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Dept/Div. Contact: Planning Division - (209) 577-5267

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Description: Annexation is the process by which cities expand their limits. Property that is outside of the City limits, but within Modesto’s ultimate growth boundary (Sphere of Influence, or SOI), can be considered for annexation into the City limits.

Generally speaking, areas proposed for annexation must be large, adjacent to the City, contiguous and must lie within the City’s General Plan boundary and Sphere of Influence. All proposals for annexation must:

  • be reviewed through the Urban Growth Review to determine whether an adequate (5-year) supply of land is available for development,
  • receive a determination from City Council, based upon the Urban Growth Review, whether it will be placed on the ballot for a public advisory election to allow the extension of sewer service to the area.

Public advisory elections apply indirectly to the annexation of new territory into the City of Modesto, by requiring that an advisory election of the citizens of Modesto be held prior to extending sewer improvements to new areas with five or more dwelling units.

If the public advisory vote is affirmative, planning can begin. Prior to annexation:

Zoning becomes effective upon annexation and the property is thereafter subject to City regulations.

There are two major types of annexations, each of which has additional requirements, as noted below.

Undeveloped Land: “Undeveloped land” generally lies on the edge of the City and has little or no development and has been identified as a future growth area. Annexation must be supported by other property owners in the area proposed for annexation. Additionally, a specific plan [PDF] and environmental review must be prepared and approved by the City Council prior to annexation.

County "Island" or other developed County land: The majority of the area is developed, but it lies outside of City limits, and has a lower potential for new development than undeveloped land. These “Island” areas are typically either completely surrounded by the City on all sides or are substantially surrounded by the City. Residents may apply to annex to the City or the City may initiate annexation. All roads, sidewalks, street lights, and other infrastructure must be improved to City standards before annexation and before sewer and water service are extended. Typically, annexation must also be supported by other property owners within the area proposed for annexation.

More information about the City’s annexation process is available through the Community and Economic Development Department. Information about the Local Agency Formation Commission’s (LAFCO’s) annexation process is available at www.stanislauslafco.org.

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Have Questions?

Contact the Planning Division at (209) 577-5267.

This page was updated on: Friday, October 1, 2010 3:43:36 PM




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