Municipal detachment is another statutory mechanism for transfering territory between municipalities. Most commonly it is used to transfer territory from incorporated city or village status back to unincorporated town status. In this way, it tends to function opposite of annexation.
However, detachment can also be used to transfer territory between and among cities and villages.
Wisconsin's statutes authorize two methods for accomplishing detachment. These methods are:
Involves a landowner, and some combination of city, village, and/or town. Requires publication of notice, a petition signed by the landowners requesting detachment, an ordinance passed by the city or village detaching the territory, and an ordinance passed by the town accepting the detached territory. Because both the detaching and attaching municipalities must approve the territory transfer, cooperation between municipalities is a necessity. A referendum MAY be requested by area residents or the involved municipalities.
Involves landowners of at least 200 acres of agricultural land, a city or village, a town, and the county circuit court.