66.0123 (1) In this section, "governmental unit" means a town board or school board.
66.013 of the statutes is renumbered 66.0201, and 66.0201 (1) and (2) (intro.), as renumbered, are amended to read:
66.0201 (1) Purpose. It is declared to be the policy of this state that the development of territory from town to incorporated status proceed in an orderly and uniform manner and that toward this end each proposed incorporation of territory as a village or city be reviewed as provided in ss. 66.013 to 66.019 66.0201 to 66.0213 to assure compliance with certain minimum standards which take into account the needs of both urban and rural areas.
(2) Definitions. (intro.) As used in In ss. 66.013 66.0201 to 66.019 66.0213, unless the context requires otherwise:
66.0137 (title) and (1) of the statutes are created to read:
66.0137 (title) Provision of insurance. (1) Definition. In this section, "local governmental unit" means a city, village, town, county, school district (as enumerated in s. 67.01 (5)), sewerage district, drainage district and, without limitation because of enumeration, any other political subdivision of the state should be s. 345.05 (1) (c).
66.0139 (1) of the statutes is created to read:
66.0139 (1) In this section, "political subdivision" means a city, village, town or county.
66.014 of the statutes is renumbered 66.0203, and 66.0203 (1), (2) (a) to (e), (3), (4) (a), (7) (a), (8) (b), (9) (a), (d) to (f) and (h) and (10), as renumbered, are amended to read:
66.0203 (1) Notice of intention. At least 10 days and not more than 20 days before the circulation of an incorporation petition, a notice setting forth that the petition is to be circulated and including an accurate description of the territory involved shall be published within the county in which said the territory is located as a class 1 notice, under ch. 985.
(2) (a) The petition for incorporation of a village or city shall be in writing signed by 50 or more persons who are both electors and freeholders in the territory to be incorporated if the population of the proposed village or city includes 300 or more persons; otherwise by 25 or more such electors and freeholders persons who are both electors and freeholders in the territory to be incorporated.
(b) The petition shall be addressed to and filed with the circuit court of a county in which all or a major part of the territory to be incorporated is located; and the
. The incorporation petition shall be is void unless filed within 6 months of the date of publication of the notice of intention to circulate.
(c) The petition shall designate a representative of the petitioners, and an alternate, who shall be an elector or freeholder in the territory, and state that person's address; describe the territory to be incorporated with sufficient accuracy to determine its location and have attached thereto to the petition a scale map reasonably showing the boundaries thereof of the territory; specify the current resident population of the territory by number in accordance with the definition given in s. 66.013 66.0201 (2) (b); set forth facts substantially establishing the required standards for incorporation required herein; and request the circuit court to order a referendum and to certify the incorporation of the village or city when it is found that all requirements have been met.
(e) No person who has signed a petition shall be permitted to may withdraw his or her name therefrom from the petition. No additional signatures shall
may be added after a petition is filed.
(3) Hearing; costs. (a) Upon the filing of the petition the circuit court shall by order fix a time and place for a hearing giving preference to such the hearing over other matters on the court calendar.
(b) The court may in its discretion by order allow costs and disbursements as provided for actions in circuit court in any proceeding under this subsection.
(c) The court may in its discretion, upon notice to all parties who have appeared in the hearing and after a hearing thereon on the issue of bond, order the petitioners or any of the opponents to post bond in such an amount as that it deems considers sufficient to cover such disbursements.
(4) (a) Notice of the filing of the petition and of the date of the hearing thereon on the petition before the circuit court shall be published in the territory to be incorporated, as a class 2 notice, under ch. 985, and given by certified or registered mail to the clerk of each town in which the territory is located and to the clerk of each metropolitan municipality of the metropolitan community in which the territory is located. The mailing shall be not less than 10 days prior to before the time set for the hearing.
(7) (a) No action to contest the validity of an incorporation on any grounds whatsoever, whether procedural or jurisdictional shall, may be commenced after 60 days from the date of issuance of the charter of incorporation by the secretary of state.
(8) (b) On the basis of the hearing the circuit court shall find if the standards under s. 66.015 66.0205 are met. If the court finds that the standards are not met, the court shall dismiss the petition. If the court finds that the standards are met the court shall refer the petition to the department and thereupon the department shall determine whether or not the standards under s. 66.016 66.0207 are met.
(9) (a) Upon receipt of the petition from the circuit court the department shall make such any necessary investigation as may be necessary to apply the standards under s. 66.016 66.0207.
