Current as of: 2013
Subject to ss. 66.0301 (6) (d) and 66.0307 (7), territory may be detached from a city or village and attached to a city, village or town to which it is contiguous as follows:
(1) A petition signed by a majority of the owners of three-fourths of the taxable land in area within the territory to be detached or, if there is no taxable land in the territory, by all owners of land in the territory, shall be filed with the clerk of the city or village from which detachment is sought, within 120 days after the date of publication of a class 1 notice, under ch. 985, of intention to circulate a petition of detachment.
(2) An ordinance detaching the territory may be enacted within 60 days after the filing of the petition, by a vote of three-fourths of all the members of the governing body of the detaching city or village and its terms accepted within 60 days after enactment, by an ordinance enacted by a vote of three-fourths of all the members of the governing body of the city, village or town to which the territory is to be attached. The failure of a governing body to adopt the ordinance under this subsection is a rejection of the petition and all proceedings are void.
(3) The governing body of a city, village or town involved may, or if a petition conforming to the requirements of s. 8.40 signed by a number of qualified electors equal to at least 5% of the votes cast for governor in the city, village or town at the last gubernatorial election, demanding a referendum, is presented to it within 30 days after the passage of either of the ordinances under sub. (2) shall, submit the question to the electors of the city, village or town whose electors petitioned for detachment, at a referendum election called for that purpose not less than 70 days nor more than 100 days after the filing of the petition, or after the enactment of either ordinance. The petition shall be filed as provided in s. 8.37. If a number of electors cannot be determined on the basis of reported election statistics, the number shall be determined in accordance with s. 60.74 (6). The governing body of the municipality shall appoint 3 election inspectors who are resident electors to supervise the referendum. The ballots shall contain the words "For Detachment" and "Against Detachment". The inspectors shall certify the results of the election by their attached affidavits and file a copy with the clerk of each town, village or city involved, and none of the ordinances may take effect nor be in force unless a majority of the electors approve the question. The referendum election shall be conducted in accordance with chs. 6 and 7 to the extent applicable.
(4) If an area which has been subject to a city or village zoning ordinance is detached from one municipality and attached to another under this section, the regulations imposed by the zoning ordinance continue in effect and shall be enforced by the attaching city, village or town until changed by official action of the governing body of the municipality, except that if the detachment or attachment is contested in the courts, the zoning ordinance of the detaching municipality prevails, and the detaching city or village has jurisdiction over the zoning in the area affected until ultimate determination of the court action.
(5) The ordinance, certificate and plat shall be filed and recorded in the same manner as annexations under s. 66.0217 (9) (a). The requirements for the secretary of state are the same as in s. 66.0217 (9) (b).
(6) Because the creation of congressional, legislative, supervisory and aldermanic districts of equal population is a matter of statewide concern, any detachment action that affects a tract of land that is the subject of an ordinance enacted or resolution adopted by a city during the period from January 1, 1990, to April 1, 1991, or any later date, expressing an intent to not exercise the city's authority to annex territory before April 1, 1991, or the specified later date, taken by a municipality during the period beginning on April 1 of the year commencing after each federal decennial census of population and ending on June 30 of the year commencing after that census, is effective on July 1 of the year commencing after that census or at a later date as specified in the detachment ordinance. This subsection first applies to detachments effective after March 31, 1991.
Questions & Answers: Municipalities