Contentious annexation policy gets informational hearing in the Senate

This week an informational hearing was held to examine legislation that would redefine the authority of cities in exercising annexation rights over township land.

The committee heard testimony from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities and the League of Minnesota Cities that firmly oppose the legislation – they argued these bills negatively impact economic growth and community development and the issue of hostile annexation of township land is rare. The Minnesota Association of Townships strongly supports the legislation and testified to a series of cases of hostile annexation by cities and the need for mutual agreement between municipal and township leadership in order for annexation to occur.

One of the proposed bills would require voters of the township to approve an annexation while the other bill would require a contractual agreement that would significantly curtail the use of unilateral annexation by cities with a preference for mutually agreed upon contractual agreements between the two local governments.

While only informational, there were bipartisan sentiments that a legislative solution should be put forward to address the power disparity of townships regarding annexation. (SF 1927, SF 1969)