Annexation is the process of bringing land into the city boundaries in order to receive city services. Annexation to the City is required before land can be developed at urban density with Oregon City zoning, or to hook up to Oregon City sewer, water, and other public facilities services provided by the City.
Annexation requests are currently processed by the Planning Division.
Following review by the Planning Commission and approval by the City Commission, all annexations to Oregon City must be approved by voters of Oregon City, unless otherwise permitted under State Law.
Please note: State law (SB 1573) requires annexations that meet the following requirements to be approved without a vote by city electors. Annexations do not require voter approval when:
- (a) The territory is included within an urban growth boundary adopted by the city or Metro, as defined in ORS 197.015;
- (b) The territory is, or upon annexation of the territory into the city will be, subject to the acknowledged comprehensive plan of the city;
- (c) At least one lot or parcel within the territory is contiguous to the city limits or is separated from the city limits only by a public right of way or a body of water; and
- (d) The proposal conforms to all other requirements of the city’s ordinances.
Annexations are reviewed for compliance with City, County, State, and Metro plans, codes, and policies. The City's annexation code is Title 14, Chapter 14.04.
If you are interested in applying for an annexation, please continue reading. A pre-application conference is required prior to submittal of an application.
Annexation is a single application and does not result in the rezoning of the property. Applicants who desire to rezone their property to a city zone must file a separate application for rezoning, either concurrently with or following annexation. Zone change applications are reviewed for compliance with OCMC 17.68 Zone Changes and Amendments. An application for zone change must include a transportation impact analysis to determine the impact of the increased density on the city transportation system. Visit the Zone Changes and Comprehensive Plan Amendments page to learn more details.
Annexation Code Amendments Adopted
Effective July 16, 2021, the City Commission adopted Ordinance 21-1009, amending Oregon City Municipal Code Title 14, Annexations, Chapter 14.04 - City Boundary Changes and Extension of Services. The file number is LEG-21-0001. The revised code includes additional factors for consideration of annexations and provides greater clarity and specificity regarding the factors and procedures for city review of annexations.
The City Commission provided the following direction to guide staff in amending the code:
- Identify precisely which public services and infrastructure must be analyzed;
- Assure that the impact of future development within the annexation is identified and has already been accounted for in the City's infrastructure master plans;
- Require the applicant to identify the funding sources for future infrastructure improvements;
- Emphasize the desire for timely and efficient annexations;
- Prioritize annexations by requiring the applicant to demonstrate a need for annexation;
- Provide more specificity within the annexation factors to identify the level of planning and infrastructure analysis required to determine that future development can be adequately served.
- Add more language regarding the funding sources for mitigation, such as public improvements.
- Lower the threshold size of annexation triggering the master planning (OCMC Chapter 17.65) requirement to five acres.
- Add a factor requiring all historically designated and potentially eligible historic structures to be identified.
- Research other city codes such as the City of Sandy for additional criteria.
- Make explicit the option for the Commission to utilize development agreements.
Download the Ordinance 21-1009 Adopted (PDF) to learn more details.
Sanitary Sewer Connections
Property owners who wish to connect their property to the Oregon City sanitary sewer system must annex to the City as a condition of receiving city sewer service. In the case of a failed septic system that requires an expedited review and permit, the applicant may be permitted to hook up to the Oregon City sanitary sewer system now and complete the annexation process as soon as possible.
Please note: Property owners receiving sewer service from Oregon City must also annex separately into the Tri-City Sewer District (TCSD).
Please contact us if you have any questions about the annexation process!