A contentious annexation will get a new hearing, to make sure all nearby landowners are properly notified.
The Princeton City Council approved calling for a new public hearing July 8 regarding the annexation of the Sherburne Village mobile home communitty in Baldwin Township.
Owned by Kent and Brenton Titcomb, the annexation of the property was the subject of an April 8 public hearing. At the hearing the council asked City Attorney Damien Toven to look into several questions raised by attendees before proceeding with the petition.
The annexation was challenged on grounds that the property did not technically abut city property, not all the owners had joined the petition, Baldwin Township had objected to the annexation, not all required land owners were notified and a lawsuit that the parent company was incorrectly alleged to be involved in.
During the previous hearing a speaker claimed the city did not abut Sherburne Village because a road ran between the property and the city. Further investigation by city staff found that the statutory definition of abutment includes properties whose boundaries would touch if not for a road. Under state statute the property is considered abutting, according to city documents.
Another issue raised was if all the landowners had joined the petition. The city found the only owner of the land was the Titcomb’s. Residents in mobile homes were technically tenants and did not need to be included on the petition for annexation, according to city documents.
Representatives of Baldwin Township objected to the annexation, but further investigation found that did not preclude the petition from moving forward, according to city documents.
The fourth objection was over how the neighboring property owners were notified of the public hearing. State statute requires all contiguous land owners be notified of the public hearing.
City staff found the speakers at the meeting who claimed they lacked proper notification were not contiguous with the land in question, and did not need to be notified, according to city documents. But, one contiguous landowner was found who had not been notified. While the property owner had no objections to the annexation, the city decided to announce a new hearing to maintain compliance with the law, according to city documents.