In or Out...Mount Washington mapping boundaries

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By Alex Wimsatt

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - Folks in certain areas of Mount Washington's Autumn Glen and Twelve Oaks subdivisions may be surprised to find that they they don't actually live in the city. 

At least not according to the Kentucky Secretary of State's office. 

During the last regular meeting of the Mount Washington City Council, city officials shared that due to a discrepancy between the state's and the city's land records, portions of Autumn Glen and Twelve Oaks are deemed "unmappable" by the state and thus not recognized as part of the city.

"If they can't map it they don't include it," said assistant city attorney Matthew Lemme.The first property encompasses nearly 24 acres just off Highway 44 East along the east side of Bleemel Lane near the northwest corner of Autumn Glen. The second is nearly 63 acres within Twelve Oaks. 

As Lemme explained, the two areas were annexed into the city years ago, but because the secretary of state's office could find no record of the properties the city must reincorporate them. 

The city is also required to submit descriptions of the properties prepared by a professional surveyor along with aerial maps depicting the parcels as closed geometric figures with specific descriptions of every line. 

More than a year ago local surveyor John St. Clair began reviewing annexations deemed unmappable by the state.

One by one he has updated the legal descriptions of each unrecognized annexation and the council has passed resolutions adopting the amended descriptions. 

City officials discovered that many annexations were not recognized last year when they began compiling information to challenge 2010 U.S. Census figures, which showed the city’s population decreased by over 2,900 people from 2009 estimates.

After comparing the city’s maps with the Census Bureau’s, city officials found that several densely populated areas, including entire neighborhoods within the city limits, were left out of the Census Bureau’s map simply because the state's records didn't recognize them.

While the council has since passed 31 resolutions updating the legal descriptions of prior annexations, members had not encountered an instance where the secretary of state's office had no record of an annexation until now.

In order to comply with Kentucky Revised Statutes the council has taken up two ordinances declaring the city's intent to re-annex the Autumn Glen and Twelve Oaks properties. 

Lemme emphasized that while the ordinances would allow the city to get the proper information to the secretary of state's office, they essentially mean nothing to the residents who live within the properties described in the ordinance. 

"They're still in the city," he said. "They will still enjoy the benefits of being city residents. That's not going to change."

A special meeting of the Mount Washington City Council will be held at the City Hall Annex Building on Wednesday, Sept. 26 for second reading of the re-annexation ordinances. 

The meeting begins at 6:30. The public is invited.