Appeals Court Upholds Knoxville Annexation

The State Court of Appeals upheld the annexation by Knoxville of an area surrounded by the city. State ex rel. Tipton v. City of Knoxville (No. E2004-01359-COA –R3-CV — filed January 17, 2006). The court upheld the trial court’s determination that the plaintiffs had two burdens of proof from which to choose, i.e. that the ordinance was unreasonable or that the health, safety, and welfare of the area would not be materially retarded in the absence of the annexation. The plaintiffs chose the latter burden, and the court ruled they failed to meet it.

The court ruled that the plaintiffs would have to prove that the annexation would not materially benefit the city and property owners. The court ruled that the fact the property already received city services indicated the properties benefited from their proximity to the city. The court cited traffic volume, street lights that help deter crime, storm drains, increased police and fire protection, decreased confusion of emergency dispatchers, improved response times, and appropriate zoning that could be implemented after annexation as conclusive evidence that failure to annex the territory would materially retard the area and the city.

The Supreme Court denied permission to appeal in this case.

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