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Old 03-19-2014, 05:30 PM
 
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A better way to put it for NY is that the only unincorporation within the state will still be covered at the town(ship) level. Some are recognized as Census Designated Places or CDP's like West Elmira or Fairmount, but both are governed by incorporated towns in the town of Elmira and the town of Camillus, respectively.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:11 PM
 
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Illinois does not allow annexation of incorporated cities or villages by larger ones. I understand some States do. But an interesting situation exists in Cook County. It still has a lot of scattered unincorporated areas, which the County Sheriff is responsible for patrolling. The County President expressed a desire for adjacent villages to annex those areas, presumably greatly reducing the need for County Sheriff patrols.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:49 PM
 
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Illinois cities can't annex? Wow...if California cities couldn't annex land, the biggest city (geographically) would have been San Francisco, and even they had to annex land to reach their current size of 39 miles. Los Angelesn Sacramento, San Jose and San Diego would be little cities of a couple square miles surrounded by other cities that might potentially be much larger. Chicago used to annex land, when did that law change?
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Illinois cities can't annex? Wow...if California cities couldn't annex land, the biggest city (geographically) would have been San Francisco, and even they had to annex land to reach their current size of 39 miles. Los Angelesn Sacramento, San Jose and San Diego would be little cities of a couple square miles surrounded by other cities that might potentially be much larger. Chicago used to annex land, when did that law change?
Chicago hasn't annexed a burb since about 1930, maybe 1960 if you count the area around O'Hare. The law didn't change it is just that the burbs no longer wanted to be annexed. The law required both city and burb to agree to the annexation. Once the near burbs grew to a certain size the city itself could not offer much.
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:47 PM
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Location: NYC
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Local magazine suggests Boston should annex most of its neighbors:

Why Boston Should Annex Brookline (and Cambridge, and Somerville)

Article includes a good history of Boston's annexations. I like how they recommend suggest Boston could annex Somerville.

. So for strategic purposes, we’ll begin by absorbing Arlington and Medford, thereby completely encircling Somerville, whereupon we can lay siege to the city. No ammunition necessary: We’ll simply direct Inspectional Services to quarantine all shipments of organic produce on suspicion of potato blight or boll-weevil infestation, and see how long the locavores last when they’re forced to subsist on chain restaurants. Once Somerville falls, we’ll mop up the remnants of Belmont, Watertown, and Milton, resulting in a Boston with a pleasingly rotund shape and a population exceeding 1.25 million people, displacing Dallas as the ninth-largest city in the U.S.

While far fetched, Los Angeles was almost as aggressive (You want water? Only if you join us!)

Boston proposed to annex nearby Chelsea in 1991, when Chelsea went bankrupt and the state took it over, but the Chelsea city leaders managed to keep the city. Here it's explanation for why Cambridge didn't get annexed:

An 1892 story in the New York Times reported on a proposal to absorb Cambridge, which, like many other second-rate towns of its day, found itself struggling to pay for modern roads and sewer systems. The Times story noted that “the overburdened taxpayers are strongly in favor,” but that “principal opposition comes from Cambridge City officers and would-be officers, who dread the passing of their glory.”

Unlike Illinois or western state, there was no unincorporated land in Massachusetts, locations incorporated upon settlement. From what I can tell, the earlier in the 19th century, when the nearby towns were small and not that developed, they voted for annexation to Boston. By the end of the 19th century, urbanization outpaced annexation and the nearby cities were large enough and developed enough that annexation was less appealing. So the end result was that the more urban Cambridge and Somerville which developed earlier and very close to downtown Boston didn't get annexed by far away and less developed areas (such as Hyde Park) did. Here's a map of Boston in 1858:



Dorchester, Roxbury and West Roxbury would get annexed. East Boston and South Boston had been annexed recently. Brighton would also get annexed even though it's on the other side of Brookline, which would not get annexed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fileorchester_1858.jpg

I think the main reason for Boston's lack of annexations is from municipalities already being incorporated. Don't know as much about Chicago, but I'm guessing most nearby settlement was just rural prior to the expansion of Chicago while the Boston area had more smaller villages that predated Boston's growth.

Last edited by nei; 03-20-2014 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Chicago hasn't annexed a burb since about 1930, maybe 1960 if you count the area around O'Hare. The law didn't change it is just that the burbs no longer wanted to be annexed. The law required both city and burb to agree to the annexation. Once the near burbs grew to a certain size the city itself could not offer much.
But do you think incorporated suburbs should annex unincorporated territory? Especially if it's just low level residential or empty space? Not much revenue in that, but is it their "civic duty?"
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:25 PM
 
59,422 posts, read 84,248,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Local magazine suggests Boston should annex most of its neighbors:

Why Boston Should Annex Brookline (and Cambridge, and Somerville)

Article includes a good history of Boston's annexations. I like how they recommend suggest Boston could annex Somerville.

