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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Appellant Olan Karm owned approximately 18 acres of land within the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the city of Castroville in Medina County. Appellant Marc Payne was negotiating with Karm for the purchase of a five acre portion of Karm’s property to develop a health club. Appellants first met with the city staff in November 2003 in order to obtain the necessary approvals for the development. To address concerns raised by the city, changes were made to the plan designs. Additionally, per city direction, appellants applied for a minor plat to subdivide the property and extend utilities necessary for the operation of the health club. On March 5, 2004, Karm filed a petition for voluntary annexation of his 18 acres, in part, to obtain city utilities on the property. On March 22, 2004, the city adopted Ordinance 2004-008 setting the dates of public hearing regarding the annexation of Karm’s property. On April 30, 2004, after two public hearings had been held, Karm withdrew his consent for the voluntary annexation in written correspondence to the city. The application to subdivide the property was approved by the city on May 7, 2004. On May 10, 2004, the city annexed Karm’s 18-acre tract despite Karm’s withdrawal of consent. The city subsequently denied Payne’s July 29, 2004 application for a building permit for the construction of the health club development because the newly annexed property was zoned residential. Appellants requested that the city either recognize developmental rights for the health club project or disannex the property. The city refused and appellants filed suit. The trial court determined several separate issues: 1. The plat application was not a “license, certificate, permit, approval or other form of authorization by a government entity . . . required by law for the planned land use” under Chapter 43 of the Texas Local Government Code; 2. Appellants did not have vested rights pursuant to Chapter 43 of the Texas Local Government Code; 3. Chapter 245 of the Texas Local Government Code did not apply to appellants’ claims and therefore, appellants did not have vested rights under Chapter 245 to specific planned land use; and 4. Appellants were not entitled to disannexation. Appellants appealed. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. On appeal, appellants argued that the annexation was void because Karm withdrew his consent to annexation and the city of Castroville failed to grant the annexation within the time allowed by Texas Local Government Code �43.028. The city annexed Karm’s property pursuant to �43.028, which allows a municipality to annex a certain sparsely occupied area upon petition of the landowner, the court stated. After the fifth day following the date when the landowner filed the petition, but on or before the 30th day, the annexing municipality must hear the petition, hear the arguments for and against the annexation and grant or refuse the petition. Only after the governing body grants the petition can such body annex the area by ordinance, the court stated. Moreover, the court stated, without the owner’s consent, the municipality exceeds its statutory authority to annex under �43.028. The court concluded that Castroville’s mere act of setting the dates for public hearings at a meeting did not meet the required statutory process under �43.028 and the city exceeded its authority to proceed with the annexation. The trial court erred in failing to disannex the property, the court held. OPINION:Simmons, J.; Stone, Angelini and Simmons, J.J.

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