City of Mayville v. State of Wisconsin Department of Administration

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Justia Opinion Summary

The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the order of the circuit court that reversed the Department of Administration's approval of a cooperative plan (Plan) between the Village of Kekoskee and the Town of Williamstown and remanded the matter back to the Department, holding that the Department erroneously interpreted Wis. Stat. 66.0307(2) in approving the Plan.

The circuit court concluded that section 66.0307(2), the cooperative plan statute, did not permit municipalities to use cooperative plans to absorb and entire town into a village. The court of appeals affirmed, concluding that the Plan changed the City of Mayville's boundary line such that Mayville was required to be a party to the Plan. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Mayville had standing to seek judicial review of the Plan; (2) the Plan changed Mayville's boundary line, and therefore, section 66.0307(2) required that Mayville be a party to the Plan; and (3) because Mayville was not a party to the Plan, the Department erred in approving the Plan.

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2021 WI 57 SUPREME COURT OF WISCONSIN CASE NO.: 2019AP882 COMPLETE TITLE: City of Mayville, Petitioner-Respondent, v. State of Wisconsin Department of Administration, Respondent-Appellant-Petitioner, Village of Kekoskee, Respondent-Co-Appellant-Petitioner. REVIEW OF DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS Reported at 394 Wis. 2d 296,950 N.W.2d 925 PDC No:2020 WI App 63 - Published OPINION FILED: SUBMITTED ON BRIEFS: ORAL ARGUMENT: SOURCE OF APPEAL: COURT: COUNTY: JUDGE: June 11, 2021 April 8, 2021 Circuit Dodge Lynn M. Hron JUSTICES: ROGGENSACK, J., delivered the majority opinion for a unanimous Court. NOT PARTICIPATING: ATTORNEYS: For the respondent-appellant-petitioner, there were briefs filed by Clayton P. Kawski, assistant attorney general; with whom on the brief was Joshua L. Kaul, attorney general. There was an oral argument by Clayton P. Kawski. For the respondent-co-appellant-petitioner, there were briefs filed by Matthew Parmentier and Dempsey Law Firm, LLP. There was an oral argument by Matthew Parmentier. For the petitioner-respondent, there was a brief filed by James W. Hammes and Cramer, Multhauf & Hammes, LLP, Waukesha. There was an oral argument by James W. Hammes. 2021 WI 57 NOTICE This opinion is subject to further editing and modification. The final version will appear in the bound volume of the official reports. No. 2019AP882 (L.C. No. 2018CV527) STATE OF WISCONSIN : IN SUPREME COURT City of Mayville, Petitioner-Respondent, FILED v. State of Wisconsin Department of Administration, JUN 11, 2021 Sheila T. Reiff Clerk of Supreme Court Respondent-Appellant-Petitioner, Village of Kekoskee, Respondent-Co-Appellant-Petitioner. ROGGENSACK, J., delivered the majority opinion for a unanimous Court. REVIEW of a decision of the Court of Appeals. ¶1 PATIENCE DRAKE ROGGENSACK, J. Affirmed. We review a published decision of the court of appeals1 affirming the order of the Circuit Court for Dodge County2 that reversed the Department of City of Mayville v. DOA, 2020 WI App 63, 394 Wis. 2d 296, 950 N.W.2d 925. 1 2 The Honorable Joseph G. Sciascia presided. No. Administration's (the "Department") approval plan (the "Village") "Plan") and between the Town the of Village Williamstown remanded the matter back to the Department. determined § 66.0307 that the cooperative (2017-18),3 did not plan permit of a of 2019AP882 cooperative Kekoskee (the (the "Town") and The circuit court statute, Wis. municipalities Stat. to use cooperative plans to "absorb an entire Town[] into a Village." The court of appeals affirmed on modified grounds concluding that the Plan "changed" the City of Mayville's ("Mayville") boundary line such that Mayville was required to be a party to the Plan. ¶2 judicial We conclude first that Mayville has standing to seek review of the Plan. Next, we conclude that the "Village of Williamstown Detachment Area" set forth in the Plan changes Mayville's boundary line. Because the Plan changed Mayville's boundary line, Wis. Stat. § 66.0307(2) required that Mayville be a party to the Plan. Mayville was not a party to the Plan, therefore, we conclude that the Department erroneously interpreted § 66.0307(2) in approving the Plan. Accordingly, we affirm the decision of the court of appeals, which remanded the Plan to the circuit court to remand to the Department. All subsequent references to the Wisconsin Statutes are to the 2017-18 version unless otherwise indicated. 