Annexation & Detachment

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170. Proposed annexation of territory consisting of a one foot strip, approximately one mile long, connected to a 40 acre parcel of property is known as a "balloon on a string," "corridor" or "strip" annexation which courts have held either does not meet the requirement of contiguity or violates the rule of reason. See Town of Mount Pleasant v. City of Racine, 24 Wis.2d 41, 127 N.W.2d 757 (1964); Town of Medary v. City of LaCrosse, 88 Wis.2d 101, 116, 277 N.W.2d 310, 317 (1979); Town of Menasha v. City of Menasha, 170 Wis.2d 181, 191, n.3, 488 N.W.2d 104, 109, n. 3 (Ct. App. 1992.) 8/31/97.

171. It is well settled that annexation is a statutory proceeding and that the power to annex land must be exercised in strict conformity with procedures set forth in the annexation statutes. Thus, in Town of Wautoma v. City of Wautoma, No. 97-0294 (Wis. Ct. App., Oct. 23, 1997), ordered not to be published in the official reports on November 20, 1997, the Court of Appeals held that an annexation petitioner's failure to file the annexation petition with the town clerk invalidated the annexation. (12/31/97).

172. A person who circulates a petition to require a referendum in response to the filing of a petition seeking direct annexation must be a resident of the area proposed for annexation in order to certify, as required by 8.40(2), Stats., that he or she "resides within the jurisdiction or district in which the petition is circulated." 1/5/99.

173. The notice of claim statute, sec. 893.80(1), Stats., does not apply to actions challenging annexations because there is a specific statutory scheme for challenging annexations, and applying the notice of claim requirements to annexation challenges would frustrate a clear legislative preference for resolving annexation contests quickly and efficiently without serving the purposes for which a notice of claim is required. Town of Burke v. City of Madison, Case Nos. 98-108 and 98-1362 (Ct. App. March 11, 1999) (publication recommended). 3/31/99.

174. Extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction is defined by sec. 62.23(7a)(a), Wis. Stats., to mean the unincorporated area within a certain distance of the corporate limits of a city or village. Therefore, once a municipality annexes land, the land may be rezoned by the municipality without regard to the extraterritorial zoning committee even though the land was, before it was annexed, subject to an interim extraterritorial zoning freeze. 5/6/99.

175. Concludes that a property owner filing a unanimous approval annexation petition under sec. 66.021(12), Stats., may include a public street abutting his or her property in the description of the territory to be annexed since under International Paper Co. v. Fond du Lac, 50 Wis.2d 529, 184 N.W.2d 834 (1971), public streets are not to be taken into account in determining the sufficiency of a petition for annexation, no matter how owned. 11/22/99.

176. Under secs. 66.021(5) and 8.40(2), Wis. Stats., a person circulating a petition seeking to require a referendum on a proposed annexation must reside in the specific area proposed to be annexed and not just in the town. City of Chippewa Falls v. Town of Hallie, Case No. 99-0832 (Ct. App. Oct. 19, 1999). 1/10/00.

177. A court may refuse to apply the Rule of Prior Precedence to give priority to an incorporation proceeding where the court concludes that the incorporation proceeding was not commenced in good faith because it was commenced solely for the purpose of preventing future annexations of the property. Town of Waukesha v. City of Waukesha, Case No. 00-0923 (Ct. App., March 14, 2001) (unpublished per curiam). 3/31/01.

178. A river does not destroy contiguity where the annexing municipality and the property seeking to be annexed share a common border in the riverbed. Town of Campbell v. City of La Crosse, Case Nos. 00-1913, 00-1914, 00-1915, 00-1916 (Wis. Ct. App. Aug. 30, 2001) (publication recommended). 8/31/01.

179. Summarizes sec. 16.53(14), Stats., as created by 2001 Wisconsin Act 16, which authorizes the Department of Administration to prescribe and collect fees for reviewing any petition for incorporation of a municipality and any petition for annexation of municipal territory in counties with populations of 50,000 or more. 10/31/01.

180. If territory containing premises covered by a non-reserve or reserve Class B liquor license is annexed to a municipality and if the municipality's quota would not otherwise allow a non-reserve or reserve Class B liquor license for the premises, the municipality's quota is increased to include the license of each premises in the annexed territory. Detachment of territory decreases a municipality's quota of non-reserve or reserve Class B liquor licenses by the number of non-reserve or reserve Class B liquor licenses issued for premises in the detached territory, except that detachment does not decrease the quota of the remainder to less than one license per 500 persons or less than one license. See sec. 125.41(c) and (d), Stats., created by 2001 Wis. Act 49, effective April 17, 2002. 4/30/02.

181. An annexation ordinance cannot be corrected by a subsequent ordinance which repeals and reenacts the prior ordinance. Town of Windsor v. Village of DeForest, 2003 WI App 114. 7/31/03.

182. Describes changes made to annexation law by 2003 Wisconsin Act 317, including a new requirement that in order for an annexation of non-municipally owned territory to be valid the municipality must agree to pay annually to the town, for five years, an amount equal to the amount of property taxes that the town levied on the annexed territory in the year in which the annexation is final.

183. The use of a single ordinance to annex multiple parcels of land that were the subject of individual annexation petitions did not violate Wis. Stat. sec. 66.0217(2) and the village was not required to resubmit the proposed annexation to the Department of Administration for its advice after it modified the proposed annexation and annexed less land than was originally proposed for the annexation. Town of Baraboo v. Village of West Baraboo, 2004AP980 (Ct. App. April 28, 2005) (publication recommended). 4/29/05.

184. Describes 2007 Wisconsin Act 43, which makes significant changes to the procedures for determining municipal boundaries by agreement, including expressly allowing municipalities to use the intergovernmental cooperation statute, sec. 66.0301, to enter into boundary agreements. It also creates a mediated agreement procedure under the boundary agreement by cooperative plan statute, sec. 66.0307, that provides a means for towns to push a neighboring community “to the bargaining table” to discuss a common boundary. Act 43 took effect January 19. 2008. 3/31/08.

185. Wis. Stat. 66.0217(11)(c) which provides that “[n]o action on any grounds, whether procedural or jurisdictional, to contest the validity of an annexation under [66.0217(2)] may be brought by any town,” expressly and unequivocally bars a town from obtaining judicial review of a direct annexation by unanimous approval under Wis. Stat. 66.0217(2). Town of Merrimac v. Village of Merrimac, 2008 WI App 98, 753 N.W.2d 552, petition for review denied.
5/31/08.

186. Town could seek an annexation waiver in its negotiations with a developer and could enforce such an agreement where the agreement was made freely and voluntarily by the parties and was supported by consideration. Town’s activities to accommodate and advance the developer’s various plans, constituted consideration because it was a benefit to the developer and a burden on the town. Town of Waukesha v. 164 of Waukesha Ltd. Partnership, 2008 WI App 1795 (Ct. App., Sept. 16, 2009) (publication recommended). 9/30/09.