The Kansas Legislature got at least one thing right during the 2011 legislative session. They re-wrote municipal annexation laws allowing property owners to have more say in the process.

The move should satisfy property owners in unincorporated parts of Johnson County – especially those near Overland Park and Olathe.

The recently passed legislation allows homeowners to vote on whether to allow a city to annex their property. The change to annexation laws, which have been stagnant since 1987, comes on the heels of longstanding complaints from southern Johnson County residents.
The most recent land grab Overland Park swallowed eight-square miles into its city limits over the loud objections of property owners in 2008.

While critics called the bill anti-development, saying it would stifle growth and job creation, we heartily disagree. When land owners are ready to sell their property to developers, developers will happily cede to becoming part of nearby municipalities.

The sole sour note of the legislation is that it passed too late to help the dozens of landowners whose residences are now part of the big, beige Overland Park machine.

But we’ll take late over never.