Focus on New Laws: Municipal Detachment Statutes Amended
Petitioning for detachment of a parcel now has more thorough review and more balanced cost-sharing.
(Published Aug 22, 2012)
Chapter 135 (HF 1738) made changes to Minnesota Statutes, section 414.06 to correct problems and clarify procedures related to petitions for detachment of parcels from a municipality.
The frequency, costs, and problems related to detachment petitions have been recently increasing in several parts of the state. The law is the result of more than a year of careful work and negotiation to develop consensus among the League of Minnesota Cities, the Minnesota Association of Townships, the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, and the Office of Administrative Hearings. These changes went into effect on August 1, 2012.
The following are some highlights of the new law that are of interest to cities:
- Petition requirements. Section 1 amends Minnesota Statutes, section 414.06, subdivision 1 to add requirements to what must be included in a city resolution or property owner petition for detachment. It now must include a statement of the reasons a detachment is being sought and what efforts were undertaken to resolve those issues prior to filing the resolution or petition. It requires that the city be provided a copy of the petition, as well as any property owners whose parcels are included in the proposed detachment, but did not sign the detachment petition. Furthermore, the township affected, any other abutting town or city, and the county recorder must all be provided with a copy of the petition. After some initial confusion, county recorders are being informed by the Association of Minnesota Counties that they will be receiving these procedural notices. An amendment to change the office for notification to county auditor will be proposed next session, as that is where final boundary adjustment notices are sent by the state.
- Town options. Section 2 creates a new subdivision 1a in Minnesota Statutes, section 414.06 that allows towns to choose to be supportive, neutral, or opposed to a petition for detachment. If the town does not take a position before any hearings are held, it is presumed to be neutral. If a town’s position opposes the affected city’s position, the town becomes a party to the hearing and is responsible for a share of the hearing costs.
- Hearing requirements. Section 3 amends Minnesota Statutes, section 414.06, subdivision 2 so that if the city and all property owners affected support detachment and there is no opposition from the town, the petition is granted without a hearing. Likewise, if both the city and town oppose the proposed detachment, the petition is denied without a hearing. If a hearing is held, mediation is now required, with costs divided between the participants.
- Administrative law judge findings. Section 4 amends Minnesota Statutes, section 414.06, subdivision 3 to require the administrative law judge hearing the petition case to “consider all applicable comprehensive plans, land use regulations, and land use maps of the affected municipality, town, and county that have been adopted at the time the petition was submitted” in making its findings.
- Cost shares designated. Section 5 adds a new subdivision 7 to Minnesota Statutes, section 414.06 that says that, notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 414.067, the petitioning landowners will be responsible for at least 50 percent of all associated hearing and mediation costs unless the chief administrative law judge makes specific findings as to why a party should be responsible for a greater share.
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Focus on New Laws
Each edition of the Focus on New Laws column highlights a law passed in the 2012 legislative session that cities need to know about. Please be sure to always consult your city attorney with technical questions about compliance with laws. For more information about new laws, check out the League’s 2012 Law Summaries (pdf).