Department Review of Annexations

​Review of annexation petitions by the Department of Administration is required when:

  • The annexation is located in a county with a population of 50,000 or more persons, referred to as Urban Counties. The Department also reviews annexations from rural counties when requested.
  • The Annexation Method being used is either a Unanimous Consent or One-half Approval type of annexation. The Department may review other types of annexations too when requested.
  • A town has asked its neighboring city or village to develop a boundary agreement using the Mediated Cooperative Boundary Agreement procedure and its neighbor refuses. Reviews in this situation apply statewide, not just within urban counties.

Department review of annexation ordinances by the Department of Administration is required when:

A town requests the Department to conduct a Contiguity Review of an annexation ordinance to determine whether that annexation is contiguous, or connected to, the annexing city or village. Annexation ordinances found not to be contiguous may be challenged in court.

Department review period is 20 days, starting upon receipt of an annexation petition or notice and the Request for Annexati​on Review form and fee.

The Department reviews annexations for their shape, their contiguity and 'homogeneity' with the annexing jurisdiction, proposed municipal services, and accuracy of the legal description and scale map.

The Department issues a finding within 20 days that the annexation is either In the public interest or Against the Public Interest. This finding is advisory upon the annexing jurisdiction, however the city or village must at least consider the Department’s advice before taking final action and passing an ordinance to annex the territory.

Upon adopting an annexation ordinance, a city or village must immediately file a certified copy with the Department, which then communicates to state and federal agencies that a boundary change has occurred. Failure to notify the Department may result in reduced state and federal aids and other problems.

Annexation Resources: