Legal action challenges annexation process - Black Hills Pioneer: Local News

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Legal action challenges annexation process

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Posted: Saturday, September 29, 2012 6:00 am

SPEARFISH — The process the city of Spearfish utilized to approve the annexation east of Evans Lane is under scrutiny.

Court documents that allege the city did not comply with state statute has been filed in the 4th Circuit Court. Spearfish attorney Dylan Wilde said he filed the complaint on Sept. 17, so a judge can decide if the approval and adoption of the resolutions to annex property into city limits were valid.

When a municipality is in the process of an involuntary annexation there are certain steps that need to be taken. According to the complaint, the city of Spearfish did not include the area east of Evans Lane in its annexation study, and when the resolution to annex came before the city council for a public hearing, affected landowners were not provided any notice. It also states that the proposed territory to be annexed will create an island of non-annexed territory.

“Our hope is that a judge will find the city did follow the annexation process set forth by state law,” Wilde said. “If the judge sides with us, the city will have to start the process all over again, if that's what they decide to do.”

Wilde added that his goal is to deal with the issue as soon as possible and that they have taken steps to try and move this along.

A court date has yet to be determined, and the Spearfish City Council will determine whether they will respond to the complaint during an executive session Monday after their regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday. By Heather Murschel

Black Hills Pioneer

SPEARFISH — The process the city of Spearfish utilized to approve the annexation east of Evans Lane is under scrutiny.

Court documents that allege the city did not comply with state statute has been filed in the 4th Circuit Court. Spearfish attorney Dylan Wilde said he filed the complaint on Sept. 17, so a judge can decide if the approval and adoption of the resolutions to annex property into city limits were valid.

When a municipality is in the process of an involuntary annexation there are certain steps that need to be taken. According to the complaint, the city of Spearfish did not include the area east of Evans Lane in its annexation study, and when the resolution to annex came before the city council for a public hearing, affected landowners were not provided any notice. It also states that the proposed territory to be annexed will create an island of non-annexed territory.

“Our hope is that a judge will find the city did follow the annexation process set forth by state law,” Wilde said. “If the judge sides with us, the city will have to start the process all over again, if that's what they decide to do.”

Wilde added that his goal is to deal with the issue as soon as possible and that they have taken steps to try and move this along.

A court date has yet to be determined, and the Spearfish City Council will determine whether they will respond to the complaint during an executive session Monday after their regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday.

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