Jeff and Carol Journagan, well known throughout the city for their fundraising efforts, requested to deannex 5.6 acres of their 7.3 acre property on 19th Street. All of the property is currently within the city limits.

Sometimes it happens, but rarely.

The last time someone approached the Blue Springs Planning Commission and asked to deannex property was nearly six years ago.

It happened again Monday, and the majority of commission members affirmed commission and city policy.

Jeff and Carol Journagan, well known throughout the city for their fundraising efforts, requested to deannex 5.6 acres of their 7.3 acre property on 19th Street. All of the property is currently within the city limits.

The reason? Taxes.

“We don’t mind paying taxes, but year after year it’s become burdensome,” Carol said. “We bit off a lot more than what we could deal with.”

The couple requested to split the property in two, with the house remaining in city limits and the remainder of the property, considered unusable, be annexed into the county.

But city staff recommended denial, stating that it was city and commission policy to deny deannexations because it countered with the existing comprehensive city plan.

Not that commission members held a grudge – many of them offered alternatives to the couple, including contacting Jackson County assessment and waiting until 2011 to dispute increases.

The couple, commended by several commission members for the work they do for the city, said any reduction would be positive.

The denial was affirmed by a 9-1 vote, with Michael Parker abstaining (he’s a neighbor). Commission Member George Abbott voted against the denial, saying a neighbor of the Journagans was able to split their property in much the same way.

“But they also split it before they built,” Abbott said. “Maybe (the Journagans) should have done it in the beginning. I know they had considered that in the beginning, but they didn’t.”

Commission Member Susan Culpepper thanked the couple for the work they do for Blue Springs, but denied the request.

“We have to look at the facts,” she said, adding that a precedent could be set.

Scott Allen, director of Community Development, said such a request to de-annex happens every so often.

“But it’s pretty uncommon,” he said.