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mgencleyn
04-06-2011, 04:51 AM
I need a research strategy to understand city borders, or something like that, because I'm coming up dry on Wikipedia and Google. I don't know where to start.

Specifically, why would a city cut out a section of itself, abandon it, disown it? Or why would one city want to become part of another city? What domain of management or law am I looking for?

alleycat
04-06-2011, 05:07 AM
Specifically, why would a city cut out a section of itself, abandon it, disown it? Or why would one city want to become part of another city? What domain of management or law am I looking for?
For the first question, politics. Sometimes this involves a large corporation that is there. I've seen this done; a company will actually get the city limits moved so they don't have to pay city and county taxes.

For the second question, sometimes the residents just feel they would be better off being part of another city. This recently happened in Nashville. An incorporated town voted to give up their charter and become part of Metro Nashville. Sometime a city can just annex another, smaller town. This depends on state law, I believe.

mgencleyn
04-06-2011, 05:13 AM
Very helpful examples! Thank you.

alleycat
04-06-2011, 05:25 AM
Here in Tennessee there are general state laws governing how cities are incorporated, but there are also many single-city exceptions. For example, Nashville has a Metropolitan form of government (that is, the city and county are incorporated into a single unit); there are special state laws to allow that.

It used to be that just about any community could become an incorporated city (which is why there are towns with a population of 84), but now there are state laws about the population needed for that to happen.

Linda Adams
04-06-2011, 01:56 PM
Try looking at Washington, DC. Part of Arlington, VA used to be part of DC (the Pentagon and National Airport are both in Arlington!). There was also some talk a few years ago about Washington DC wanting Arlington back.

Also, a number of years ago, there was discussion about splitting California in half for, if memory serves, tax reasons.

mgencleyn
04-06-2011, 05:51 PM
That's great. Thanks!

WriteKnight
04-06-2011, 08:11 PM
Check the laws for the state you are setting your story in. Find out what the laws are regarding civic 'incorporation' - what it takes to become a city - what it takes to ANNEX a city - what it takes to DE-annex.

mgencleyn
04-06-2011, 08:25 PM
Excellent. Now I'm finding what I need.

Kathie Freeman
04-14-2011, 08:22 PM
I lived for 5 years in Fresno Ca, and they have a problem there with unincorporated county "islands" within city limits. These were devolpments or communities that were bypassed in the city's expansion, and for the most part the residents want to keep it that way, less regulations, etc. The only way the city can force them to join would be to dis-incorporate and then re-incorporate with new boundaries that included all the "islands".