Could the landowners of my cul-de-sac secede from the town (or more likely, county)?

I live in a cul-de-sac in a development that abuts the neighboring town and county. Nearly identical homes, schools, etc., except that my taxes are 30% higher.

To further insult us, our group of 6 homes are the last to receive any service in the town. There’s a highway splitting 2 developments from the rest of the town. The political divisions probably made sense before the highway was built, but now it’s just silly.

Assuming I could convince most of my neighbors that we’d be better off on our own (or with someone else), how would we go about doing it? I’m not really interested in having JerseyFrankopolis, but it’d be nice to get a snow plow around within 48 hours of everyone else being cleared. A cop or two to patrol would be nice too. I figure the neighboring town could easily provide us the services. For emergency services, we’d be safer too.

If there were a reasonable plan to put forth, I’m fairly sure I could convince the 6 cul-de-sac neighbors to sign-on. If that worked, we could annex the rest of the neighborhood.

You can certainly try. Boston and Dedham, Mass tried to work out a similar deal a few years ago, but they failed. But it’s certainly possible.

You’d have to get the governments of both cities to agree to your request. I seriously doubt they have any code that allows for such requests, so the onus would be on you to convince the mayors/councilers to allow your special case. Keep in mind the town which loses you would also lose your tax dollars. Perhaps that might be a good trade off if your road/utilities are garbage and represent an upcoming liability to your current city.
But really it is not likely, so good luck with that…

However, with many city governments it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. If you and your neighbors feel short changed in services then as a group (perferably a neighborhood association) start calling up the city councilers/city manager and let them hear about it. Do you have a doctor/fireman/essential personal in your neighborhood? If so use that to show how your area is a priority for snow plowing. Make a good case and you might find things change.

Our neighborhood was annexed by a bordering city about the time we moved in. We are still served by the original town’s post office, though, so our mailing address is a town we don’t live in.

This was worked out between the two city councils, so I would start by contacting your local politicians.

Ok, but at what point can we roll in tanks and start the propaganda campaign?

It can be done, but the process is involved. In New York, you need to get an agreement from all political entities involved. They tried to change the borders of a plot of land around here in the early 80s, and that required the agreement of four entities: The Town of Rotterdam, Schenectady County, the Town of Guilderland, and Albany County. It fell through, probably because the people asking for the change got tired of waiting and found another property instead.

Thanks all. This is enough to get me pointed in the right direction. I’ll start to consider once we see where the property reappraisals put us with respect to the rest of the town and the neighboring town. Right now we’re in the 93rd percentile of taxes paid:property value as compared to the rest of the state.

Find a story of interest and contact the local news about it. In your case, it might be something like a car accident because snowy roads, or someone who received delayed ambulance service. Anything that will make a good news story. Then, when you talk to the reporter, make sure to emphasize that the town is not providing the services to you like they are to everyone else.

My wife did something similar to combat crime in a local park. For ten (or more) years we had drug deals, animal mutilation, burglaries and even a few assaults and molestations/rapes. Then, a Canada goose was killed. It was a protected species that returned here each year to breed. Now we had a story and she called all the local reporters. It got written up in a tiny local paper (circulation less than 20,000) and suddenly we had churches and Boy Scouts clearing the park of the underbrush that permitted crime. Starbucks promised volunteers for the cleanup and the sheriff showed up for a photo shoot (irony: neither brought anyone to do the cleanup, but the newspaper gave them credit in a second article). We had animal defense organizations from CA, AZ and NJ (we’re in WA) offering assistance and rewards for catching the bad guys. The local police started patrolling the park and animal control finally assigned a case number to the animal mutilations (which made it possible for the police to investigate it).

It’s amazing what can happen when people in charge get embarrassed. It’s also amazing to see what the priorities of a community are. Little girls getting molested? Meh, not so important. A migratory bird dies? OMG, mobilize the troops!!!

A street in my neighborhood had itself declared a private street; the purpose was to close off one end because they were tired of people drag-racing down to the busy road there. In order to do that they had to agree to provide for their own garbage pickup and snow removal; I think the street lighting is still the city’s responsibility. It has worked out fine for them and they keep the street beautifully, with flowers in the common areas. I don’t know how they work out street repair. Maybe you could look into declaring your street a private street.

Rolling in tanks would certainly be the quickest way to get attention from the town government.

The Civil War established that a state cannot secede from the union. But is there anything similar on an intra-state level? (I just find the idea of an armed secession from a town absolutely hilarious.)

If the sewer and water systems are seperate for the two towns, it probably won’t happen.

If you rolled in the tanks and shot at some Canadian geese with them, it sounds like you’d get some attention. :wink: