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Planning & Development Services P.O. Box 9960 | 1101 Texas Ave.College Station, TX 77845979.764.3570

Annexation is a tool for cities to extend land development regulations – particularly zoning – to manage growth and land use to implement the comprehensive plan. Subsequently, annexation also extends the City’s ETJ boundaries, enabling it to regulate the subdivision of land over a larger area. 

After Texas’ House Bill 347 passed in 2019, cities lost the ability to unilaterally annex territory. The bill changed the way cities can annex, essentially requiring consent by the residents and/or property owners within the potential annexation area. Moving forward, cities may annex in four ways: 1) consent exempt annexation, 2) annexation on request of the landowner, 3) annexation by petition of an area with a population of less than 200, and 4) annexation of an area with a population of 200 or more by election and possibly petition. A few exceptions include areas with strategic partnerships such as Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs).  
    Why Cities Annex

    Cities have various reasons for initiating annexation.  These are a few examples:

    • Annexation to provide areas for future growth: Cities initiate annexation in order to provide areas for future growth and development.  This can be especially critical in cities with limited vacant, developable property to accommodate growth within its existing boundaries.

    • Annexation to secure tax base, revenue sources: This could include annexation of areas with desirable ad valorem values, areas with commercial activities that produce sales tax revenues or areas that produce current or future utility revenues.

    • Annexation to cover service costs for ETJ residents using City services: As more and more residential areas develop within the ETJ, these residents begin to use the City's streets, parks and other facilities without paying for these services. Annexation brings the added revenue to help cover these service costs.

    • Annexation to assert zoning or other regulatory control: Annexation brings territory into the full regulatory authority of a city.  While the statutes provide cities with limited regulatory authority within its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), annexation into a city allows application of full land use controls and development standards. This additional control allows the City to implement the Comprehensive Plan. 

    • Annexation to protect the public health & safety: Cities initiate annexation to provide urbanizing areas with municipal services and to exercise the regulatory authority necessary to protect public health and safety.        

    • Annexation in response to a perceived threat: This typically takes the form of annexation of property that is developing or proposed for development for some land use deemed undesirable or otherwise a threat if not annexed and controlled.


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