The council had planned to hear the final reading of an ordinance annexing less than 20 acres east of Arizona 260. Known as the Mongini annexation proposal, it includes six parcels on either side of the APS facility.
Mickelsen said a new provision in state law had been overlooked, however, and needed to be addressed first. According to law, municipalities must adopt a resolution on how it will serve a newly annexed area with infrastructure.
That resolution would be adopted at the same time as the annexation. Mickelsen asked the council to table the annexation ordinance until a resolution could be drawn up.