(d) Unless the court sets a different time limit, the department shall prepare its findings and determination, citing the supporting evidence in support thereof, within 90 days after receipt of the reference referral from the court. The findings and determination shall be forwarded by the department to the circuit court. Copies of the findings and determination shall be sent by certified or registered mail to the designated representative of the petitioners, and to all town and municipal clerks entitled to receive mailed notice of the petition under sub. (4).
(e) The determination of the department made in accordance with the standards under ss. 66.015, 66.016 66.0205, 66.0207 and 66.021 (11)
66.0217 (6) (c) shall be either one of the following:
1. The petition as submitted shall be is dismissed;.
2. The petition as submitted shall be is granted and an incorporation referendum held;.
3. The petition as submitted shall be is dismissed with a recommendation that a new petition be submitted to include more or less territory as specified in the department's findings and determination.
(f) If the department determines that the petition shall be dismissed under par. (e) 1., the circuit court shall issue an order dismissing the petition. If the department grants the petition, the circuit court shall order an incorporation referendum as provided in s. 66.018 66.0211.
(h) Except for an incorporation petition which describes the territory recommended by the department under s. 66.014 66.0203 (9) (e) 3., no petition for the incorporation of the same or substantially the same territory may be entertained for one year following the date of the denial dismissal under par. (f) of the petition or the date of any election at which incorporation was rejected by the electors.
(10) Existing ordinances. A county shoreland zoning ordinance enacted under s. 59.692 that is in force in any part of the territory shall continue continues in force until altered under s. 59.692 (7) (ad).
66.015 of the statutes is renumbered 66.0205, and 66.0205 (intro.) and (5), as renumbered, are amended to read:
66.0205 Standards to be applied by the circuit court. (intro.) Before referring the incorporation petition as provided in s. 66.014 66.0203 (2) to the department, the court shall determine whether the petition meets the formal and signature requirements and shall further find that the following minimum requirements are met:
(5) Standards when near first, second 1st, 2nd or third 3rd class city. Where If the proposed boundary of a metropolitan village or city is within 10 miles of the boundary of a 1st class city of the first class or 5 miles of a 2nd or 3rd class city of the second or third class, the minimum area requirements shall be are 4 and 6 square miles for villages and cities, respectively.
66.016 of the statutes is renumbered 66.0207, and 66.0207 (1) (a) and (b) and (2) (intro.) and (b), as renumbered, are amended to read:
66.0207 (1) (a) Characteristics of territory. The entire territory of the proposed village or city shall be reasonably homogeneous and compact, taking into consideration natural boundaries, natural drainage basin, soil conditions, present and potential transportation facilities, previous political boundaries, boundaries of school districts, shopping and social customs. An isolated municipality shall have a reasonably developed community center, including some or all of such features such as retail stores, churches, post office, telecommunications exchange and similar centers of community activity.
(b) Territory beyond the core. The territory beyond the most densely populated one-half square mile specified in s. 66.015 66.0205 (1) or the most densely populated square mile specified in s. 66.015 66.0205 (2) shall have an average of more than 30 housing units per quarter section or an assessed value, as defined in s. 66.021 66.0217 (1) (a) for real estate tax purposes, more than 25% of which is attributable to existing or potential mercantile, manufacturing or public utility uses. The territory beyond the most densely populated square mile as specified in s. 66.015 66.0205 (3) or (4) shall have the potential for residential or other urban land use development on a substantial scale within the next 3 years. The department may waive these requirements to the extent that water, terrain or geography prevents such the development.
(2) (intro.) In addition to complying with each of the applicable standards set forth in sub. (1) and s. 66.015, any proposed incorporation 66.0205 in order to be approved for referendum, a proposed incorporation must be in the public interest as determined by the department upon consideration of the following:
(b) Level of services. The level of governmental services desired or needed by the residents of the territory compared to the level of services offered by the proposed village or city and the level available from a contiguous municipality which files a certified copy of a resolution as provided in s. 66.014 66.0203 (6).
66.017 of the statutes is renumbered 66.0209, and 66.0209 (title), (1), (2) and (4), as renumbered, are amended to read:
66.0209 (title) Review of the action incorporation-related orders and decisions. (1) The order of the circuit court made under s. 66.014 66.0203 (8) or (9) (f) may be appealed to the court of appeals.
(2) The decision of the department made under s. 66.014 66.0203 (9) shall be is subject to judicial review under ch. 227.
