Annexation of Property
Annexation is the procedure for bringing unincorporated areas of a county into an adjacent incorporated city. The most common form of annexation is the "direct petition method," whereby property owners (or residents) of the area sign a petition asking to become part of the city. If an area is annexed, the city becomes the primary provider of local government services.
In order to be eligible for annexation, the subject property must be located within the Urban Growth Area.
Washington State law allows annexations through a number of mechanisms:
- Voter-Initiated Election Method (PDF) - This annexation method is initiated by voters living in the area to be annexed and requires the approval of the voters in the proposed annexation area. This method is also known as Election Method, Initiated by The Twenty Percent Petition.
- City Council Initiated Election Method (PDF) - This annexation method is initiated by a City Council resolution and requires the approval of the voters in the proposed annexation area. This method is also known as Election Method, Initiated by Resolution.
- Direct Petition Method (PDF) - This annexation method is initiated by property owners (or residents) of the proposed annexation area. This method requires the signatures of property owners representing 60 percent of the assessed value of the area proposed for annexation and approval by the City Council. This method is also known as The Sixty Percent Petition Annexation Method.
There are four additional annexation methods allowed by Washington State law:
- Unincorporated Islands
- Municipal Purpose
- Interlocal Agreement Annexation of Area Served by Fire District(s)
- Annexation of Federal Areas
These methods are limited in scope and used by cities infrequently.
Direct Petition Method
The most frequently used method of annexation is the direct petition method. Because the direct petition method is the most frequently used the city has prepared the following information for potential petitioners to consider.
- Petitioners submit a Notice of Intent to Annex to the city that represents owners of not less than 10 percent of the assessed valuation of the total area proposed to be annexed.
- City Council determines if it will accept, deny, or modify the annexation proposal to allow it to proceed to a petition. If accepted or modified, the council shall, at this meeting, decide whether it will require:
- The simultaneous adoption of a comprehensive plan designation and zoning; or
- The assumption of all or any portion of existing city indebtedness by the area to be annexed.
- If the annexation proposal is accepted or modified, proponents shall collect signatures using the city’s petition form. The petition shall be signed by either:
- Owners in the annexation area of at least 60 percent in value; or
- Owners of a majority of the acreage and majority of registered voters.
- The official petition form is submitted to the city, county auditor, and county assessor for certification.
- If petition is certified, the City Council holds a public hearing and makes a determination to approve or deny the annexation.