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2/14/2018 12:17:00 PM
Annexation-curtailing bills pass in Indiana Senate, head to House

Ernest Rollins, Herald-Times

A pair of bills that could affect future annexation attempts are headed to an Indiana House committee for review after passing the state Senate last week.

One is authored by Sens. Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, Eric Koch, R-Bedford, and Blake Doriot, R-Syracuse, and would affect both existing and future annexation remonstrance waivers.

The number of waivers the city of Bloomington reported having as part of its attempt last year to annex 9,500 acres of county property was one of the concerns of property owners opposed to annexation.

Property owners opposed to being annexed by a city can file a remonstrance, in which they legally object to a proposed annexation. If enough property owners file, it can potentially stop the annexation. But a property owner loses the right to remonstrate if there is a waiver tied to the property.

Senate Bill 261 could void some of those waivers. The bill would require an annexation remonstrance waiver be recorded within 30 days to be valid; void waivers 15 years old or older prior to June 30 unless they have been properly recorded before Jan. 1, 2019, and set a 15-year expiration date for waivers effected after June 30, 2003, that were properly recorded.

The bill also states that waivers voided because of the bill would not invalidate annexations that were completed before July 1, 2018 — which is also the effective date of the bill if it passes.

City of Bloomington Corporation Counsel Philippa Guthrie said Bloomington’s annexation proposal last year included 3,163 waived parcels.

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