House Bill 2084 passes from committee to be heard on the legislative floor next week.

A bill that would make “serpentine” annexation illegal will be heard on the House floor, a House committee agreed Tuesday.

The House Local Government Committee voted unanimously in favor of having House Bill 2084 heard on the Kansas House floor. The bill would amend the unilateral annexation statute and make serpentine annexation retroactively illegal as of Jan. 1, 2008.

“You have city people serving on city seats, and they are not attorneys. Also you have high-powered, expensive attorneys coming in and telling the city how to interpret Kansas law, and they came up with a way to avoid talking to their constituents, avoid giving them notice and avoid getting approval from the county commissioners,” Rep. Peter DeGraaf (R-Mulvane) said during testimony. “This is a Kansas issue. This could happen in any community –- yours as well as it did mine.”

Rep. Vince Wetta (D-Wellington), who presented the bill, said the annexation by Mulvane was done to avoid “island annexation” that would require the city to notify nearby landowners within 200 feet of the annexation. Wetta said the island annexation statute should have been used by the city, not the “snaking” annexation they put into place.

Wellington (Kan.) Daily News