3 2 No. I. ¶3 Dodge The Town, County. the The 2019AP882 BACKGROUND Village Village, and which Mayville was are located incorporated in from a portion of the Town in 1958, is completely surrounded by the Town's territory. Likewise, Mayville also is surrounded completely by the territory of the Town; however, Mayville does not share a border with the Village. The Town is unincorporated. ¶4 The Village, having difficulty recruiting enough residents to comprise a full village board, notified the Town in 2015 that it was considering dissolution. Representatives from the Village and the Town met to consider alternatives. After discussions, they decided to consolidate the territories of the two municipalities. The municipalities concluded that they could consolidate by entering into a cooperative plan pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 66.0307. ¶5 The two municipalities each adopted resolutions declaring their intent to adopt a cooperative plan, submitted the resolutions Department, and municipalities. and copies notified of Mayville the and drafted the plan other to the surrounding The mayor of Mayville wrote back to the Town stating that "Mayville would be glad to work with you on a cooperative plan." the plan, Mayville, however, who was not a party to was not involved until the Department conducted a public hearing regarding the proposed cooperative plan. At the public hearing, the Town and the Village provided documentation 3 in support of their proposed cooperative plan, No. 2019AP882 and Mayville provided information in opposition. ¶6 The Town and the Village submitted a second plan to the Department for its approval. In May of 2018, the Department wrote to the municipalities, informing them that the second plan failed to "meet any of the statutory criteria." ¶7 second Of particular plan's concern insufficient for provision the Department was the services such as of Emergency Medical Services and sewer, especially in the area that is directly adjacent to Mayville, and the second plan's insufficient consideration "recommend[ed] that the of compactness.4 [Town and The Village] Department revise the [c]ooperative [p]lan to provide territory adjacent and proximate to [Mayville] the opportunity to receive higher level services should landowners desire that." The Department suggested, among other things, that the Village consolidate into the Town, which would leave the area surrounding Mayville unincorporated or the plan establish "designate[d] areas for urban growth and higher service levels." ¶8 The Department permitted the Village and the Town to revise the second plan and resubmit it. The parties submitted a third plan, which Mayville once again opposed. The Department found that the third plan again failed to meet several of the Both provision of services and compactness are statutorily mandated components of a cooperative plan adopted under Wis. Stat. § 66.0307. See §§ 66.0307(5)(c)3., 5. 4 4 No. statutory criteria. This pattern repeated once 2019AP882 more: the Village and the Town resubmitted a cooperative plan, Mayville opposed, but this time, the Department found that the final submission for a cooperative plan met the statutory criteria and approved it. ¶9 Under the Plan, "the Boundary Change will involve the attachment by the Village of all territory located in the Town as of the effective date of the Plan." "As soon as practicable upon completion of the Boundary Change, the Village will take those actions necessary to change its name Kekoskee' to Department's provision of 'Village concern of Williamstown.'" regarding services, the the draft approved from 'Village of To address plans' Plan, via creates a "Village of Williamstown Detachment Area."5 the insufficient Section 24, Section 24 created an area that purported to be detachable from the Village of Williamstown and attachable to Mayville. ¶10 After the Department approved the Plan, Mayville filed a petition for judicial review in Dodge County circuit court pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 227.52. The Department and the Village filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Mayville did not have standing to challenge the Department's decision approving the Plan. The circuit court denied the motion and concluded that Mayville had standing. Section 25 of the Plan, which addresses compactness, is also relevant to our analysis. Sections 24 and 25 are discussed in greater detail below. See infra ¶¶32-35. 