The Annexation Process
Annexation is the process by which cities grow by bringing in additional territory into the city limits. An ordinance, which must be approved by the Waco City Council, is required to make an annexation effective. Annexation of property can be requested by a property owner or can be initiated by the City.
Terms of Annexation
The State of Texas grants authority to cities to annex territory. All annexations must be carried out according to state law. The following terms for annexation apply:
- The maximum amount of territory a City may annex each year is normally 10% of its existing area.
- The minimum width of an area being annexed is normally 1,000 feet.
- Certain public notification requirements exist as does a requirement to hold two public hearings.
- A municipal service plan must be provided for the annexed area.
Property Which is Eligible for Annexation
Property that lies within the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) and is contiguous to the existing city limits is eligible for annexation. Waco’s ETJ generally covers an area that extends five (5) miles from the city limits. A map of this area may be obtained from Planning Services
Consideration of Areas
The Waco City Council considers areas to be annexed based upon current development activity and trends, protection of the environment, the City’s ability to extent services, and the need to provide additional land use control.
Annexation and City Services
Planning Services prepares a service plan for the provision of City services to the area to be annexed. The level of service shall be comparable to other areas of the City. The service plan must include a program under which the City will provide comparable services to the annexed area no later than 4 ½ years after the effective date of annexation. The following City services must be provided in the area of annexation within 60 days after the effective date of the annexation:
- Police and fire protection.
- Solid waste collection (refuse).
- Maintenance of water, and wastewater facilities (sewer).
- Maintenance of roads, streets and drainage.
- Maintenance of street lighting.
- Parks and recreation services.
- Publicly owned facilities.
The provision of water service and wastewater service depends on the availability of service lines in the area. In many annexations, the Annexation Service Plan will include a utility expansion and improvement policy. Once an area is annexed, the City of Waco will be responsible for providing services in the manner described in the service plan for that area.
Notification of Annexation Proposals
State law requires that the public hearings for the proposed annexation be noticed in the newspaper. When the City of Waco considers an annexation request, the newspaper notice generally includes a map of the area, a fieldnote description, along with the date, time and location of the public hearings. Citizens are also sent a written notice and response card if they own land within the annexation area or within 200 feet of the annexation area
The process is composed of a series of public hearings before the City Plan Commission and Waco City Council. The City Plan Commission receives information and findings from the Department of Planning Services on the proposed annexation at a scheduled public hearing. The City Plan Commission, after considering all testimony, makes a recommendation to the Waco City Council.
The official proceedings for annexation as prescribed by state law then begins with the first of two scheduled public hearings before the Waco City Council. These public hearings are designed to receive public comments on the annexation. Any citizen may comment during the formal public hearings on the annexation. The Waco City Council then votes on the annexation at the first of two required readings of an ordinance for annexation. The annexation process ends with the approval of the ordinance on the second reading. The ordinance annexing the area will then be recorded in the Official Public Records of McLennan County.
Annexed Areas and City Taxes
Once the annexation ordinance becomes effective, the property is within the City limits and will begin to receive City services, as outlined in the service plan approved as a part of the annexation. The City’s tax rate is applied by the McLennan County Appraisal District to all property that is in the City limits on January 1st of each year. The City’s portion of the tax applied to the property is due and payable at the same time all other portions of the tax bill are due.
This information is provided to increase your understanding of the annexation process applicable in Waco’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. If you have any questions concerning the annexation process, please contact:
City of Waco
P.O. Box 2570
Waco, Texas 76702-2570