Unusual de-annexation request snubbed by city

Clint Fjarli wants to get out of Medford, but he's not sure the city will let him.

Fjarli has asked Medford officials to de-annex his 17.13-acre industrial complex on Ehrman Road. He annexed into the city in 2009 and regrets the move, in part, because of the high cost of city fees annually compared to the county.

"I just messed up," he said. "It cost $50,000 to be in the city rather than the county."

This is the first time in recent memory that a property owner has requested being de-annexed from the city, and so far city officials have said "no" to the idea.

Fjarli said fees are just one issue.

Another issue is Ehrman Way and Ehrman Circle, which the city says are not up to current city standards for a roadway, even though to the untrained eye, they appear in perfect shape. The city won't accept the roads, nor the maintenance costs, even though Fjarli pays street maintenance fees to the city. Fjarli maintains the roads himself, and Ehrman Way is used by Boise Cascade trucks.

The city determined that Ehrman Way, which is a cul-de-sac and was created when the property fell under Jackson County jurisdiction, is a 1,350-foot long dead-end street, or 900-feet longer than allowed for a cul-de-sac under city code.

So far, city of Medford staff and the City Council have reacted unfavorably towards Fjarli's family's request to de-annex.

City planning staff have recommended against de-annexing, and Senior Planner Kelly Akin referred to Fjarli's request as "jurisdiction shopping."

The City Council, after discussing the issue Thursday, appears ready to pass an upcoming resolution that would basically say "no" to the request for the Fjarli property to leave the city.

— Damian Mann

Read more in Tuesday's paper.

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