(4) Where an An incorporation referendum has been ordered by the circuit court under s. 66.014 66.0203 (9) (f), the referendum shall may not be stayed pending the outcome of further litigation, unless the court of appeals or the supreme court, upon appeal or upon the filing of an original action in supreme court, concludes that a strong probability exists that the order of the circuit court or the decision of the department will be set aside.
66.018 of the statutes is renumbered 66.0211, and 66.0211 (title), (2), (3) and (5), as renumbered, are amended to read:
66.0211 (title) Referendum
Incorporation referendum procedure.
(2) Notice of referendum. Notice of the referendum shall be given by publication of the order of the circuit court in a newspaper having general circulation in the territory. Such publication Publication shall be once a week for 4 successive weeks, the. The first publication to may not be not more than 4 weeks before the referendum.
(3) Return. An incorporation referendum shall be conducted in the same manner as an annexation referendum under s. 66.021 (5) insofar as 66.0217 (7) to the extent applicable except that the ballot shall contain the words "For a city [village]" and "Against a city [village]". The inspectors shall make a return to the circuit court.
(5) Certification of incorporation. If a majority of the votes in an incorporation referendum are cast in favor of a village or city, the clerk of the circuit court shall certify the fact to the secretary of state and supply the secretary of state with a copy of a description of the legal boundaries of the village or city and the associated population and a copy of a plat thereof of the village or city. Within 10 days of receipt of the description and plat, the secretary of state shall forward 2 copies to the department of transportation, and one copy
each to the department of administration, one copy to the department of revenue and one copy to the department of commerce. The secretary of state shall issue a certificate of incorporation and record the same certificate.
66.019 of the statutes is renumbered 66.0213 and amended to read:
66.0213 Powers of new village or city: elections; adjustment of taxes; reorganization as village. (1) Village or city powers. Every A village or city incorporated under this section shall be ss. 66.0201 to 66.0213 is a body corporate and politic, with powers and privileges of a municipal corporation at common law and conferred by these statutes.
(2) Existing ordinances. (a) Ordinances in force in the territory incorporated or any part thereof, insofar as of the territory, to the extent not inconsistent with chs. 61 and 62, shall continue in force until altered or repealed.
(b) A county shoreland zoning ordinance enacted under s. 59.692 that is in force in any part of the territory shall continue continues in force until altered under s. 59.692 (7) (ad).
(3) Interim officers. All officers of the village or town embracing the territory thus that is incorporated as a village or city shall continue in their powers and duties until the first meeting of the board of trustees or common council at which a quorum is present. Until a village or city clerk is chosen and qualified all oaths of office and other papers shall be filed with the circuit court, with whom which the petition was filed
, who. The court shall deliver them the oaths and other papers with the petition to the village or city clerk when that clerk qualifies.
(4) First village or city election. (a) Within 10 days after incorporation of the village or city, the clerk of the circuit court with whom the petition was filed shall fix a time for the first election, and where appropriate designate the polling place or places, and name 3 inspectors of election for each place. The time for the election shall be fixed no less than 40 nor more than 50 days after the date of the certificate of incorporation issued by the secretary of state, irrespective of any other provision in the statutes. Nomination papers shall conform to ch. 8 insofar as
to the extent applicable. Such Nomination papers shall be signed by not less than 5% nor more than 10% of the total votes cast at the referendum election, and be filed no later than 15 days before the time fixed for the election. Ten days' previous notice of the election shall be given by the clerk of the circuit court by publication in the newspapers selected under s. 66.018 66.0211 (2) and by posting notices in 3 public places in such the village or city, but failure to give such notice shall
does not invalidate the election.
(b) The election shall be conducted as prescribed by ch. 6, except that no registration of voters shall
may be required. The inspectors shall make returns to the clerk of the circuit court who shall, within one week after such the election, canvass the returns and declare the result. The clerk shall notify the officers-elect and issue certificates of election. If the first election is on the first Tuesday in April the officers so elected and their appointees shall commence and hold their offices as for a regular term. Otherwise they shall commence within 10 days and hold their offices until the regular village or city election and the qualification of their successors and the terms of their appointees shall expire as soon as successors qualify.
