Annex Your Property

If you want your property to be brought inside city limits, you may be able to apply to annex your property.

Annexation is the process of including a piece of property within the boundaries of the city, making the property, those who live on it, and those who visit it, eligible for all City services, including available water and sewer services.

Eligibility

You can submit a petition for annexation, if your property is contiguous to the city limits and is inside the Urban Growth Boundary. This type of annexation is generally known as an owner-initiated annexation.

There are two types of owner-initiated annexations, voter-exempt and voter-approval annexations.

The following annexations are voter exempt:

    • All property owners have signed a petition submitted to the City
    • Failing septic systems or health hazards
    • Made pursuant to annexation contracts effective prior to May 16, 2000
    • Mandated by state law

All other annexations must be approved by Salem voters.

Apply for a voter-exempt annexation

You are encouraged to call Planning staff before starting the annexation process.

  • Request a pre-application conference: City staff will explain the basic requirements of annexation during the pre-application conference.

  • Submit an annexation application: Submit your application and fees to the Permit Application Center. The voter-exempt annexation application packet outlines all of the material you must submit.

  • Planning Commission review: If you are requesting a new Comprehensive Plan and/or zone designation:

    • You must file additional information to address the criteria for a Comprehensive Plan change and/or zone change found in Salem Revised Code (SRC) 260.045(b). You can find the additional requirements in this voter-exempt annexation packet.

    • You must pay the fees with those changes.

    • The Salem Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to review the proposed zoning of the property and make a recommendation to the City Council.

  • City Council decision: The City Council will hold a public hearing to receive public testimony and comments regarding the proposed annexation. Following the public hearing, the City Council will determine whether or not to approve the proposed annexation.

  • Ordinance adoption: If the City Council approves the proposed annexation, it will adopt an ordinance to annex the subject property inside the city limits and withdraw the subject property from special service districts.

  • File annexation records with Secretary of State: The City will notify the State of the territory proposed for annexation. The effective date of the annexation is the date the City files the annexation records with the Secretary of State.

Voter exempt without land use changes

Voter exempt with land use changes

Apply for a voter-approval annexation

If your annexation requires voter approval, there are a few more steps in the annexation process.

  • Request a pre-application conference: City staff will explain the basic requirements of annexation during the pre-application conference.

  • Submit an annexation application: Submit your application and fees to the Permit Application Center. The voter-approval annexation application packet outlines all of the material you must submit.

    • Application deadlines:

      • Annexations with a Comprehensive Plan change and/or zone change: No less than 315 days before the election when the annexation is proposed to be submitted to voters

      • Annexations without a Comprehensive Plan change and/or zone change: No less than 240 days prior to the election.

    • Additional election information: Contact the Marion County Elections Office.

    • Election costs:

      • You are required to cover election costs for elections other than general elections held in May or November on even-numbered years.

      • Publication costs are incurred for all annexation elections, so you must pay a deposit when you submit your annexation application.

      • Publication costs are divided equally between the number of annexation measures referred to the voters.

  • Planning Commission review: If you are requesting a new Comprehensive Plan and/or zone designation:

    • You must file additional information to address the criteria for a Comprehensive Plan change and/or zone change found in SRC 260.045(b). You can find the additional requirements in this voter-exempt annexation packet.

    • You must pay the fees with those changes.

    • The Salem Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to review the proposed zoning of the property and make a recommendation to the City Council.

  • City Council decision: The City Council will hold a public hearing to receive public testimony and comments regarding the proposed annexation. Following the public hearing, the City Council will determine whether or not to refer the proposed annexation to the voters. If the Council refers the proposed annexation to the voters, the annexation is usually placed on the next available ballot; however the annexation may be delayed until the next primary or general election, which may cost less. This can be discussed with the Planning staff prior to submittal.

  • Citywide election: An election will be held, and all voters within City limits may vote on the annexation.

  • Ordinance adoption: If the voters approve the annexation, the City Council will adopt an ordinance to annex the subject property inside the city limits and withdraw the subject property from special service districts.

  • File annexation records with Secretary of State: The City will notify the State of the territory proposed for annexation. The effective date of the annexation is the date the City files the annexation records with the Secretary of State.

Voter approval without land use changes

Voter approval with land use changes

Get water and sewer service

In some cases, you can connect to City water and sewer services once you have filed for annexation and Planning staff has determined that your annexation application is complete. In other cases, you can connect to City water and sewer services after your annexation is effective. For more information, you can call the Public Works Department.

You are not required to connect to City water service after annexation, so you can continue to use your existing wells. Generally, you are only required to connect to City sewer service if your septic system is not functioning properly and a City sewer main is located near your property. For more information, you can call the Public Works Department.

City-initiated annexations

Each year, the City reviews its borders to identify areas appropriate for annexation to ensure the efficient delivery of urban services. State laws say that cities should be the providers of services to more densely developed land. The City proceeds with City-initiated annexations that are eligible based on state and local law, pursuant to City Council annexation goals.

The City has annexed enclaves, which are territories that are “completely surrounded by the corporate boundaries of the City of Salem, or by the corporate boundaries of the City of Salem and a river, stream, lake, or other body of water” (SRC 260.005). For enclave annexations that are zoned for and in residential use at the time of annexation, the effective date is automatically delayed three years unless the property is sold. If the property is sold, the annexation is effective immediately.

Contact us

Planning DivisionCommunity Development Department
Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 305
Salem OR 97301
Phone: 
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