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Supreme Court rules in favor of Proctor in annexation issue


 

Supreme Court rules in favor

of Proctor in annexation issue

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that property owners in Midway Township can annex into Proctor.

The Supreme Court in their 11-page decision said an orderly annexation agreement between Midway Township and the City of Duluth “does not preclude otherwise lawful annexation by ordinance under Minnesota law by non-parties to the agreement.” They went further writing “we affirm the decision of the court of appeals.”

The case was heard during a 68-minute hearing in St. Paul on Halloween 2018.

Midway and Duluth entered into an annexation agreement in 2018 hoping to prevent property owners from annexation out of the township. After the orderly annexation agreement took effect siblings George Hovland III and Julie Ann Savalas wanted to annex their 92-acres of Midway property into Proctor.

Hovland and Savalas petitioned Proctor proposing annexation of their property in 2014. In August 2014 Proctor adopted an ordinance granting their request. Midway and Duluth objected on the grounds that the property is subject to their January 14, 2013 Orderly Annexation Agreement and was therefore not eligible to be part of Proctor

Minnesota's chief Administrative Law Judge approved the annexation but Duluth and Midway objected to the annexation and the OAH (Office of Administrative Hearings) heard the dispute. It ruled on October 10, 2016 that Proctor's annexation by ordinance was valid under Minnesota law.

Duluth and Midway then asked the district court to overrule the decision. The district court vacated the order concluding that an orderly annexation agreement was invalid.

Proctor and the OAH then appealed. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision.

Duluth has maintained for over four decades that development of I-35 would have an adverse effect on the Spirit Mountain Recreation complex and that they should have a say in the corridor that leads to their city.

 

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