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Senate Bill 1293 — Cities, annexation

Senate Bill 1293 — Cities, annexation

Parrish Miller
February 12, 2024

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1293 would repeal and replace the section of Idaho code dealing with cities and their power to annex. 

Rating: +1

NOTE: Senate Bill 1293 is very similar to Senate Bill 1264, introduced earlier this session. Senate Bill 1293 changes certain references from "the city" in Senate Bill 1264 to "the city council" in order to clarify that it is the council specifically taking certain actions. 

NOTE: The Senate Amendment to Senate Bill 1293 reduced the threshold for landowner consent from 2/3 to 60%, making the bill weaker at protecting property rights. (The proper percentage would be 100% because no landowner should ever be forcibly annexed. All annexation should require voluntary consent.) The rating has not changed.

Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?

Senate Bill 1293 would repeal and replace Section 50-222, Idaho Code, dealing with annexation by cities.

While most of the changes made by this process are designed to reorganize and clarify the statute, there are a few substantive changes. The most notable improvement is found in subsection (3)(f). This change would require that a city seeking to annex property must have the "voluntary consent" of "landowners representing two-thirds (2/3) sixty percent (60%) of the parcels and at least fifty percent (50%) of the area proposed for annexation."

Under the current code, consent is only required from "landowners owning more than fifty percent (50%) of the area" proposed for annexation. This bill would increase the threshold for consent and ensure that one large landowner could not overrule the wishes of the majority of property owners in the proposed annexation area. 

Another improvement made by the bill is to lower the size of "residential enclaved lands" (residential parcels surrounded on all sides by lands within a city) that may be annexed without consent to "thirty (30) or fewer privately owned parcels." Current law allows this unwanted annexation of enclaves to include up to 99 parcels. 

Property rights are the foundation of our republic, and it would be best to prohibit the annexation of any property without the owner's express consent. However, this bill does make positive changes that protect property rights better than does current code.


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