(5) Taxes levied before incorporation; how collected and divided. Whenever If a village or city is incorporated from territory within any town or towns, after the assessment of taxes in any year and before the collection of such the taxes, the tax so assessed shall be collected by the town treasurer of the town or the town treasurers of the different towns of which such the village or city formerly constituted a part, and all moneys collected from the tax levied for town purposes shall be divided between the village or city and the town or the towns, as provided by s. 66.03 66.0235 (13) (a) 1., for the division of property owned jointly by towns and villages.
(6) Reorganization of city as village. If the population of the any city falls below 1,000 as determined by the United States census, the council may upon filing of a petition conforming to the requirements of s. 8.40 containing the signatures of at least 15% of the electors submit at any general or city election the question whether the city shall reorganize as a village. If three-fifths of the votes cast on the question are for reorganization the mayor and council shall record the return in the office of the register of deeds and, file a certified copy with the clerk of the circuit court, and shall immediately call an election, to be conducted as are village elections, for the election of village officers. Upon the qualification of such the officers, the board of trustees shall declare the city reorganized as a village, and the reorganization shall be effected is effective. The clerk shall certify a copy of the declaration to the secretary of state who shall file the declaration and endorse a memorandum thereof of the declaration on the record of the certificate of incorporation of the city. Rights and liabilities of the city shall continue in favor of or against the village. Ordinances, so far as within the power of the village, shall remain in force until changed.
Note: Expands the scope of sub. (6) to include any city, not just a city incorporated under ss. 66.013 to 66.019 (renumbered ss. 66.0201 to 66.0213), by changing the reference to "the" city to "any" city.
66.02 of the statutes is renumbered 66.0229 and amended to read:
66.0229 Consolidation. Subject to s. 66.023 66.0307 (7), any a town, village or city may be consolidated with a contiguous town, village or city, by ordinance, passed by a two-thirds vote of all the members of each board or council, fixing the terms of the consolidation and ratified by the electors at a referendum held in each municipality. The ballots shall bear the words, "for consolidation", and "against consolidation", and if a majority of the votes cast thereon in each municipality are for consolidation, the ordinances shall then be in
take effect and have the force of a contract. The ordinance and the result of the referendum shall be certified as provided in s. 66.018 66.0211 (5); if a town the certification shall be preserved as provided in ss. 60.03 and 66.018
66.0211 (5) and 66.0235, respectively. Consolidation shall does not affect the preexisting rights or liabilities of any municipality and actions thereon on those rights or liabilities may be commenced or completed as though
if there were no consolidation had been effected. Any. A consolidation ordinance proposing the consolidation of a town and another municipality shall, within 10 days after its adoption and prior to its submission to the voters for ratification at a referendum, be submitted to the circuit court and the department of administration for a determination whether such the proposed consolidation is in the public interest. The circuit court shall determine whether the proposed ordinance meets the formal requirements of this section and shall then refer the matter to the department of administration, which shall find as prescribed in s. 66.014 66.0203 whether the proposed consolidation is in the public interest in accordance with the standards in s. 66.016 66.0207. The department's findings shall have the same status as incorporation findings under ss. 66.014 66.0203 to 66.019 66.0213.
Subchapter II (title) of chapter 66 [precedes 66.0201] of the statutes is created to read:
66.021 (title) of the statutes is renumbered 66.0217 (title) and amended to read:
66.0217 (title) Annexation of territory initiated by electors and property owners.
66.021 (1) (intro.) and (a) of the statutes are renumbered 66.0217 (1) (intro.) and (a).
66.021 (1) (am) to (e) of the statutes are renumbered 66.0217 (1) (c) to (g), and 66.0217 (1) (d), (e) and (f), as renumbered, are amended to read:
66.0217 (1) (d) "Owner" means the holder of record of an estate in possession in fee simple, or for life, in land or real property, or a vendee of record under a land contract for the sale of an estate in possession in fee simple or for life but does not include the vendor under a land contract. A tenant in common or joint tenant shall be considered such is an owner to the extent of his or her interest.
(e) "Petition" includes the original petition and any counterpart thereof of the original petition.
(f) "Real property" means land and the improvements thereon to the land.
66.021 (2) of the statutes is renumbered 66.0217 (3), and 66.0217 (3) (intro.) and (a) (title), as renumbered, are amended to read:
66.0217 (3) Methods
Other methods of annexation. (intro.) Subject to s. 66.023 66.0307 (7), territory contiguous to any a city or village may be annexed thereto to the city or village in the following ways:
(a) (title) Direct annexation by one-half approval.
66.021 (2m) (title) of the statutes is repealed.
