John Locke Update / Research Newsletter

Clarifications on the Annexation Bill

posted on in Property Rights

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There has been some confusion regarding the new annexation process as created in HB 845. Specifically, there is confusion regarding how those in a proposed annexed area can block a city-initiated annexation. Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions that I hope will help (for informational purposes only, i.e., not legal advice):

 

Who can block the annexations?

The law states that property owners in the affected area may submit a petition to deny an annexation.

 

How many property owners must block the annexation?

 

Property owners of at least 60 percent of the parcels in the area are required to block the annexation. This is not the same thing as requiring 60 percent of property owners to block the annexation.

 

For example, if one individual owns 60 percent of the parcels, this individual could block the annexation even if he represents only 1 percent of the total number of property owners.

 

What if a property owner doesn’t send in a petition, does this automatically mean he is counted as being in favor of the annexation?

 

There’s been a lot of confusion regarding this issue and it’s because some people are thinking about the petition process like it’s a vote. If a property owner doesn’t send in a petition, then that isn’t counted as either support for or opposition to the annexation. The property owner has simply not sent in a petition to block the annexation.

 

However, the parcel(s) of the property owner who doesn’t send in a petition is still counted when calculating the percentage of parcels that represent opposition to the annexation. So, if no petition has been sent in, it has the same effect as supporting the annexation.

 

What happens when there are multiple owners of a parcel? Can one property owner of a parcel file a petition to block an annexation even if the other owners would like the annexation?

 

A majority of the property owners for a parcel of property must oppose the annexation. If there are two owners, such as a husband and wife, both must oppose the annexation.

 

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Daren Bakst is the Research Fellow in Agricultural Policy at the Heritage Foundation.  In this position, Bakst studies and writes about agricultural and environmental policy and property rights, among other issues.  He has done extensive work on the farm bill… ...

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