5 5 No. ¶11 2019AP882 On the merits, the question for the circuit court was "whether . . . [Wis. Stat. §] 66.0307 can be used to dissolve a Town and attach its territory to a Village." The circuit court concluded that, in part because there are other statutes that could achieve the municipalities' desired results, § 66.0307 did not permit "a Village to attach an entire [t]own[] under the guise of a boundary agreement." The circuit court also reasoned that "[t]he very concept of boundary requires the existence of two units of government; otherwise[,] there can be no boundary." The circuit court concluded that finding for the Department and the Village ability to would require completely it to consolidate read into two the statute municipalities cooperative plan, which the court would not do. the via a Accordingly, the court reversed the Department's decision that approved the Plan and remanded the matter to the Department. The circuit court stayed its order pending appeal. ¶12 issues. The The Department court of and the appeals Village affirmed appealed the circuit on both court's decision on modified grounds. First, the court of appeals held that to Mayville had standing decision approving the Plan. challenge the Department's City of Mayville v. DOA, 2020 WI App 63, ¶12, 394 Wis. 2d 296, 950 N.W.2d 925. The court of appeals based its standing decision on its interpretation of Mayville's statutory rights. ¶13 Id. In addressing Mayville's statutory rights, the court of appeals concluded that Mayville should have been a party to the Plan. Id., ¶¶40-41. The court of appeals reasoned "[t]here 6 No. can be no dispute envisioned by the physically alter that the Village expansion Detachment Mayville's 2019AP882 of Mayville's area Area provision will limits and, geographic city therefore, change Mayville's boundary line." Id., ¶41. Because Mayville was not a party to the Plan, the court of appeals affirmed the circuit court and erroneously approved the Plan. address the planning circuit statute court's cannot held the Department The court of appeals did not conclusion be that utilized that for the the cooperative purpose of consolidating municipalities. ¶14 On review, we agree with the court of appeals that Mayville has standing and that Mayville should have been a party to the Plan. Accordingly, for the reasons discussed below, we affirm the decision of the court of appeals. II. A. ¶15 DISCUSSION Standard of Review Whether a party has standing is a question of law that we review independently. Marx v. Morris, 2019 WI 34, ¶21, 386 Wis. 2d 122, 925 N.W.2d 112. ¶16 "When an appeal is taken from a circuit court order reviewing an agency decision, we review the decision of the agency, not the circuit court." Hilton ex rel. Pages Homeowners' Ass'n v. DNR, 2006 WI 84, ¶15, 293 Wis. 2d 1, 717 N.W.2d 166. challenging As the shown factual in Mayville's bases for the petition, it Department's is not decision, rather, it alleges that "the Department erred in applying the cooperative plan statute to the undisputed facts of record." 7 No. City of Mayville, 394 Wis. 2d 296, ¶16. to undisputed independently. facts is a question 2019AP882 The application of law of law that we review Cnty. of Dane v. LIRC, 2009 WI 9, ¶14, 315 Wis. 2d 293, 759 N.W.2d 571. Finally, whether Mayville was required to be a party to the Plan is a question of statutory interpretation that we review independently. Jefferson v. Dane Cnty., 2020 WI 90, ¶13, 394 Wis. 2d 602, 951 N.W.2d 556. B. ¶17 Mayville's Standing In all phases of this litigation, the Department and the Village have maintained that Mayville lacked standing. The circuit court denied their motion to dismiss, and the court of appeals explain, similarly we agree held with that the Mayville circuit had court standing. and the As we court of appeals. ¶18 If the Department's decision "adversely affect[s] the substantial interests of" Mayville, Mayville is an aggrieved party and entitled to judicial review of that decision. See Wis. Stat. § 227.52; see also Wis. Stat. § 227.53(1). Whether Mayville is an aggrieved party is a two-part inquiry. First, Mayville "must show that [it has] suffered or [was] threatened with an injury to an interest." Krier v. Vilione, 2009 WI 45, ¶20, 317 Wis. 2d 288, 766 N.W.2d 517. be liberally construed. However, standing should City of Madison v. Town of Fitchburg, 112 Wis. 2d 224, 230, 332 N.W.2d 782 (1983). Accordingly, we have held that "even a trifling interest may be sufficient to confer standing." Id. is legally protectable. Second, that interest must be one that Krier, 317 Wis. 2d 288, ¶20. 8 No. ¶19 2019AP882 The adversely affected interests that Mayville asserts are markedly similar to those of Madison in City of Madison v. Town of Fitchburg. There, the then-Town of Fitchburg began the process of incorporating. 