What is Annexation?
Annexation is the process by which land that is currently located in the unincorporated areas of Wood or Marathon Counties, and which shares a common boundary line with a city, becomes part of an incorporated city, such as Marshfield. The process of becoming annexed into the City of Marshfield has several steps, including at least one public meeting.
Steps in the Annexation Process
- Applicants and other interested persons should review relevant ordinances and other regulations for details of the annexation process (see Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 66.0217-66.0223). Prior to proceeding with annexation application, applicants should discuss the annexation concept with affected property owners, planning staff, and a private attorney.
- Some properties may be located in the area under jurisdiction of a cooperative boundary agreement and may require additional steps.
- Annexation applicants need to file a petition for annexation, based on their annexation category as described in WI Stat. 66, which includes an application form from the City and one from the State. Both forms are available at the City Clerk’s office on the 5th floor of City Hall Plaza. Typically, most annexation petitions are of the category “Annexation Initiated by Electors and Property Owners” (Stat. 66.0217). The remainder of this brochure will relate to this category, but applicants are encouraged to confer with an attorney to determine the necessary procedure for their specific annexation request.
- Request for Permanent Zoning (optional, but recommended): As a part of the annexation petition, many applicants will make a separate but concurrent request for “permanent zoning” on the affected property. Without such a request, the zoning for the property would be “temporary” and would become the same zoning as the adjacent property to which it was annexed. For this reason, and to simplify the move into the City, it is recommended that annexation applicants also request permanent zoning, as outlined in the following item.
- Plan Commission Public Hearing: Upon acceptance of the completed application by the Planning and Economic Development Department, the “Request for Permanent Zoning” will be placed on the next available Plan Commission agenda. The Plan Commission holds a public hearing on the scheduled date, typically the third Tuesday of the month, and makes a recommendation to the Common Council regarding the proposed zoning classification.
- Common Council Meeting: After receipt of Plan Commission recommendation, the Common Council will either approve or disapprove the zoning request.
- Concurrently, Council will approve or disapprove an “annexation ordinance,” prepared by the applicant or the applicant’s attorney. Approval of ordinances typically take two “readings,” thus expect two Council meetings before a final decision is made on the proposed annexation. Council will not hear an annexation request until it is approved by the Wisconsin Dept. of Administration. Overall, it may take up to eight to ten weeks for approval, from application submittal to Council’s second reading.
- How to Apply for Annexation: Application for annexation is made on a form available from the Planning and Economic Development Department and submitted as noted in Step 2. The application must be accompanied by, at a minimum:
Complete legal description of property proposed to be annexed.
- Scale map, showing all pertinent property boundaries and including a graphic scale.
- Population of the property.
- In addition, the Wisconsin Department of Administration requires a separate “Request for Annexation Review” form be submitted to their Municipal Boundary Review office. An initial filing fee of $200, plus a variable acreage fee of $200 to $2000, is required by the State. At the time of this brochure’s publication, the City of Marshfield did not require an annexation fee but will require a rezoning fee.
This brochure is intended to provide a summary of the annexation process for the City of Marshfield. It is in no way a substitute for or complete description of city, county, state, or federal rules, regulations, or policies. As always, please consult with City of Marshfield staff prior to commencing any regulated land use or building activity.
Contact Information For more information regarding annexation, please contact Josh Miller, Development Services Director at (715) 486-2075.