Annexation is the process by which cities extend their municipal services, regulations, voting privileges and taxing authority to new territory.
Limited Purpose Annexation
Limited purpose annexation allows the City to extend regulatory authority for the limited purposes of applying its planning, zoning, health, and safety ordinances in the area. The City may not impose a property tax in the area until the property is annexed for full purposes, usually within three years.
Property owners may petition the City to annex their property. The request for voluntary annexation requires at least 50% of the property owners’ signature in the area up for consideration.
Reasons for Annexation
The City annexes territory to:
- Apply zoning and development standards, including environmental protection;
- Create efficiency in service delivery, particularly for public safety services;
- Maximize the return on the City’s investment in infrastructure and business incentives;
- Protect and expand the tax base; and/or
- Provide municipal services beyond those available in rural areas.
Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ)
The Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) is the unincorporated land within five miles of the City of San Antonio boundaries and includes all unincorporated territory that is not located in another city’s municipal boundary or ETJ. It is the area in which the City of San Antonio is the only authorized entity able to annex land. The ETJ enables the City to extend regulations to adjacent land where development can affect the quality of life within the city. ETJ regulations help to ensure that subdivisions that may be annexed in the future meet certain minimum standards.