The second district appellate court “was absolutely correct in their interpretation and application of state law,” Xenia City Manager Brent Merriman said in a prepared statement.
“To fight this decision is essentially saying that the city cannot annex its own, contiguous property into the city,” Merriman’s statement reads. “There has been an attempt to make this annexation about Central State University, and it is not. The petition in question is for annexation of city-owned property, and making the matter a referendum on future annexations is inappropriate and not legally defensible.”
The city owns roughly 41 of the 45 acres of the land sought to be annexed along the Ohio to Erie Trail, which stretches about four miles north of the city limits to the CSU campus.
The city’s petition is for a type 2 annexation, which requires 5% of the land to be annexed to be contiguous with the city’s border. The city’s petition spells out the numbers involved, showing the land to be sought is just over 5% contiguous with the city’s border.
The contiguity requirement was one of the main points challenged by the county, according to the second appellate court’s records.
The county argued because the city intends to do more annexations which are contingent on this one being approved, the actual land sought to be annexed is nearly 160 acres, which would put the city outside the contiguity requirement, according to court records.
Xenia Law Director Donnette Fischer argued there is only one petition for annexation up for consideration and the city has met all the requirements as spelled out for type 2 annexations under Ohio law.
Commissioners Bob Glaser and Dick Gould voted in favor of appealing the case to the state’s highest court. Commission President Tom Koogler was absent from the meeting.