The Sixty Percent Petition Annexation Method
The most frequently used method of annexing unincorporated territory is by petition of the owners of at least 60 percent of the property value in the area, computed according to the assessed valuation of the property for general taxation purposes.
- Notice of Intention to Commence Annexation Proceedings (RCW 35A.14.120). Prior to circulating a petition for annexation, the initiating party or parties (the owners of property representing not less than ten percent of the assessed value of the property for which annexation is sought) must give written notice to the city council of their intention to commence annexation proceedings.
- Meeting with Initiators on the Annexation Proposal (RCW 35A.14.120). The city council is to set a date (not later than 60 days after the filing of the notice) for a meeting with the initiating parties to determine the following: 1) Whether the city will accept, reject, or geographically modify the proposed annexation; 2) Whether it will require the simultaneous adoption of a proposed zoning regulation, if such a proposal has been prepared and filed (as provided for in RCW 35A.14.330, and RCW 35A.14.340); and 3) Whether it will require the assumption of all or any portion of existing city indebtedness by the area to be annexed.
- Petition for Annexation (RCW 35A.14.120). If the city council accepts the initial annexation proposal, the petition may be drafted and circulated. The petition must be signed by the owners of not less than 60 percent of the assessed value of the property for which annexation is petitioned.
- Hearing on Petition (RCW 35A.14.130). A public hearing is held to give proponents and opponents an opportunity to provide public testimony on the proposal. At the conclusion of the hearing the Council may approve a Resolution of Intent to Annex and forward the annexation to the Thurston County Boundary Review Board.
- Boundary Review Board. If within the 45-day review period, qualified parties request review by the Boundary Review Board, the board may assume jurisdiction over the annexation and hold their own hearings on the proposal.
- Final Approval. If the annexation is approved by the Boundary Review Board then the City Council may finish the annexation by approving an annexation ordinance.
The Alternative Acreage/Voter based Petition Method [Chapter 35A.14 RCW]
This method of annexation has the same procedural steps as the value based petition method of annexation, however, a significant difference exists in who must sign the petition. The petition for the acreage/voter based annexation method must be signed by 1)Owners of a majority of the acreage of the area proposed for annexation, and 2) A majority of the registered voters residing in the area proposed for annexation 3) If there are no registered voters in the area proposed for annexation, then the petition must be signed by the owners of a majority of the acreage of the area.
Election Methods (by either resolution or petition)
- Resolution for Election. The City Council may call for an election to be held to submit to the voters of an area proposed for annexation, or Resolution for Election.
- Petition for Election. Residents in an area may call for an election to be held. A petition must be signed by residents equal in number to 10% of the votes cast at the last state general election. The City must decide to accept or reject the proposed action as described in a petition.
- Annexation Policy. The City must find that a proposed annexation is consistent with the City’s annexation policies.
- Boundary Review Board. Before an election can be held, the Board must consider whether to approve, modify or disapprove a proposed annexation.
- Election. A majority vote is required. If an annexation includes assumption of indebtedness, at least 60% must be in favor, and the number of persons voting on the annexation must constitute not less than 40% of the total number of votes cast in the area in the last preceding general election. The City must pay for the election.
City-initiated annexation of unincorporated islands
- Statutory Requirements. The City may annex an island if it is less than 100 acres and has at least 80% of its boundary contiguous to the City; or the land is of any size and has at least 80% of its boundary contiguous to the City if the area to be annexed existed as an island before June 30, 1994.
- City Council Review. A public hearing is required. Approval of a proposed annexation is subject to referendum for 45 days following approval by the City Council.
- Referendum Process. A referendum may be signed by registered voters representing not less than 10% of the votes cast in the last general election in the area to be annexed. An annexation is deemed approved by the voters unless a majority of the votes cast are in opposition to the annexation.
Annexation for municipal purposes
- Statutory Requirements. The City may annex land under its ownership. If land is contiguous to the City, Boundary Review Board review is not required.
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City of Tumwater