Jackson Township Park

Jackson Township and the city of Shakopee entered into an annexation agreement in 2002. The township and the city in 2017 moved forward on a revised agreement that moves the annexation forward in phases.

Jackson Township officials say two recently-approved annexations do not fall under the scope of the original agreement that was discussed between the city of Shakopee and the township.

Four Jackson Township property owners petitioned to annex their land this month, leading to another disagreement between the city and township around which parcels of land should be brought into the city.

The orderly annexation agreement between the city and township is split into seven subdistricts. The township subdistricts furthest west of Shakopee will be phased last and are restricted from city-initiated annexation until 2050.

But, according to the contract, property owners can apply for annexation on their own regardless of their subdistrict, so long as a piece of their property borders the city.

The stipulation, Jackson Township Supervisor Tom Gillham claimed, is a loophole that contradicts the city and township’s agreement to annex the land in an orderly manner, from east to west.

One Jackson Township property recently approved for annexation, called the Jacobson property, is a 19-acre parcel located just east of Marystown Road and north of County Road 78. The property owner is working alongside developer Donnay Homes, according to a city memo, to eventually construct single-family homes on the property.

The Kangas property, an 11-acre parcel located just east of the Jacobson property, also was approved for annexation. The property owner is working with Link Construction to build more single-family homes on the north end of the property.

The township objected to each of the annexations despite the city’s insistence that the property owners have the right to initiate annexation.

The city maintains that if property owners want to petition for annexation and meet the requirements to annex their land — which includes sharing a border with the city — they have every right to do so.

“We want to control how our township is consumed,” Gillham said at the June 10 city of Shakopee planning commission meeting. “We don’t want to be pieces scattered around the countryside.”

At the June 15 Shakopee City Council meeting, Shakopee Mayor Bill Mars said he “strongly believes” property owners have the right to request annexation under the agreement, provided they meet the requirements. The parcels of land in question each met those requirements, Mars said.

Two additional parcels of land were also approved for annexation at the June 15 city council meeting, but the township did not object to those, since those parcels of land belong to subdistricts that can be annexed before 2050.

One parcel is a 16-acre property adjacent to the north of La Tour Farms, and the other is a 22-acre property owned by Palmer Shakopee Holdings, located north of 128th Street and east of U.S. Highway 169.

If Jackson Township wants to object to an annexation, it can ask an administrative law judge for a ruling.

In 2019, the township filed an objection to Shakopee Vet Clinic’s annexation, and the administrative law judge ruled in the vet clinic’s favor. The vet clinic asked to be annexed so it could connect to municipal water and sewer.

Generally, in order to be profitable and operate within capacity, developers need municipal utilities. So when Jackson Township land is annexed by Shakopee, it is able to connect to Metropolitan Council sewer and Shakopee Public Utilities water and immediately increases in value. That incentivizes many property owners to request annexation.

Maddie DeBilzan graduated with a journalism degree from Bethel University. She’s interned at Salon Media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Outside of work, she sifts through Goodwill clothing racks, listens to Ben Rector's music and goes on long runs.