The City of McKinney’s attempt to annex thousands of acres of unincorporated land in Collin County may violate state law, according to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Earlier today, Paxton’s office advised McKinney Mayor George Fuller, City Council members, and City Attorney Mark Houser that the city failed to follow proper procedures in its rush to forcibly annex land ahead of a December 1 change in state law.

The letter from Special Counsel for Civil Litigation David Hacker reads in part:

“Both the City’s annexation notices and the notice for the August 28 meeting failed to comply with both the Texas Local Government Code and the Open Meetings Act. The August 28 notice and resolution do not provide any description of property the City intends to annex. The meeting notice did not include Exhibit A, and the later addition of Exhibit A does not cure this defect because it is so imprecise as to be nearly useless. Moreover, the August 28 Agenda failed to indicate that the City intended to delegate power to City employees to annex particular property, as opposed to providing guidance on annexation policies.”

“Failure to follow the requirements of the Local Government Code and Open Meetings Act may render the City’s annexation decisions voidable,” Hacker advises.

Today’s letter from the Attorney General’s office follows an independent legal opinion sent last week to the mayor and city council members that reached the same conclusion: “The City of McKinney’s August 28, 2017 meeting did not comply with the TOMA. As a result, the August 28 Annexation Resolution is subject to judicial invalidation.”

A day after receiving a copy of that opinion, Fuller announced that he would no longer support the forced annexation plan.

County and city residents have been protesting McKinney’s land grab ever since landowners first received notices of “involuntary” annexation back in September. They were shocked that the city could force them into their boundaries and onto city tax rolls, with just a few weeks’ notice and without their consent. They’ve been asking Fuller to slow down the process. It looks like it’s now been stopped.

The Attorney General’s office requests a response from the city by tomorrow.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.