Tyler, Lindale reach territorial agreement

A years-long territory dispute between Tyler and Lindale ended Wednesday after both communities agreed to give and take for the sake of orderly growth.

The new agreement essentially reduces portions of Tyler’s extraterritorial jurisdiction and gives it to Lindale. That land is viewed as an area for future planning and development but does not alter city limits.

Both communities are in Smith County.

Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass said it is only fair to avoid a land-lock situation that stifles Lindale’s growth.

“This is for the greater good of the residents in our county,” the mayor said, praising efforts taken to reach a compromise. “There is a very significant area that we’re giving up. We’re agreeing to not come across those boundaries.”

Tyler’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, because it has more residents, extends five miles outside its city limits, while Lindale’s extends just one mile.

As Tyler and Lindale experienced booming growth in recent years, their boundaries started butting into one another and overlapping, officials said.

The new agreement resolves that issue for the next several years.

“This agreement is great for East Texas; it’s great for Tyler and it’s great for Lindale,” Lindale Mayor Jim Mallory said.

Lindale City Council members approved the agreement late Tuesday; Tyler’s council agreed to it early Wednesday.

Although both sides “probably wanted more than what they got,” Mallory said the agreement makes a lot of sense for a lot of people.

“It’s good for business, and so it’s good for East Texas,” he said.

Tyler City Manager Mark McDaniel agrees.

“This has been a long time coming,” he said. “These discussions have been on and off for years … This gives an understanding of where growth might be and allows us to set the stage for it.”

In the boundary settlement, Lindale gains the southeast corner of the Interstate 20 and U.S. Highway 69 intersection.

Lindale has developed an industrial park on the south side of the interstate and a business park on the north side.

From the future Loop 49, Lindale is to maintain interstate frontage that extends slightly west and then east of Hideaway Lake to U.S. 69.

Lindale also picks up about seven miles of frontage on the north side of the interstate, which extends east from U.S. 69 to Farm-to-Market Road 14.

Tyler picks up property along FM 14, to include Tyler State Park, leading north to Farm-to-Market Road 16 and the area to the east.

The new boundaries for Tyler also include the west corner of the future Loop 49 at the intersection of the interstate.

The agreement does not change either community’s city limits, which adjust as properties are annexed.

Rather, the new agreement defines territories and eliminates any confusion that could arise from annexation, officials said.

Lindale Economic Development Corp. Director John Clary said it is “a great win-win situation.”

He said finding places to put new retailers has “been a little difficult” and the agreement opens up the city to new growth.

“The whole idea is now all the lines for the definite future are solid and agreed upon so we can plan for future infrastructure,” Clary said.

Because planning and funding infrastructure can take years, this agreement allows Lindale to take bigger steps in East Texas’ development.

“As both of our cities grow, we will need to work together,” Lindale City Manger Owen Scott said. “The agreement we have reached is in the best interests of both communities.”

The agreement allows both cities to have a five- to 10-year planning basis for growth leading to and along the interstate.

Tyler is already spending millions to install water and sewer infrastructure from its north Loop 323 to the interstate with the expectation the infrastructure will attract business.

With the new agreement, Lindale likewise can invest along the interstate.

“Now we know where we can plan to put water and sewer, we will know that it’s our land to develop,” Mallory said. “…It’s so important for cities to talk to each other.”

Tyler City Councilmen Mark Whatley and the Rev. Ralph Caraway worked with the mayor to represent Tyler’s interests.

“I’m glad we can hopefully put some of this to rest,” Whatley said. “It’s important to be good neighbors and work together.”

Caraway added, “It’s a great opportunity to co-exist.”

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By Melissa Crowe and Jacque Hilburn-Simmons
Published June 23,2011

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Melissa Crowe

I’m Melissa, an adventure-seeking, budget-crunching, internet-loving journalist. Along with covering local government at Victoria Advocate, I write a weekly music column for Get Out and freelance for University of Houston-Victoria in my spare time. In this year’s Texas Associated Press Managing Editors awards, I won first place for star breaking news report of the year, first star online package of the year, first community service and first deadline writing. I also won third place for team effort, honorable mention for freedom of information, and honorable mention for star investigative report of the year. I also took first place for best breaking news story in the Local Media Association Editorial Contest, a national contest. Last year, I won second in the TAPME contest for star online package, third for star breaking news report and honorable mentions for star investigative report and team effort. The Local Media Association awarded me with an honorable mention for best breaking news story. I grew up in rural northern Texas and graduated from the University of North Texas. After working for a family-owned paper in the eastern corner of the state, I took an opportunity to move south. When I’m not filing FOIA requests, I enjoy spicy Bloody Marys, kayaking the Guadalupe River and exploring South Texas. Would you like to hire me to write or edit something? Or ask me a question? Or send me a link to a funny GIF? Email me!

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