226. After Madison Fitchburg sued to referendum." ¶20 Town of Fitchburg, 112 Wis. 2d at adopted "invalidate its the incorporating resolution resolution, and enjoin the Id. at 227. Fitchburg alleged that Madison lacked standing because "it d[id] not have a legal interest in the . . . incorporation proceeding." Madison's Id. at interests annexing portions 228. included of disagreed, owning Fitchburg Fitchburg residents. Fitchburg We property and Madison in providing Id. at 230-31. incorporated, concluding that Fitchburg, services to We also noted that if would lose its ability to exercise its extraterritorial zoning and extraterritorial plat approval rights because those rights are limited unincorporated areas contiguous to a city or village. 231. Based "Madison on has a controversy." standing. ¶21 Plan: those rights personal Id. at taken stake together, in 231-32. the we Id. at held that of this outcome Accordingly, to Madison had that the Id. Here too, (1) "deprives extraterritorial Mayville Mayville zoning asserts and of the plat right approval"; to exercise (2) "deprives Mayville of the opportunity and right to expand its boundaries by annexing, properties at the located request in of the contiguous property unincorporated 9 owners, Town"; and No. (3) "deprives dollars in Mayville expenses maintaining a the ability incurred sanitary for sewer to recover constructing, disposal 2019AP882 millions operating facility and of and municipal water facility that were designed and constructed to provide sanitary sewer and water services to portions of the territories of the Village and the Town described in the Plan." ¶22 Pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 62.23(7a), cities entitled to "exercise extraterritorial zoning power." that power extends jurisdiction," which to is only the defined However, "extraterritorial as "the are zoning unincorporated area within 3 miles of the corporate limits of a first, second or third class city, or 1 1/2 miles of a fourth class city or a village." § 66.23(7a)(a). Further, cities are permitted to exercise extraterritorial plat approval in unincorporated areas within the same three or one and one-half mile zones. See Wis. Stat. Finally, cities § 236.02(5) and and villages Wis. are Stat. § 236.10(1)(b). permitted to annex "unincorporated territory which contains electors and is contiguous to a city or village." ¶23 Wis. Stat. § 66.0219. As we set forth in our recitation of the facts, upon approval of the Plan, the land surrounding Mayville will become an incorporated extraterritorial village.6 zoning Prior rights to and the Plan, extraterritorial approval rights within the unincorporated Town. See generally villages and cities). 6 Wis. Stat. 10 Mayville § 66.0201 had plat Mayville was (Incorporation of No. 2019AP882 also statutorily permitted to annex areas of the Town contiguous to it, which the Plan restricts. It is of little import that the Plan provides for area that can detach from the Village of Williamstown and attach to Mayville. By way of the Plan, detachment is the only process by which Mayville can now expand. Moreover, retaining some ability to expand says nothing Mayville's extraterritorial zoning or plat approval rights. Plan extinguishes those statutorily granted of The rights. Accordingly, Mayville has legally protectable interests that are adversely affected by the Department's approval of the Plan, and it therefore has standing.7 C. ¶24 The Cooperative Planning Statute Wisconsin Stat. § 66.0307(2) permits municipalities to "determine the boundary cooperative plan." lines between themselves under a As we explain in more detail below, boundary line changes are permitted only if the municipalities, whose boundaries are affected by the cooperative plan, are parties to that plan. ¶25 forth in Id. A cooperative plan must have certain content as set Wis. Stat. § 66.0307(3)(c)-(g). "Each municipality that intends to participate in the preparation of a cooperative plan . . . shall adopt a resolution authorizing participation in the preparation of the plan." § 66.0307(4)(a). The As we explain in the following sections, Mayville also had an interest in being a party to the Plan; this interest, as set forth by the court of appeals, also conferred standing upon Mayville. City of Mayville, 394 Wis. 2d 296, ¶11. 