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IN RE: ENLARGEMENT OF THE BOUNDARIES OF YAZOO CITY, MISSISSIPPI, DYNAMICS CORPORATION OF AMERICA, PORTABLE ELEVATOR DIVISION, AMCO PRODUCTS, YAZOO CITY, ET AL. v. CITY OF YAZOO CITY

MAY 16, 1984

IN RE: ENLARGEMENT OF THE BOUNDARIES OF YAZOO CITY, MISSISSIPPI, DYNAMICS CORPORATION OF AMERICA, PORTABLE ELEVATOR DIVISION, AMCO PRODUCTS, YAZOO CITY, ET AL.
v.
CITY OF YAZOO CITY, MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, BOWLING, AND ROBERTSON

BOWLING, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

This appeal involves the expansion of the city limits of Yazoo City, Mississippi. After a full hearing on February 25, 1983, the Special Chancellor rendered his opinion approving the action of the Mayor and Aldermen of the City annexing certain areas adjacent to the existing city limits. Pursuant to the petition for annexation filed by the City government on August 24, 1981, the City sought annexation of four separate areas. The property owners of three of the annexed areas did not participate in the appeal. Protestants from the fourth area, (hereinafter referred to as Area IV), consisting of ten commercial enterprises, appeal from the decision of the Special Chancellor and allege the following assignments of error:

I. THE CHANCELLOR'S FINDINGS OF FACT ARE MANIFESTLY AGAINST THE OVERWHELMING WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE AND ARE NOT SUPPORTED BY ANY SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE.

 II. THE CHANCELLOR'S CONCLUSIONS OF LAW THAT THE PROPOSED ANNEXATION IS REASONABLE AND IS REQUIRED BY THE PUBLIC CONVENIENCE AND NECESSITY ARE ERRONEOUS.

 III. THE CHANCELLOR ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE CITY'S LEGAL DESCRIPTION OF THE TERRITORY PROPOSED TO BE ANNEXED AS SET FORTH IN THE ORDINANCE, PUBLIC NOTICE AND CHANCERY COURT PETITION CONSTITUTED A VALID, LEGAL DESCRIPTION.

 W. THE CHANCELLOR ERRED IN FAILING TO FIND THAT THERE WAS A FATAL VARIANCE BETWEEN (A) THE LEGAL DESCRIPTION CONTAINED IN THE CITY'S PETITION AND ORDINANCE: AND (B) THE LEGAL DESCRIPTION AS PLATTED ON THE CITY PLAT ANNEXED TO THE PETITION AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 21-1-25, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, AS AMENDED.

 The other appellants in the cause are objectors to the annexation ordinance, the majority being residents of an area immediately outside the existing city limits known as the Shady Lane/Shady Oaks area. It was contended by persons alleging to represent all the residents of this area that the annexation ordinance was void as that area was not included as the annexed area.

 These appellants submit the following assignments of error:

 I. THE SPECIAL CHANCELLOR ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE PROPOSED ANNEXATION DID NOT VIOLATE THE 14TH AND 15TH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, AND WAS NOT THEREFORE UNREASONABLE EVEN THOUGH THE SHADY LANE/SHADY OAKS AREA WAS EXCLUDED FROM THAT ANNEXATION SOLELY BECAUSE ALL THE AREA'S RESIDENTS ARE BLACK.

 II. THE SPECIAL CHANCELLOR ERRED IN FINDING THE PROPOSED ANNEXATION REASONABLE, AND IN FURTHER FINDING THAT THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN OF THE CITY OF YAZOO CITY DID NOT EXCLUDE THE SHADY LANE/SHADY OAKS AREA FROM THE PROPOSED ANNEXATION

 FOR RACIALLY DISCRIMINATORY REASONS AND WITH RACIAL DISCRIMINATORY EFFECT.

 We carefully have studied the record, the briefs, and consideration has been given the oral arguments. A citation of authorities is not necessary on the legal proposition that this Court cannot overturn the decree of a chancellor unless we find with reasonable certainty that his decree is manifestly wrong on a question of law or the interpretation of the facts pertaining to legal questions. We find without hesitation that the opinion of the special chancellor is not manifestly erroneous. It sets out a detailed analysis of the cause and his resulting decree. We therefore affirm that action of the chancellor and adopt the opinion as the opinion of this Court. For the purpose of being accurate, we now set out that opinion in its full context as a part of this appeal opinion:

 At a regular meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Yazoo City, Mississippi, held on August 24, 1981, an ordinance was duly enacted extending and enlarging the corporate limits of the city. The said ordinance was published according to law.

 On September 22, 1981, the City filed its petition in this Court for ratification, approval and confirmation of the ordinance. A certified copy of the ordinance, together with the requisite map, was attached to the petition. The ordinance defines with certainty the territory proposed to be included in the corporate limits, and also defines the entire boundary as changed.

 In accord with the terms and provisions of Sec. 21-1-27, Miss. Code, 1972, the ordinance in general terms described the proposed improvements to be made in the territory proposed for annexation, the manner and extent of such improvements, and the approximate time within which such improvements are to be made. It is stated that the City shall make the following improvements in the territory proposed for annexation within a reasonable time, not to exceed three (3) years from the effective date of the ordinance:

 (a) To provide and extend an adequate

 water system for domestic use and fire protection;

 (b) To construct sanitary sewer lines and to provide sanitary sewage facilities;

 (c) To provide electrical system and service where needed and permitted.

 The ordinance further sets out a statement of the municipal or public services which the City proposed to render in the annexed territory, to-wit:

 (a) Provide garbage and trash pickup from each residence;

 (b) Provide regular city water rates to users already served by city water;

 (c) Provide regular police patrol and protection; (d) Provide fire protection; (e) Provide street and drainage maintenance;

 (f) Provide malarial control, animal control, and traffic control and regulatory traffic signs;

 (g) Provide comprehensive zoning for building construction, building codes and building inspector services and regulations;

 (h) Provide garbage pickup from each commercial establishment on a fee basis.

 On September 22, 1981, this Court entered an Order fixing the date for hearing the said petition, that is to say, October 28, 1981. Thereupon, notice to all persons interested in, affected by, having objections to, or being aggrieved by the ordinance was given by publication, according to law. Further, notice by posting was given in the manner prescribed by Statute.

 The Court finds that the ordinance and the Petition for ratification, approval and confirmation thereof are in accord with the provisions of the ...


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