66.021 (2m) of the statutes is renumbered 66.0217 (10) (b) and amended to read:
66.0217 (10) (b) Whenever For purposes of this section, if a number of electors cannot be determined on the basis of reported election statistics, the number shall be determined in accordance with s. 60.74 (6).
66.021 (3) of the statutes is renumbered 66.0217 (4), and 66.0217 (4) (title), (a) (intro.) and (b), as renumbered, are amended to read:
66.0217 (4) (title) Notice of proposed annexation. (a) (intro.) The An annexation
under sub. (3) shall be initiated by publishing in the territory proposed for annexation a class 1 notice, under ch. 985, of intention to circulate an annexation petition. The notice shall contain:
(b) The person who causes has the notice to be published shall serve a copy of the notice, within 5 days after its publication, upon the clerk of each municipality affected, upon the clerk of each school district affected and upon each owner of land in a town if that land will be in a city or village after the annexation. Such service Service may be either by personal service or by registered certified mail with return receipt requested. If required under sub. (6) (a), a copy of the notice shall be mailed to the department as provided in that paragraph.
Note: Revises the required service of notice of intention to circulate an annexation petition to include the method of certified mail, rather than registered mail. Certified mail is less expensive than registered mail and there appears to be no policy reason to require registered mail.
66.021 (4) of the statutes is renumbered 66.0217 (5) and amended to read:
66.0217 (5) Petition
Annexation petition. (a) The An annexation petition under this section shall state the purpose of the petition, contain a legal description of the territory proposed to be annexed and have attached thereto a scale map. The petition shall also specify the population, as defined in s. 66.013 (2) (b), of the territory. In this paragraph, "population" means the population of the territory as shown by the last federal census, by any subsequent population estimate certified as acceptable by the department or by an actual count certified as acceptable by the department.
Note: In addition to the current methods, authorizes the population of the territory to be determined by an actual count, certified as acceptable by the department.
(b) No person who has signed a petition shall be permitted to may withdraw his or her name therefrom from the petition. No additional signatures shall
may be added after a petition is filed.
(c) The circulation of the petition shall commence not less than 10 days nor more than 20 days after the date of publication of the notice of intention to circulate. The annexation petition shall be is void unless filed within 6 months of the date of publication of the notice.
66.021 (5) of the statutes is renumbered 66.0217 (7) and amended to read:
66.0217 (7) Referendum. (a) Notice. 1. Within 60 days after the filing of the petition under sub. (3), the common council or village board may accept or reject the petition and if rejected no further action shall
may be taken thereon on the petition. Acceptance may consist of adoption of an annexation ordinance. Failure to reject the petition shall obligate obligates the city or village to pay the cost of any referendum favorable to annexation.
2. If the petition is not rejected the clerk of the city or village with whom the annexation petition is filed shall give written notice thereof of the petition by personal service or registered mail with return receipt requested to the clerk of any town from which territory is proposed to be detached and shall give like notice to any person who files a written request therefor with the clerk.
Such The notice shall indicate whether the petition is for direct annexation or whether it requests a referendum on the question of annexation.
3. If the notice indicates that the petition is for a referendum on the question of annexation, the town clerk shall give notice as provided in par. (c) of a referendum of the electors residing in the area proposed for annexation to be held within 30 days after the date of personal service or mailing of the notice required under this paragraph. If the notice indicates that the petition is for direct annexation, no referendum shall be held unless, within 30 days after the date of personal service or mailing of the notice required under this paragraph, a petition conforming to the requirements of s. 8.40 requesting a referendum is filed with the town clerk signed by at least 20% of the electors residing in the area proposed to be annexed. If such a petition requesting a referendum is filed, the clerk shall give notice as provided in par. (c) of a referendum of the electors residing in the area proposed for annexation to be held within 30 days of the receipt of the petition and shall mail a copy of such the notice to the clerk of the city or village to which the annexation is proposed. Any The referendum shall be held at some a convenient place within the town to be specified in the notice.
(b) Clerk to act. If more than one town is involved, the city or village clerk shall determine as nearly as is practicable which town contains the most electors in the area proposed to be annexed and shall indicate in the notice required under par. (a) such that determination. The clerk of the town so designated shall perform the duties required hereunder under this subsection and the election shall be conducted in such the town as are other elections conducted therein.
(c) Publication of notice. The notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the area proposed to be annexed on the publication day next preceding the referendum election and one week prior to such that publication.