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Homeowners oppose Mandan annexation

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) -- Rural homeowners just outside of Mandan still don't want the city to grow.

A downsized annexation proposal involving property north of the Mandan Middle School is again drawing opposition from rural homeowners who stopped two previous attempts to add to the city. They said they want to remain outside of city borders and avoid paying what could be six-figure special assessments to Mandan.

The Bismarck Tribune reported the Mandan City Commission scheduled an Oct. 1 hearing to determine whether there are enough objections to stop the proposed addition of 878 acres along state Highway 1806. The deadline for filing the protests is Sept. 23.

None of the affected property owners spoke at a meeting on Tuesday but told the Tribune that city officials remapped the new annexation borders so residents there would be unable to obtain enough protests to stop it this time.

In July, nearly 33 percent of the rural landowners submitted protests against joining the city as part of a 1,000-acre annexation. They needed support from 25 percent of the property owners to stop the annexation.

On Aug. 6, city commissioners withdrew the 1,000-acre proposal but asked City Attorney Malcolm Brown to draw up new annexation lines with a map of 878 acres. The new boundaries leave out Highway 1806 east along 38th Street.

In 2007, the same landowners objected to another annexation attempt. After mediation, the courts ruled in favor of the rural landowners, saying there was too little development to justify overriding the protest.

Developers are pushing for the annexation because they want city services installed where they want to build out from a growing northwest Mandan.