Friday, March 1, 2013

Forcing the Expansion of the City of Flowood

The approaching Supervisor's meeting on the Reservoir Community District got me thinking about alternatives to the issue of residential density without appropriate governance/representation.  One provided by state statute (but not one I'm necessarily advocating) is annexation by the City of Flowood.

By it's standards, Flowood sits advantageously without much residential headache.  I don't imagine the city will voluntarily annex rooftops unless it is made necessary to preserve commercial districts. However, Miss. Code Ann. sections 21-1-45, -47 provide statutory procedures for residents outside municipal limits to become part the city; in a way, force the city's hand to expand its corporate limits.


Qualified electors (i.e., registered voters) of any specifically described property contiguous to and adjoining the City of Flowood may apply to the Rankin County Chancery Court for inclusion.  A petition signed by two-thirds of the qualified electors in the area to be annexed -- termed "territory" in the statute -- must be sworn to by one or more of the petitioners, and attached to the request for relief.  The request must describe by accurate metes and bounds the land to be included and "shall set forth the reasons why the public convenience and necessity would be served" by incorporation within Flowood.  There further shall be made a part of the request a plat showing the municipal boundaries if the request is granted.

Notice will then be published.  All persons will have the opportunity to be heard, as will the City of Flowood.  Those seeking admittance bear the burden of convincing the Chancellor the request is "reasonable and required by the public convenience and necessity."  See Ferguson v. Town of Vaiden, 242 So. 2d 124 (Miss. 1970).  If they fail to meet their burden, the Petition shall be denied.

If challenged by the City of Flowood, I imagine the burden of showing public necessity will be difficult to attain.  Note, the statute does not say "reasonably necessary," it says reasonable (easy) and necessary (almost impossible).  In my opinion, "necessity" was a poor choice of words for the legislature to use (nothing is necessary but death and taxes, right?), thus requiring the Chancellor to exercise his broad discretion.  I certainly advise fleshing out the practical meaning of "public necessity" before going through the time and expense of petitioning for inclusion.

The Cities of Madison, Ridgeland and Jackson have fought their own recent battles with annexation at the Mississippi Supreme Court.  See In re Enlargement and Extension of the Corporate Limits of the City of Madison, 983 So. 2d 1035 (Miss. 2008); In re Inclusion Into the City of Ridgeland, 494 So. 2d 348 (Miss. 1986); City of Jackson v. Byram Incorporators, 16 So. 3d 662 (Miss. 2009).  I will explore those cases more in depth in upcoming posts, so stay glued to the edge of your seat.  

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Flowood wants businesses. Hence the narrow annexation of Hwy 25. Annexing neighborhoods means a lot more road work, sewer support, waterlines, etc. Businesses pay lots of tax money but need little maintenance besides police patrols since they have to maintain their own parking lots and driveways.

Anonymous said...

Nobody has done it better that Mayor Gary Rhoads and Flowood.

Anonymous said...

Done WHAT better? Keeping out residential neighborhoods?

Anonymous said...

12:48
We know you are not Lum, but you are dumb!

Great commerce, no crime, the brightest shining municipal light in the state.
Was able to keep the tax payers out of the public tax fiasco with the Leland ( I am not going to profit) Speed two lakes proposal.


Show us a city who has done it better!

KaptKangaroo said...

I'm convinced at this point, the Mayor and accompanying Aldermen would solidify their seats if they chose to annex the Rez. Oh, the district development that would develop. VISION Mayor, don't fear the rooftops, fear the hapless development around Flowood.

Anonymous said...

Gary Rhoads hasn't done anything. Flowood simply lay in the path of folks leaving Jackson. Rhoads chief responsiblity was the ensure the population growth was handled properly. He failed. The road congestion is horrible. Street engineers have no idea how to synchronize traffic lights. Developers were allowed to construct shoddy roads which require far too much pothole maintenance (ie Hugh Ward). Flowood Drive should have been 4-laned a decate ago. Rhoads has just sat on his butt while the population automatically swelled.

Anonymous said...

If you cannot see what Flowood and Gary Rhoads have done, please look at Old Fannin Road and the body of work produced by Larry Swales.

Anonymous said...

5:13 don't see need to slight Lum.

Anonymous said...

10:37 Wood Brown should take responsibility for Hugh Ward. He allowed Farmington Station construction traffic to tear it up. Rankin county pot hole crew is bad at doing their job

Anonymous said...

Flowood has done it right, alright. Commercial expansion to bring in tax dollars while avoiding annexation of anyone who can vote and tip their cash cow.

Anonymous said...

12:44
He got his name spelled right and even a ryhme

Anonymous said...

How would being a part of the muni of Flowood actually aid or better the unincorporated county area adjoining Lakeland or prv areas along Spillway/Northshore Pkwy/Fannin Landing/471?

Bill Mays said...

Now that is just a wonderful idea, Mr. Anonymous! That way I get to pay my whopping Lease Payment on the Lot I do not Own and City and County Taxes on that lot, which they tell me is owned by the State. It's like paying taxes on your neighbors' income! I am going to lease and pay taxes on somebody else's lot. What a wonderful deal we could have at The Rez!

Anonymous said...

I have had business dealings with Mayor Rhoads. He is not a nice man, nor is he trustworthy. After my dealings with him, I can honestly say that he is a rabid wolf in sheep's clothing.

Anonymous said...

7:48
Marty is that you?