Effective Aug. 1, 2011, property owners whose land sits on a municipal boundary line may have an easier time switching cities.
Sponsored by Rep. Larry Howes (R-Walker) and Sen. Sean Nienow (R-Cambridge), a new law once again makes it easier for a property owner to initiate the process of detaching from one city and being annexed to the adjacent city. Under the provisions, property owners will be able to petition to have their land detached and annexed as long as one of the two affected municipalities supports the switch. Previously, the law stated that both cities must agree to it.
With the support of a resolution from one of the affected cities, a property owner could take his case to an administrative law judge, who would have the power to order the concurrent detachment and annexation.
The law essentially reverses legislation passed in 2006 that took away the ability for individual property owners to initiate a proceeding with only one city’s support. The proposed change was one of two recommendations from the Municipal Boundary Adjustment Advisory Task Force — a bipartisan panel assembled by the Legislature to review annexation laws. The task force issued its final report in 2009.