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CEDAR CREEK PROPERTIES v. BOARD OF JOHNSON CTY. COMM'RS
April 13, 1990.
CEDAR CREEK PROPERTIES, INC., ASH GROVE CEMENT COMPANY, and R.J. ANDERSON, Appellants,
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, JOHNSON COUNTY, KANSAS, Appellee.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
This is an "island annexation" case which addresses the issue
of standing. The land to be annexed does not adjoin any city. We
call upon statutory construction concepts in dealing with this
issue of first impression: the interpretation of K.S.A. 12-520c.
The case is before us on a petition for review from the Court
of Appeals decision in Cedar Creek Properties, Inc. v. Board of
Johnson County Comm'rs, 13 Kan. App. 2d 734, 779 P.2d 463 (1989).
Plaintiffs Cedar Creek Properties, Inc., Ash Grove Cement
Company, and R.J. Anderson (adjoining landowners) petitioned this
court to review the decision of the Court of Appeals that
determined that adjoining landowners had no standing to appeal
the decision of the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners
(the Board) that annexation will not hinder or prevent proper
growth or development of the area. A divided Court of Appeals
"In cases of a proposed annexation of land not
adjoining the city, an adjoining owner of the
property to be annexed who contests the anticipated
use of the property annexed is not aggrieved by the
annexation order and, therefore, has no standing
pursuant to K.S.A. 12-520c(c) to challenge the
proposed annexation. The adjoining owner's remedy
lies instead with a challenge of the issuance of the
special use permit which must be obtained by the
owner of the property annexed prior to commencing the
contested use." 13 Kan. App. 2d 734, Syl. ¶ 1.
We granted review to consider the standing issue.
The facts are not in dispute. They are summarized as follows:
The property which is the subject of the annexation is located
adjacent to Highway K-10 in Johnson County and is within the area
covered by a 1983 agreement between the cities of Lenexa and
Olathe as to future annexation by the two cities. Under the
agreement, the property is designated for annexation by Lenexa.
In September 1987, Holland Corporation, the owner of the acreage
to be annexed, requested a special use permit from Lenexa to
operate a rock quarry on the site. Public hearings on the request
began in November 1987. While the request was being considered,
Lenexa's extra-territorial zoning authority over the parcel was
Holland then requested Lenexa to annex the property pursuant to
K.S.A. 12-520c, which authorizes a city to annex land not
adjoining the city limits upon petition or by consent of the
owner of the land. The Lenexa City Commission approved Holland's
request and, pursuant to the statute, sent the request to the
Board for approval. Counsel for the adjoining landowners appeared
and opposed the proposed annexation. The adjoining landowners
argued the proposed use of the annexed property was relevant in
determining what effect the annexation would have on the
surrounding property. The Board authorized the annexation by a
unanimous vote. In the Board's view, the proposed use of the
acreage was a consideration for Lenexa's planning commission and
city commission in deciding whether to grant a special use permit
and should not be considered by the Board in deciding the
The adjoining landowners filed petitions for judicial review of
the Board's decision and the cases were consolidated. The Board
filed a motion to dismiss the petition, alleging the adjoining
landowners lacked standing to appeal the Board's decision. The
City of Lenexa, intervening in the action, also filed a motion to
dismiss based on the adjoining landowners' lack of standing. The
district court granted the motions to dismiss.
The district court stated it was granting the Board's motion to
dismiss primarily on a determination that the adjoining
landowners lacked standing. Secondarily, the district court noted
that it appeared the Board had no zoning jurisdiction. The Board
was not obliged to consider such matters.
We need not address those comments here as the zoning issue was
not presented in the motion to dismiss granted by the district
The issue is whether the adjoining landowners have standing
under K.S.A. 12-520c(c) to appeal a determination by the Board
that the proposed "island annexation" will not hinder or prevent
the proper growth and development of the area.
The adjoining landowners' arguments that they have standing are
(1) They are "owners" as defined by K.S.A. 1989 Supp.
12-519(c), and K.S.A. 12-520c(c) unambiguously says ...
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