Annexation is the process by which the City extends its boundaries into formerly unincorporated county lands. Cities can expand their limits by voluntary or involuntary annexation.
Voluntary annexation is generally requested by the developer at the time of subdividing to ensure city services are provided to their subdivision as it is built. This type of annexation allows for waiving of notification and advertising requirements and can be completed with two readings of an Ordinance by City Commission. It also does not count against the total limitation of land a City can annex annually.
Involuntary annexation is done at the initiation of the City to expand to areas that might be needed for managed growth corridors, to square off city limit boundaries to make it easier for emergency personnel services to identify lands inside the city limits or other reasons such as protecting land use along highly visible corridors. A City can annex up to 10% of its gross area per year and can bank up to three years worth of acreage for annexation ability in a single year if they have not annexed the maximum amounts in previous years.
Involuntary annexation can be undertaken by the city one of two ways. If the land proposed for annexation is sparsely populated (less than 100 houses on a tract) it can be taken in on a shortened time frame generally spanning 60 – 90 days with proper notification and advertising procedures. If the tract is fairly well developed already, the City must place the tract on a “3-Year Plan”. The Plan is adopted by City Commission and the land cannot be annexed until 3 years after the adoption of that plan and not after 3 years and one month from its adoption.
The City of Mercedes has no current 3 year annexation plan.
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