7 11 No. municipalities resolution must prior Department. to "hold a joint submitting § 66.0307(4)(b). a [public] 2019AP882 hearing" cooperative plan on the to the After the public hearing, the municipalities may adopt a final plan, "may adopt a resolution calling for an advisory referendum," and must submit the adopted final plan to the Department. ¶26 After receiving § 66.0307(4)(d)-(f). a proposed plan, the Department generally has 90 days to determine whether "[t]he content of the plan under sub. (3)(c) to (e) is sufficient to enable the department to make the determinations under subds. 2. to 5." Wis. Stat. § 66.0307(5)(c)1. Prior to making a final determination, the Department may, on its own motion, or must, if requested by "[a]ny person," hold a public hearing on the proposed plan. ¶27 § 66.0307(5)(b). Subdivisions (5)(c) 2. to 5. require the following: 2. The cooperative plan is consistent with each participating municipality's comprehensive plan and with current state laws, municipal regulations, and administrative rules that apply to the territory affected by the plan. 3. Adequate provision is made in the cooperative plan for the delivery of necessary municipal services to the territory covered by the plan. 5. The shape of any boundary maintained or any boundary change under the cooperative plan is not the result of arbitrariness and reflects due consideration for compactness of area. Considerations relevant to the criteria under this subdivision include quantity of land affected by the boundary maintenance or boundary change and compatibility of the proposed boundary maintenance or boundary change with natural terrain including general topography, major 12 No. watersheds, soil conditions and rivers, lakes and major bluffs. Wis. Stat. § 66.0307(5)(c)2.-5.8 above criteria, § 66.0307(5)(c). the such the as If a cooperative plan meets the Department However, features 2019AP882 shall Department approve may disapprove it. or return a proposed plan to the municipalities to revise it if it does not meet the statutory criteria. See § 66.0307(5)(d). the plan Department returns a cooperative for revision, If the municipalities then have 90 days to revise and resubmit the plan. Id. parties have approval. Upon the final approval of a cooperative plan, 60 to seek review of the Department's § 66.0307(11). D. ¶28 days The Department's Plan Review Having set forth the general process that occurs when municipalities adopt a cooperative plan, we move to whether the Department validly approved the Plan without Mayville being a party to the Plan. ¶29 Whether Mayville was required to be a party to the Plan requires us to interpret the cooperative planning statute and its requirements. "Statutory interpretation begins with the language of the statute." Wis. 2d 296, 953 N.W.2d State v. Mercado, 2021 WI 2, ¶43, 395 337 (citing State ex rel. Kalal v. Circuit Court for Dane Cnty., 2004 WI 58, ¶45, 271 Wis. 2d 633, 681 N.W.2d 110). That language is "given its common, ordinary, and accepted meaning, except that technical or specially-defined Wis. (5)(c)4. 8 Stat. § 66.0307(5)(c) 13 contains no subdivision No. words or phrases are definitional meaning." given their technical or special Kalal, 271 Wis. 2d 633, ¶45. If the language of the statute is clear, we stop the inquiry. ¶30 2019AP882 Id. Wisconsin Stat. § 66.0307(2) describes the authority of municipalities to decide the boundary lines between them and sets forth which municipalities must be parties to a cooperative plan. Section 66.0307(2) provides: (2) Boundary Change Authority. Any combination of municipalities may determine the boundary lines between themselves under a cooperative plan that is approved by the department under this section. A single city or village and a single town may use the mediated agreement procedure under sub. (4m) to determine a common boundary line under a cooperative plan that is approved by the department under this section. No boundary of a municipality may be changed or maintained under this section unless the municipality is a party to the cooperative agreement. The cooperative plan shall provide one or more of the following: (a) That specified boundary line changes shall occur during the planning period and the approximate dates by which the changes shall occur. (b) That specified boundary line changes may occur during the planning period and the approximate dates by which the changes may occur. (c) That a required boundary change under par. (a) or an optional boundary line change under par. (b) shall be subject to the occurrence of conditions set forth in the plan. (d) That specified boundary lines changed during the planning period. 14 may not be No. 2019AP882 If Mayville's boundary line is changed under the Plan, the Plan is not effective unless Mayville is a party to the Plan.9 See generally § 66.0307(2). ¶31 not "Change" as it is used in Wis. Stat. § 66.0307(2) is specially-defined in the statute or we look to common accordingly, meaning. Dictionaries can be utilized for this purpose. in some particular; [to] and related statutes; Kalal, 271 Wis. 2d 633, ¶54. its closely ordinary See To change is "[t]o make different alter." Change, Third Int'l Dictionary 374 (1986).10 Merriam-Webster's Therefore, used in this context, change means a "physical alteration of, or difference in" a boundary line. ¶32 it Accordingly, we look to the Plan to determine whether physically boundary line. changing Section Area." alters, makes a difference in Mayville's The sections in the Plan that could be read as Mayville's 24 or creates boundary the lines "Village are of Sections Williamstown 24 and 25. Detachment It reads: The court of appeals decision focused on "change" under Wis. Stat. § 66.0307(2); that is primarily our focus too. However, the statute includes boundaries that are "maintained" under a cooperative plan as another criterion that affects who must be parties to a cooperative plan. 9 See also Change, American Heritage Dictionary 309 (5th ed. 2011) ("To cause to be different; [to] alter."); Change, Oxford English Dictionary 381 (6th ed. 2007) ("To substitute one thing for (another)."); Change, Random House Dictionary of the English Language 344 (2d ed. 1983) ("[T]o make the form, nature, content, future course, etc. of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone."). 10 15 No. 2019AP882 In order to ensure that owners of territory adjacent and proximate to the City of Mayville will have the opportunity to receive higher level services through the City of Mayville, the parties hereby recognize a "Village of Williamstown Detachment Area." The Village of Williamstown Detachment Area is depicted in the attached Exhibit D. It consists of all Town of Williamstown territory identified within the City of Mayville's 2030 Future Land Use Map——a total of 1,921.445 acres. Upon completion of the Boundary Change described in Section 6 above, all territory located in the Village of Williamstown Detachment Area will become Village of Williamstown territory. However, the Town of Williamstown and the Village of Kekoskee, for themselves and for their successors in interest, including the Village of Williamstown, hereby agree that they will not object to, and will take all action necessary to effectuate, the detachment of territory from within the Village of Williamstown Detachment Area provided that the territory is contiguous to the City of Mayville and provided that the petition for detachment meets the requirements of Wis. Stat. § 66.0227 as they exist on the effective date of this Plan. Section 25 provides: The boundary changes under this Plan reflect due considerations for compactness of area. It does this in several ways. The boundary change described in Section 6 will have the effect of eliminating the Town-Village boundary entirely, resulting in more orderly and less confusing boundaries as well as fewer boundaries than currently exist. Additionally, the outer boundaries of the combined municipality will initially be the same as the outer boundaries of the current Town of Williamstown. The current boundaries with the City of Mayville, the City of Horicon, the Town of Burnett, the Town of Theresa, the Town of Hubbard, and the Town of Chester will be unaffected. Further, while the area to be attached under Section 6 is approximately 31 square miles, much of the 16 No. 2019AP882 attachment area is territory within the Horicon Marsh. The practical area to be attached after adjusting for this acreage is approximately 18 square miles. Finally, under the Village of Williamstown Detachment Area provisions of Section 24, the size of the Village of Williamstown will be reduced over time. Provided that detachments meet the criteria set forth in that Section, residents in the Village of Williamstown Detachment Area could detach the entire 2030 Future Land Use Map area, which consists of approximately three square miles and is nearly the size of the existing City of Mayville. As a result of these attachments, the Village of Williamstown will continually become smaller and more compact, and the City of Mayville will grow in an orderly and compact manner.[11] ¶33 Section 24 represents the type of boundary change that Wis. Stat. § 66.0307(2)(b) contemplates. Under Section 24, if the conditions of the Plan are met, Mayville's boundary line may expand. It may grow to encompass the territory that detaches from the Village of Williamstown and attaches to Mayville. To be sure, the Plan does not, in and of itself, effect a change in Mayville's boundary never change.12 line, and Mayville's boundary lines may However, the Plan sets conditions that must be met if Mayville's boundary lines are to change. Neither Section 24 nor Section 25 were included in the initial plan. Each was added in response to the Department's suggestions regarding providing for heightened services (Section 24) and compactness (Section 25). The Department's administrative record reflects that the revised plan also failed to meet the provision of services and compactness requirements. 11 The type of change in Section 24 is clearly distinguishable from Section 6 of the Plan, which by its terms eliminates the boundary between the Town and the Village. Section 25 confirms that the Plan effects this change. See supra ¶32. 12 17 No. ¶34 2019AP882 The Department asserts that the Plan does not set any conditions on detachment, but rather, any future detachment is conditioned on the statutes that apply to all detachments. are not convinced. We Section 24 puts a very clear condition on any future detachment; it must "meet[] the requirements of Wis. Stat. § 66.0227 as they exist on the effective date of this Plan." effect, That means, for the next 97 years13 that Section 24 is in any future detachments within the Village of Williamstown Detachment Area must meet the statutory criteria for detachment that existed in 2018. Department's argument. Section 25 also belies the It plainly limits future detachments to those that "meet the criteria set forth in [Section 24]." ¶35 Section 25 further confirms that Mayville's boundary lines may change via the Plan's contemplated detachments. It reiterates that Mayville could nearly double in size if the detachments occur and that "Mayville will grow in an orderly and compact manner" "[a]s a result of [Section 24] attachments." Further, as we discussed above, the territory surrounding Mayville will become incorporated territory, and due to that change, Mayville no longer will possess the right to annex that territory. Wis. Stat. § 66.0219. Upon approval of the plan, Section 29 of the Plan provides for a 10 year planning period "except that Section 24 regarding the Village of Williamstown Detachment Area will remain in effect until December 31, 2118 unless the Village of Williamstown and the City of Mayville, or their successors in interest, agree otherwise by written instrument consistent with applicable law at the time of its execution." 13 18 No. 2019AP882 Mayville's ability to grow, or change its boundary lines, is limited to Plan. to the specific lands and processes outlined in the Said differently, the Plan not only contemplates a change Mayville's precluding boundary Mayville's lines, it expansion if also the changing its boundary line are not met. has Plan's the effect conditions of for Mayville should have been a party to, and had a voice in, proposed alterations to its municipal authority. ¶36 We conclude that the Plan includes a type of boundary change that is described in Wis. Stat. § 66.0307(2)(b) and that the Plan sets conditions to effect that change as contemplated by § 66.0307(2)(c). Accordingly, before such a change could be effective, Mayville was required to be a party to the Plan. Because it was not, the Department erred as a matter of law in approving the Plan.14 III. ¶37 judicial CONCLUSION We conclude first that Mayville has standing to seek review of the Plan. Next, we conclude that the "Village of Williamstown Detachment Area" set forth in the Plan changes Mayville's boundary line. Because the Plan changed Mayville's boundary lines, Wis. Stat. § 66.0307(2) required that Mayville be a party to the Plan. Because Mayville was not a Because we hold that Mayville was required to be a party to the Plan, we do not address whether the cooperative planning statute permits municipalities to consolidate. See Maryland Arms Ltd. P'ship v. Connell, 2010 WI 64, ¶48, 326 Wis. 2d 300, 786 N.W.2d 15. 14 19 No. 2019AP882 party to the Plan, we conclude that the Department erroneously interpreted § 66.0307(2) in approving the Plan. Accordingly, we affirm the decision of the court of appeals, which remanded the Plan to the circuit court to remand to the Department. By the Court.—The decision affirmed. 20 of the court of appeals is No. 1 2019AP882
Primary Holding
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the order of the circuit court that reversed the Department of Administration's approval of a cooperative plan (Plan) between the Village of Kekoskee and the Town of Williamstown and remanded the matter back to the Department, holding that the Department erroneously interpreted Wis. Stat. 66.0307(2) in approving the Plan.

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