City formally publishes draft annexation, development documents following Express articles

Officials have released several documents following an Express article on potential plans for the annexation and development of lands north of town.
Photo: Matthew Keys/Winters Express
Photo: Matthew Keys/Winters Express

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note published on Facebook Thursday afternoon, an official wrote the city sought permission from developer Bellevue North to release a draft proposal submitted to City Manager John Donlevy in January that outlined certain steps to annex and develop around 800 acres of land in north Winters. The note said the document was being published online following “news reports not including details of the ‘draft’ proposal from Bellevue North.” On Wednesday, the Express published two stories in print and online regarding the topic of proposed annexation and development plans in the city, including a story that contained details about the same document formally released by the city on Thursday. Reached by phone Thursday afternoon, Express Assistant Editor Crystal Apilado said the newspaper adequately covered the issue by including both details of the document and links for readers to view the document itself. “We did publish details of the draft in the printed edition on April 17 and we published the document online when the digital version came out on April 17,” Apilado said. Donlevy has not yet returned a request for comment on the matter. RELATED STORY: Documents outline potential plan for annexation, development The draft proposal was obtained by the Express along with a cache of other records following a public records request submitted by the newspaper to the city earlier this month. That cache also included a March 15 letter sent by Donlevy to Bellevue North representative Jeffrey Roberts in response to the developer’s January draft proposal. The Express published that document as part of its series of stories on Wednesday, and city officials published the same record online Thursday afternoon via a separate web page. The Express also published a financial reimbursement agreement executed by Bellevue North as well as a copy of a check in the amount of $11,678 made to the City of Winters as a deposit for expenses incurred as part of a forthcoming specific plan application by Bellevue North. The agreement, which references itself as a public record, has not been formally published by the city. As of Tuesday afternoon, city and county officials said no specific plan filing has been made by Bellevue North.]]>

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