H. E. Miller and wife Edna Mae Miller brought suit against the City of Mercedes, a municipal corporation, and its City Commissioners seeking to restrain the enforcement of an annexation ordinance which plaintiffs alleged to be void. Plaintiffs alleged that they were at all times material hereto residents of the area proposed to be annexed and owned their home within that area which will be burdened with taxes of the City of Mercedes under the ordinance which plaintiffs attack as being void.
Both plaintiffs and defendants filed motions for summary judgment. After hearing upon said motions, plaintiffs' motion was denied and the defendants' motion granted. Summary judgment was rendered that plaintiffs take nothing and that the injunctive relief sought by them be denied. H. E. Miller and wife have appealed.
Appellants present points in which they urge that the court erred (1) in entering summary judgment in favor of appellees because they contend the ordinance of annexation is void in that it shows on its face that there is a material variance in the description of the property purported to be annexed from that described in the notice of hearing required by the Charter of the City, and erred (2) in entering judgment denying appellants' motion for summary judgment for the reason that it is conclusively established by the pleadings and affidavits attached to appellants' motion that there is a variance of approximately 3 square miles in the description of the property set out in the notice of hearing and that described in the
The City of Mercedes is a home rule city and Article 1, Section 3, of its charter contains the following provisions:
The annexation of additional territory and the extension of the city limits of a municipality must be in compliance with whatever requirements are imposed by the city charter or the statutory authority under which the municipality operates. However, an immaterial variation from such requirements is not fatal and does not render void an ordinance of annexation. 62 C.J.S. Municipal Corporations § 55, pp. 157, 158.
It is undisputed that the territory described in the notice of hearing of the annexation covered an area approximately three miles larger than the area described in the annexation ordinance. Appellants contend that such a variance renders the ordinance void. This contention is the basis of both points urged by appellants. Appellants
It is also undisputed that the territory annexed by the ordinance of the City of Mercedes lies wholly within the boundaries of the territory described in the notice. An examination of the provisions of the material portions of the charter of the city as above set out shows that a notice of hearing is required to afford each property taxpaying voter residing within the territory to be annexed and all other persons interested therein an opportunity to be heard upon the question of annexation. Such notice was given. The notice contained a brief declaration of the intention of the city commission to pass an ordinance of annexation specifically defining the area intended to be annexed which included the territory described in the ordinance of annexation actually passed. The notice, therefore, did specifically define or describe the territory annexed. This in our opinion was a substantial compliance with the requirement of the charter concerning the description of the territory to be annexed. The variance between the description of the area described in the notice and the description of the territory described in the annexation ordinance is not in our opinion a material one, and the annexation is not void.
Appellants particularly rely upon the case of the City of River Oaks v. Lake Worth Village, Tex.Civ.App., 231 S.W.2d 768, (Ref.N.R.E.). That case is distinguishable from the instant case. The city charter involved in the case of City of River Oaks provided that upon the introduction of any annexation ordinance in the city council it should "be published in the form it may finally be passed." The evidence in that case showed that the annexation ordinance there involved did not include all of the territory described in the notice. The annexation ordinance in that case therefore failed to comply with the provisions of the city charter by failing to publish such ordinance "in the form in which it may finally be passed." There was no such provision in the charter of the City of Mercedes.
There is another distinction and difference between the City of River Oaks' case and the instant case. The amended ordinance of annexation in the City of River Oaks' case was never published. The ordinance of annexation in the instant case was, as required by the charter of the City of Mercedes, "published for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper published within the City of Mercedes." It is not contended that there is any variation or anything wrong with the description of the territory in the publication of the ordinance except that it does not include all of the land described in the original notice of hearing given to each property taxpaying voter residing within the territory or area to be annexed. The variance complained of by appellants is not, in our opinion, material and their contention that the ordinance of annexation is void by reason thereof is not well taken.
Appellants' contention in this respect is not well taken for still another reason. The provision of the charter of the City of Mercedes that the ordinance of annexation should be published for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper within the city provided further that "upon the publication thereof it shall be conclusively presumed
For the reasons stated, appellants' points are overruled and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.