by Becki Gray
Former Senior Vice President, John Locke Foundation
It appears the recently passed annexation reform is only a bump in the road for some cities intent on annexing property. If the mayor decides the city “needs to grow”, they will try to find a way around the law. Apparently that is exactly what the mayor of Southport is attempting, as reported here. Individual property owners are exercising their right to petition a forced annexation but cold leave a swath of commercial property ripe for a municipal taking if the legislature will allow it. Southport tried a similar deal in 2009. The courts are weighing in on previous annexation deals . Provisions from the Voting Rights Act further complicate things. Even with comprehensive substantive annexation reform, the fight over property rights is far from over.