Annexation and ETJ
Annexation is the process of bringing property into the City limits. It is one of the primary means by which cities grow. Cities annex territory to provide urbanizing areas with municipal services and to exercise regulatory authority necessary to protect public health and safety. Annexation is also a means of ensuring that current and future residents and businesses outside a city's corporate limits who benefit from access to the city's facilities and services share the tax burden associated with constructing and maintaining those facilities and services.
The Process of Annexing
An ordinance, which must be approved by the City Council, is required to make an annexation effective. The State of Texas grants authority to cities to annex territory in two different manners: Annexation can be requested by a property owner (voluntary exempted process) or the city can annex a property without the consent of the owner (non-voluntary process). All annexations must be carried out according to State law and the City Charter. As a home rule City of more than 5,000 people, Cibolo has the authority to annex property contiguous with, and within one mile of its current city limits following procedures consistent with Chapter 43 of the Texas Local Government Code. City staff will monitor changes in state law and periodically recommend changes to applicable ordinances, the City’s annexation policy and internal procedures consistent with any changes in the law. Exempted Annexations will be initiated when the City receives a petition for voluntary annexation from property owners. The City will then adopt a resolution initiating the annexation exempted annexation area process. The City will hold two public hearings to approve a voluntary annexation. The annexation is completed upon a passing vote by the City Council of the ordinance. Since part of the city limits in inside of a Tier 2 county, the City of Cibolo is currently a Tier 2 municipality. For non-voluntary annexations with less than 200 population, the municipality must obtain consent through petition. For non-voluntary annexation with more then 200 population, the municipality must hold an election. The City tries to do all annexation procedures at regular meetings, but the timing of hearings under state law occasionally requires special called meetings. They are always posted. You can find our City Council, Board, & Commission meetings and the agendas posted on our website at https://www.cibolotx.gov/455/Agendas-Minutes-and-Videos.
What is the ETJ? (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction)
With the exception of City-owned land, Cibolo may only annex land within its ETJ. The ETJ is the neighboring unincorporated land within a 2 mile radius extending from and adjacent to the city limits that is not within another city's ETJ. The purpose of the ETJ is to allow cities to plan for growth in the area outside their corporate boundaries and to annex new development. The ETJ does this in two ways. First, there is a statutory prohibition against a municipality annexing into another city’s ETJ. This provides a city with land that it alone can annex encouraging planning and utility extensions in the ETJ. Second, cities are authorized to enforce their subdivision regulations and infrastructure standards (and a very limited number of other regulations) in their ETJ. This ensures that development in the ETJ meets the city’s development standards further facilitating annexation. Under state law a City cannot enforce zoning, land use regulations or density in the ETJ.