ILNews

Court rules on annexation, land dispute

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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A county was able to establish an economic development area in unincorporated land that was also in the process of being annexed by a town because the annexation process hadn't been completed yet, ruled the Indiana Supreme Court.

When the Boone County Redevelopment Commission (RDC) initiated proceedings to create an economic development area (EDA), the area included land on which Whitestown had initiated annexation proceedings just one week earlier in July 2006. In October 2006, the Boone County Board of Commissioners approved the establishment of the EDA.

A trial court held pursuant to Indiana's economic development statutes, the RDC had the authority and jurisdiction to establish the EDA; the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court. The appellate court held the county's authority to create the EDA was precluded by the town's initiation of annexation proceedings.

The Indiana Supreme Court on Monday affirmed the decision of the trial court in Brenwick Associates LLC and Town of Whitestown, Indiana v. Boone County Redevelopment Commission and the Board of Commissioners of Boone County, Indiana, No. 06S04-0712-CV-573.

The issue in this case is whether the fact Whitestown started annexation proceedings by introducing an annexation ordinance at the town council meeting precluded Boone County from creating the EDA.

In order to resolve the issue, the high court examined the economic development statutes in Indiana Code Sections 36-7-14-1 to -48. A conflict that can occur under these statutes is when a municipality with a commission decides to annex territory located in a county redevelopment area. At the point in time that annexation is complete, the land in the county redevelopment district is included in the municipality's redevelopment district, which is happening in the instant case.

The Boone County RDC doesn't include any territory in Whitestown because the town has its own redevelopment commission.

"However, when the RDC started establishing the disputed EDA that included the unincorporated 1,425 acres, Whitestown had not completed annexation over any part of this territory; the territory area was not within its corporate boundaries and, therefore, not within its redevelopment district," wrote Justice Frank Sullivan.

Under Indiana Code Sections 36-7-14-3(b) and 41, the RDC had the authority to establish the EDA in the disputed territory until Whitestown had completed its annexation of the disputed territory.
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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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