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April 13, 1990.


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.

[246 Kan. 413]


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 held:
"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 questioned.

  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

[246 Kan. 414]

      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 annexation request.

  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 court.


  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 as follows:

  (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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