A north Corbin business has joined the City of Corbin’s lawsuit against the City of London in response to the London City Council approving an ordinance to annex property off of Exit 29 in the area known as north Corbin.
MPI Ky. LLC (Metal Products Inc.) is now listed as a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit according to an amended complaint filed in Laurel Circuit Court.
“MPI joined the lawsuit because we believe that governments should follow the law generally, including when annexing property. MPI is unsure of the long-term impact of London’s apparently illegal annexation of neighboring property, which is all the more reason to make sure it is done right,” said R. Scott Wilson, MPI’s Chief Executive Officer, in an e-mail responding to a request for comment from The News Journal. “Moreover, MPI believes that nearby cities should take a more regional approach that benefit’s everyone. Corbin has offered to pursue such an approach, and we at MPI are supportive of that.”
The company, located on North Hills Road, off of American Greeting Road, stated in the amended complaint that it owns property adjacent to tract two of the property London is attempting to annex.
Tract one is nine miles along Interstate 75 from Exit 38 to Exit 29.
Tract two is along the right of way on West Cumberland Gap. Pkwy. and Ky. 770 to the Laurel River bridge, and the former King’s Truck Stop property.
In the lawsuit, Corbin officials noted that because tract one is an involuntary annexation, London is required to provide public notice of the annexation and may not take final action to annex the territory until a 60-day protest period as elapsed.
That period should begin after the second reading of the ordinance, which took place on Sept. 14.
In addition, the lawsuit stated that more than 85 percent (548.74 acres) of the 639 acres of property in the two tracts of property London has attempted to annex is undevelopable as it is the I-75 corridor.
“This is classic and prohibited, corridor annexation,” the lawsuit stated.
In addition, Corbin contended in the lawsuit that the I-75 tract is unsuitable for annexation because it is not urban property, or suitable for development.
As to tract two, Corbin and now MPI stated in the lawsuit that in order for it to be annexed, the annexation of tract one would have to be determined to be legal under Kentucky law.
“In the absence of a successful annexation of Tract one, Tract two may not be annexed into the limits of London because it fails to be adjacent or contiguous as required by KRS 81A.410 (1) (a),” the plaintiffs stated in the lawsuit.
“Accordingly, Tract two is not suitable for annexation into London,” the lawsuit stated.
According to the lawsuit, London failed to identify the existing utility infrastructure in the area it is attempting to annex.
The City of Corbin installed the infrastructure in the area.
“It is all over the place,” said Corbin City Manager Marlon Sams when asked if the utility lines are in a particular part of the roadway.
Corbin officials stated in the lawsuit that the City of London failed to send property notice to them regarding the intent to annex across its utilities in violation of Kentucky law.
Finally, the plaintiffs argued in the lawsuit that the London City Council failed to provide an accurate description of the territory to be annexed and the desirability of the territory in the ordinance providing the notice of its intention to annex.
“The ordinance fails to provide sufficient notice because the average person is incapable of clearly identifying the territory to be annexed based upon the language of the ordinance,” the lawsuit stated, noting the territory is described in a way that may only be deciphered with the assistance of a land surveyor.
As of Friday afternoon, The City of London has not filed a response to the lawsuit.