Letter to Joe Grubbs, Ellis County District Attorney

August 18, 2009

Honorable Joe Grubbs
Ellis County District Attorney
1201 N. Hwy 77 Ste 104
Waxahachie, TX 75165

RE: Strip Annexation – City of Italy

Dear Mr. Grubbs:

On April 13, 1999, the City of Italy adopted Ordinance 990402 extending boundary limits for the city by one-half mile on the north, south, east and west sides of the city. The population for Italy, Texas in 2000 was 1,993. This was also illegal as strip annexations less than 1000 feet wide are as documented in attached documents.

Section 42.021 of the Texas Local Government Code states:

“The extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality is the unincorporated area that is contiguous to the corporate boundaries of the municipality and is located within one-half mile of those boundaries in the case of a municipality with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants.”

In Attorney General Opinion No. GA-0478 dated October 31, 2006, a ruling was made in reference to the City of Wortham, Texas. It states:

“Under sections 42.021 and 43.051 of the Local Government Code, a Type A general law city with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants is authorized to annex territory it does not own only if the territory is in the city’s one-half mile extraterritorial jurisdiction.” It also states, “To the extent the City’s annexation ordinance attempts to annex territory outside its ETJ, the ordinance goes beyond the City’s authority and is void.”

On May 13, 2003, the City of Italy passed Ordinance 030508 extending the boundary limits for the city. The ordinance extended the extraterritorial jurisdiction and the boundaries by one and one-half miles to the north, south, east and west. Again this illegal annexation was done as a strip and not the 1000 feet wide even if it were legal otherwise.

We are requesting that you obtain an Attorney General’s opinion on the ordinance because we believe the City of Italy clearly violated the law when they adopted Ordinance 030508 by extending their boundaries by one and one-half miles.

We are enclosing supporting documents for your consideration.


David B. South, Publisher
Italy Neotribune

Referenced Documents: