The type of annexation Somerset Mayor Alan Keck proposes is called non-consensual annexation, where a governing body takes initiative to annex an area which has residents live within it, taking in those properties without a request made by them.
According to the "City Officials Legal Handbook" by Kentucky League of Cities' Deputy Executive Director J.D. Chaney, Kentucky Revised Statutes say that in order to annex, a legislative body - in this case it would be the Somerset City Council - would need to enact an ordinance stating the "intent to annex," containing an accurate description of the territory sought.
After the first reading of the ordinance, the city would then send a notice to each property owner within that territory.
After a second reading and passage of the ordinance, the city would then need to publish a notice informing residents of that area of their right to present a petition to the mayor, which would then place the issue on a ballot to be voted on. Residents would have 60 days to submit the petition, and it would need to be signed by either 50 percent of the registered voters or 50 percent of the landowners in that area.
If no valid petition is submitted within 60 days, the city may then enact an ordinance annexing the area.
If a valid petition is submitted, and if 55 percent or more of the voters oppose the annexation, then the annexation movement is defeated and the city cannot make another attempt for five years. If less than 55 percent of the voters oppose the annexation, the city must pass a final annexation ordinance within 60 days.
Once the city has passed the "intent to annex" ordinance, it cannot repeal it in an attempt to avoid the vote.
Only registered voters living within the area to be annexed are allowed to participate in the vote for that area, meaning if you are not registered to vote within the area, you are not allowed to vote even if you own property there.
Only properties adjacent or contiguous to the city's current boarders can be annexed, meaning they must be nearby, but can be separated by a roadway or river.