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12-519. Definitions. As used in this act: (a) "Tract" means a single unit of real property under one ownership, outside the corporate limits of a city, which may be platted or unplatted, title to which is publicly or privately held by an owner as defined by subsection (c).

(b) "Land" means a part of a tract or one or more tracts.

(c) "Owner" means the one who has record title to a tract. In the event two or more persons have record title to a tract, "owner" shall be defined as follows: (1) If joint tenants, "owner" means a majority of the number of joint tenants; (2) if tenants in common, "owner" means both a majority of the number of tenants in common and the holders of a majority of the undivided interests in the tract; (3) if the tract is held by a life tenant and a remainderman, "owner" means the life tenant; (4) if the tract is held by a tenant under a recorded lease providing for a lease term of 10 years or longer and a remainderman, "owner" means both such tenant and remainderman; (5) if one holds title to the surface and another holds title to the minerals, "owner" means the surface title holder.

(d) "Adjoins" means to lie upon or touch (1) the city boundary line; or (2) a highway, railway or watercourse which lies upon the city boundary line and separates such city and the land sought to be annexed by only the width of such highway, railway or watercourse.

(e) "Platted" means a tract or tracts mapped or drawn to scale, showing a division or divisions thereof, which map or drawing is filed in the office of the register of deeds by the owner of such tract.

(f) "Land devoted to agricultural use" means land which is devoted to the production of plants, animals or horticultural products, including but not limited to: Forages; grains and feed crops; dairy animals and dairy products; poultry and poultry products; beef cattle, sheep, swine and horses; bees and apiary products; trees and forest products; fruits, nuts and berries; vegetables; or nursery, floral, ornamental and greenhouse products. Land devoted to agricultural use shall not include those lands which are used for recreational purposes, suburban residential acreages, rural home sites or farm home sites and yard plots whose primary function is for residential or recreational purposes even though such properties may produce or maintain some of those plants or animals listed in the foregoing definition.

(g) "Qualified elector" means any owner of land, as defined under this section, within the area proposed to be annexed under the provisions of K.S.A. 12-521, and amendments thereto.

(h) "Area proposed to be annexed" means the area approved for annexation by the board of county commissioners under provisions of K.S.A. 12-521, and amendments thereto.

(i) "Watercourse" means a natural or manmade course where water may flow on a regular or intermittent basis; a watercourse shall not include a natural or manmade lake, pond or other impoundment of five or more acres of surface area.

History: L. 1967, ch. 98, § 1; L. 1974, ch. 56, § 1; L. 1987, ch. 66, § 1; L. 2011, ch. 101, § 5; June 2.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

Possible constitutional questions under home rule, Robert F. Bennett, 36 J.B.A.K. 169, 171 (1967).

"City Home Rule in Kansas," Wright W. Crummett, 9 W.L.J. 1, 10 (1969).

"State Control of Local Government in Kansas: Special Legislation and Home Rule," Barkley Clark, 20 K.L.R. 631, 657 (1972).

"Annexation in Kansas," Robert W. Parnacott, 70 J.K.B.A. No. 10, 28 (2001).

Attorney General's Opinions:

Groundwater management districts; definitions; eligible voters, water users, tract. 85-58.

Conditions which permit annexation by cities; ordinances; actions challenging validity. 88-138.

Powers of rural water districts; contract with city for purchase of water. 89-95.

Annexation of land devoted to agricultural use. 95-91.

Land separated from city by military reservation does not "adjoin" city. 95-116.

Annexation; land devoted to agricultural use, effect of presence of home site; rural homestead exemption. 96-17.


1. Alley is a luxury; many platted subdivisions do not have alleys. State, ex rel., v. City of Edgerton, 201 Kan. 274, 279, 440 P.2d 540.

2. Subsections (b) and (e) cited; to be platted, not required that land be divided into blocks, streets and/or alleys. State, ex rel., v. City of Coffeyville, 211 Kan. 746, 747, 748, 749, 508 P.2d 1007.

3. Act held constitutional; severance of K.S.A. 12-525 from statute. State, ex rel., v. City of Overland Park, 215 Kan. 700, 701, 704, 705, 706, 709, 710, 712, 714, 527 P.2d 1340.

4. Annexation ordinances substantially complied with 1974 amendments; bona fide plan supported by evidence. Clarke v. City of Wichita, 218 Kan. 334, 335, 347, 543 P.2d 973.

5. City has no standing to challenge the annexation procedures of another city. City of Lenexa v. City of Olathe, 228 Kan. 773, 778, 620 P.2d 1153.

6. Whether land adjoins annexing city is in dispute, another city has rights which entitle it to challenge annexation. City of Lenexa v. City of Olathe, 229 Kan. 391, 625 P.2d 423.

7. Cited; adoption of 2 successive ordinances under single resolution, substantial compliance with article 5 of chapter 12. Grandon v. City of Hutchinson, 6 Kan. App. 2d 896, 897, 636 P.2d 205 (1981).

8. Considered in holding board of county commissioners a proper party to appeal from its order denying petition filed under K.S.A. 12-521. Board of Johnson County Commissioners v. City of Lenexa, 230 Kan. 632, 638, 640 P.2d 1212 (1982).

9. Cited in holding K.S.A. 12-529 constitutional delegation over manner cities may alter boundaries. Board of Riley County Comm'rs v. City of Junction City, 233 Kan. 947, 949, 950, 959, 667 P.2d 868 (1983).

10. Noted; annexation of tracts nonadjoining at time proceedings commenced ineffective following annexation of adjoining property. Banzer v. City of Wichita, 237 Kan. 798, 801, 805, 703 P.2d 812 (1985).

11. Cited; where no showing made annexation under K.S.A. 12-520(e) would make boundary line straight or harmonious, annexation invalid. McDowell v. City of Topeka, 239 Kan. 263, 264, 267, 718 P.2d 1308 (1986).

12. City not required to exhaust proceedings to annex parcels eligible under K.S.A. 12-520 before proceeding under K.S.A. 12-521. In re Petition of City of Overland Park for Annexation of Land, 241 Kan. 365, 368, 369, 736 P.2d 923 (1987).

13. Adjoining owner of property to be annexed that does not adjoin city (K.S.A. 12-520c) without standing to challenge annexation examined. Cedar Creek Properties, Inc. v. Board of Johnson County Comm'rs, 13 Kan. App. 2d 734, 736, 779 P.2d 463 (1989).

14. Annexation of multiple contiguous tracts, with owners' consent, where part adjoins city as proper under K.S.A. 12-520 examined. City of Leawood v. City of Overland Park, 245 Kan. 283, 286, 777 P.2d 830 (1989).

15. Adjoining landowner as having standing to seek review of decision on "island" annexation examined. Cedar Creek Properties, Inc. v. Board of Johnson County Comm'rs, 246 Kan. 412, 414, 789 P.2d 1170 (1990).

16. Mentioned; city's letter of intent to issue industrial revenue bonds and abatement void for failure to notify school district. Genesis Health Club, Inc. v. City of Wichita, 285 Kan. 1021, 1033, 181 P.3d 549 (2008).

17. Requirement that plat of land be recorded "by the owner" in order for annexation. Bunge Milling, Inc. v. City of Atchison, 49 Kan. App. 2d 325, 310 P.3d 1065 (2013).

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