Damascus residents to de-annex from city

Residents in Damascus who want to de-annex from the city hold a rally ahead of a city council meeting, May 1, 2014. (KOIN 6)
Residents in Damascus who want to de-annex from the city hold a rally ahead of a city council meeting, May 1, 2014. (KOIN 6)

DAMASCUS, Ore. (KOIN) — Roughly 100 residents of Damascus, Ore. who want to leave the city and join Happy Valley were granted permission to do so in court Friday.

The application for a temporary restraining order against de-annexing by the city was dropped by the judge.

Four residents de-annexed at midnight Friday and will join either Happy Valley, Ore. or unincorporated Clackamas County.

Last week, the city filed a suit to keep the residents, who are fed up with the way the city is being run, from defecting.

Damascus resident Hank Brown has been trying to leave the city for years because of poorly run civic government, he said.

“Bottom line is the legislature looked at what the city had done, saw how it hadn’t fulfilled its obligations under the law and passed a valid law to protect the land owners that the city wasnt protecting,” said Brown’s attorney, Greg Chaimov.

The city argued it was unconstitutional to grant the right to de-annex.

City attorneys argued the decision to grant residents the right to annex should be put on hold.

“Without a restraining order, as of tomorrow at least those individuals who have filed petitions for hearing last night will no longer be citizens of the city,” said Damascus City attorney Chris Reive.

Residents, who say they waited almost ten years for a comprehensive city plan that has still not been finalized, were fed up with the city.

“[The] next step for them is to decide what they’d like to do with their properties,” said Chaimov.

Stilll, the fight isn’t over — the City is expected to appeal the decision.

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