. So for strategic purposes, we’ll begin by absorbing Arlington and Medford, thereby completely encircling Somerville, whereupon we can lay siege to the city. No ammunition necessary: We’ll simply direct Inspectional Services to quarantine all shipments of organic produce on suspicion of potato blight or boll-weevil infestation, and see how long the locavores last when they’re forced to subsist on chain restaurants. Once Somerville falls, we’ll mop up the remnants of Belmont, Watertown, and Milton, resulting in a Boston with a pleasingly rotund shape and a population exceeding 1.25 million people, displacing Dallas as the ninth-largest city in the U.S.

While far fetched, Los Angeles was almost as aggressive (You want water? Only if you join us!)

Boston proposed to annex nearby Chelsea in 1991, when Chelsea went bankrupt and the state took it over, but the Chelsea city leaders managed to keep the city. Here it's explanation for why Cambridge didn't get annexed:

An 1892 story in the New York Times reported on a proposal to absorb Cambridge, which, like many other second-rate towns of its day, found itself struggling to pay for modern roads and sewer systems. The Times story noted that “the overburdened taxpayers are strongly in favor,” but that “principal opposition comes from Cambridge City officers and would-be officers, who dread the passing of their glory.”

Unlike Illinois or western state, there was no unincorporated land in Massachusetts, locations incorporated upon settlement. From what I can tell, the earlier in the 19th century, when the nearby towns were small and not that developed, they voted for annexation to Boston. By the end of the 19th century, urbanization outpaced annexation and the nearby cities were large enough and developed enough that annexation was less appealing. So the end result was that the more urban Cambridge and Somerville which developed earlier and very close to downtown Boston didn't get annexed by far away and less developed areas (such as Hyde Park) did. Here's a map of Boston in 1858:



Dorchester, Roxbury and West Roxbury would get annexed. East Boston and South Boston had been annexed recently. Brighton would also get annexed even though it's on the other side of Brookline, which would not get annexed.

Fileorchester 1858.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I think the main reason for Boston's lack of annexations is from municipalities already being incorporated. Don't know as much about Chicago, but I'm guessing most nearby settlement was just rural prior to the expansion of Chicago while the Boston area had more smaller villages that predated Boston's growth.
This is a very common theme in regards to Northeastern areas, as most of the annexation occurred in the 1930's at the latest. So, unless Northeastern cities go the route of Jacksonville FL or Augusta GA, where the city and county became one entity, they are pretty much done in regards to annexation.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:30 AM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
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I think that annexation served its purpose during the white-flight of the post WWII era. Cities that were able to keep their tax base as suburban development accelerated were in a much better position to stay healthy than those whose coffers drained as citizens took their money to a new jurisdiction.
That said, I think it's now at a turning point. Continued annexation has problems of its own, namely maintenance of "never-ending" infrastructure. Cities today would be well advised to eschew continued annexation in favor of infill development that increases tax revenues without the expansion of infrastructure. The cards are better stacked in cities' favors lately with a renewed interest in urban living. This will keep/grow jobs in inner cities while also allowing an increase in tax revenues from both corporate and personal property. Suburbs, who have stolen jobs from cities for decades, will probably find it more difficult to entice business out of the city centers because the workers want to be in the cities. This will likely cause the suburbs themselves to find ways to urbanize in order to compete and remain relevant.

Last edited by rnc2mbfl; 03-24-2014 at 09:55 AM..
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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It sounds as though unincorporated counties are the dead weight when the tax base is going to provide services for areas that want the benefit but will not take on the burden.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
I think that annexation served its purpose during the white-flight of the post WWII era. Cities that were able to keep their tax base as suburban development accelerated were in a much better position to stay healthy than those whose coffers drained as citizens took their money to a new jurisdiction.
That said, I think it's now at a turning point. Continued annexation has problems of its own, namely maintenance of "never-ending" infrastructure. Cities today would be well advised to eschew continued annexation in favor of infill development that increases tax revenues without the expansion of infrastructure. The cards are better stacked in cities' favors lately with a renewed interest in urban living. This will keep/grow jobs in inner cities while also allowing an increase in tax revenues from both corporate and personal property. Suburbs, who have stolen jobs from cities for decades, will probably find it more difficult to entice business out of the city centers because the workers want to be in the cities. This will likely cause the suburbs themselves to find ways to urbanize in order to compete and remain relevant.
Most growing areas, and even a few rust belt areas, already have suburbs with density equal or greater than the city. For example Lakewood is denser than Cleveland. Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland are on pace to become even more dense than DC. Parts of New Jersey are denser than NYC. Virginia Beach wants a higher density than Norfolk. Atlanta's growth continues to be in the surrounding counties, although there are some interesting infill projects going on.

What remains to be seen is what happens to the 90% or more of American suburbs that exist in low density areas over the next 10, 20 years. Same for ghetto suburban areas. How do they continue to grow with the reverse migration we've seen over the last few decades.
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