MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The House Government Organization committee took up the Senate municipal annexation bill Monday and eased some of the bill’s additional restrictions on annexation by minor boundary adjustment. But opponents argued it still makes an already arduous process even more difficult.
Along the way, committee counsel offered a different interpretation of last year’s legislation that makes annexation by minor boundary adjustment close to impossible.
Last year’s legislation which passed into law requires each business, resident and freeholder in the territory proposed for annexation by minor boundary adjustment to execute an affidavit of consent. If the city is unable to reach the business, resident or freeholder and obtain an affidavit within 90 days of sending the affidavit and a letter of explanation, consent is presumed.
As it came from the Senate, this year’s SB 695 adds to that by limiting a minor boundary adjustment to 105% of the existing total municipal boundary and 120% of the current area of the municipality. Only one minor boundary adjustment can be made within a five-year period.
The bill also sets up a process for decreasing the city limits, with written consent of any affected business, resident and freeholder…