2018-03-18 / Viewpoints

Annexation process handled according to Michigan law

Dear Editor,

Annexation

In recent weeks there have been public statements made by certain representatives of Chesaning Township such as, “why does our vote not count?” And, you’re going to decide it, not us.” And, “you people take our vote away from us.” Such comments are not only uninformed but also suggest that the annexation process involving the “Peet Packing” property is being done nefariously or illegally, when, in fact, the entire process is governed by Michigan law.

Annexation is the process of bringing land from one jurisdiction to another by petition or resolution. The procedure for annexation of territory to a General Law Village (like Chesaning) is outlined in the General Law Village Act (MCL 74.6) and is decided by the county board of commissioners.

Procedure

1. A request by a property owner that his/her property be annexed into the village.

2. Passage of a resolution by the village council stating the determination to alter the village boundaries.

3. Notice by the village clerk of the time and place the petition for the boundary change will be considered by the county board of commissioners to be published in a newspaper published in the village for at least three weeks immediately preceding the presentation. This notice must contain a description of the premises proposed to be annexed.

4. Submission of a petition to the board of commissioners of the county in which the territory of the proposed annexation is located, requesting the change in boundaries.

5. Hearing before the county board of commissioners where all interested parties may appear and be heard relative to the proposed change in boundaries.

6. Determination of the county board of commissioners whether or not the requested change shall be granted. Whether or not the proposed boundary change will be approved lies solely within the judgment of the board. Under the GLV Act, there is no provision for submission of the question to the electors.

The annexation process of the Peet Packing property has followed Michigan law explicitly. If township representatives are unhappy with the process, they should pursue a change in Michigan law – not make uneducated public declarations of frustration.

It is also important to note that whenever and wherever property is located within a village, that property is also within a township. The villagers pay township taxes and participate in township government in addition to paying village taxes and participating in village government.

Patrick J. Greenfelder
Chesaning

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