County Impacts From Municipal Annexation
The bill makes the modifications to the "Municipal Annexation Act of 1965" (act). Under the act, an unincorporated area within a county may not be annexed to a municipality unless not less than one-sixth of the perimeter of the land area is contiguous with the municipality. Section 2 of the bill modifies this requirement so that not less than one-third of the perimeter of the area to be annexed must be contiguous with the municipality.
Section 2 modifies existing contiguity requirements to specify that county-owned open space (unlike other forms of public lands or public land uses) affect contiguity. The bill expands the group of land uses that affects contiguity to include any land area owned by a county and any land area upon which infrastructure owned or maintained by a county is located. Contiguity may be established across such land area owned or maintained by the county by resolution of the board of county commissioners (BOCC) approving an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the annexing municipality in which satisfaction of the contiguity requirement with respect to such land is acknowledged.
Section 2 also prohibits a municipality from annexing an area of land unless the land is clearly depicted within an area planned for annexation as identified in an annexation plan that was adopted by the municipality at least 2 years prior to the proposed annexation.
Under the act, one of the applicable tests for determining whether a community of interest exists between the annexing municipality and the area proposed to be annexed requires a finding that one-half or more of the land in the area proposed to be annexed is agricultural. Section 2 modifies this requirement to require a finding that one-third of the land area is being used for agricultural purposes or has been assessed by the county assessor in the 3-year period prior to the proposed annexation as agricultural. An alternate test for determining satisfaction of the community of interest requirement requires a finding that it is not physically practicable to extend to the area proposed to be annexed certain urban services. The bill modifies this requirement to require a finding that it is not physically practical or economically feasible to extend such urban services to the area and an agreement between the annexing municipality and a quasi-municipal corporation addressing the terms of services.
In connection with existing requirements of the act pertaining to establishing the boundaries of an area to be annexed where land held in identical ownership is present, section 3 specifies that contiguity is affected by whether a street, road, or public way is owned or maintained by a county or whether infrastructure owned or maintained by the county is located on the land.
In connection with an existing requirement of the act that prohibits certain annexations that would extend a municipal boundary more than 3 miles from any point of the municipal boundary, section 3 provides that, within this 3-mile area, the contiguity requirement may be achieved by a resolution of the BOCC in accordance with the bill. Prior to completion of an annexation within the 3-mile area, the bill requires that the municipality have in place a comprehensive annexation plan for the area. The bill specifies additional requirements pertaining to the plan.
Prior to completion of an annexation in which the basic contiguity requirement of the act is achieved, section 3 also requires the municipality to determine if any of the land to be annexed is owned or maintained by the county or whether any infrastructure owned or maintained by the county is located on the land area. The annexation is also made subject to the terms of any IGA the municipality has entered into with the county.
Section 3 enlarges the time before the hearing on the annexation petition in which the petition must be received by the municipality for the annexation to proceed and extends the time for certain required notices to be provided in advance of the hearing.
Under the act, in establishing the boundaries of any area proposed to be annexed, if a portion of a platted street or alley is annexed, the entire width of said street or alley is to be included within the area annexed. Section 3 specifies that the length and extent of the county owned or maintained roadway that is to be annexed, and any monetary reimbursement paid to the county, must be determined by an IGA approved by the county and the annexing municipality prior to the annexation of any parcel of land adjacent to or severed by the county roadway.
The act specifies that an annexation map must be filed with the annexation petition. Section 4 requires the map to include additional information.
Under the act, the hearing on the annexation petition before the annexing municipality must be held not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days after the effective date of the resolution setting the hearing. Section 5 changes these deadlines so the hearing must be held not less than 60 nor more than 90 days after the effective date of the resolution.
Section 6 makes modifications to various requirements in the act pertaining to the annexation impact report (AIR), including the date by which the AIR must be prepared and adds new information that must be included in the AIR.
Under the act, the annexing municipality must issue certain findings and conclusions addressing the legal sufficiency of the annexation. Section 7 expands the findings to include a determination as to how any IGAs entered into by one or more counties and the municipality affect the proposed annexation.
In the case of an annexation without the need for an election, section 8 permits such an annexation to take place subject to the terms of any IGA entered into between or among the annexing municipality and one or more counties.
Section 9 requires the annexing municipality to file a copy of any applicable operations and maintenance agreement entered into between the municipality and a county if the IGA associated with the proposed annexation requires the annexing municipality to assume the operation and maintenance of public infrastructure owned or maintained by the county that is located on land within the land area to be annexed.
If an IGA is required and an annexing municipality fails to enter into such an agreement with a county, or violates any of the terms of such agreement , section 10 permits the BOCC to file a lawsuit seeking injunctive relief to compel the municipality to enter into an IGA or to compel enforcement of the agreement.
Section 11 permits a county to direct disconnection of land owned by the county from within an incorporated municipality. The bill specifies the process by which such disconnection is to take place and the legal effects of the disconnection .
Sections 12 and 13 deal with petitions for disconnection by court decree involving statutory cities and statutory towns, respectively. These sections provide that, once any land area has been previously annexed by a particular city or town, the same land area shall not become the subject of a petition disconnecting the land area from the same city or town at anytime thereafter unless the land is to be annexed into another city or town, respectively, or upon agreement to the disconnection by passage of a resolution of the BOCC of the county.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)