Annexation - Questions and Answers
What services would I receive when the area is annexed for full purposes?
- You will be provided:
- Police protection
- Fire protection
- Emergency medical services
- Garbage & recycling collection
- Maintenance of roads & street lighting
You will have access to other programs for the public benefit including city planning/zoning and development review, code compliance, libraries, health and human services, and recreation programs.
What is zoning and what will my zoning be after annexation?
Zoning separates incompatible uses, preserves neighborhood character, and determines density, intensity of use, height, lot coverage, landscaping, and parking for a particular use. Overlay and special districts may include urban design regulations or guidelines.
Zoning for areas proposed for annexation is developed based on the adopted land use plan for the area, taking into consideration existing uses.
What permits are required if my property is annexed for Full Purposes?
All construction permits will be obtained through the City of San Antonio’s Development Services Department. You will no longer need to obtain a permit from Bexar County , except for septic tanks. All construction permitting and inspections will be performed by the City of San Antonio for all residential and commercial properties. Information on the permitting process: http://sanantonio.gov/dsd
TAXES, FEES, AND INSURANCE
What taxes and fees would I pay when the area is annexed for full purposes?
In the calendar year following full purpose annexation, you will begin paying property taxes to the City of San Antonio. Three homestead tax exemptions include over-65 ($65,000), disabled veterans ($5,000-$12,000 based on disability rating), and disabled persons ($12,500). You will cease paying taxes to an emergency service district (ESD). If you are a San Antonio Water Systems user, you will see a decrease in your water and sewer rates. Additionally you will see additional City of San Antonio solid waste and environmental fees on your utility bill that help fund additional services such as solid waste collection and parks.
Retail and hotel businesses would also be responsible for collecting sales tax and hotel occupancy tax.
Will my home insurance rates decrease when I am annexed for full purposes?
It is possible that your home insurance rates could decrease if your insurance company participates in the rating system. The Insurance Service Office Inc. (ISO) grades cities on their firefighting and water supply capability and assigns a Public Protection Classification (PPC) rating. This rating is used by insurance providers that use the PPC to establish commercial and residential rates within the City limits. The ISO PPC ratings range from a class 1 to a class 10 with a class 1 being the best possible ISO rating. As of December 1st, 2012, the City has received from ISO a Public Protection Class 2. Based on data provided by ISO, only 6% of all fire departments in Texas are rated a 2 or higher. Across the nation, only 1.47% of all fire departments have achieved this rating or better.
VOTING AND CITY OFFICES
What voting privileges will I have?
You will have full voting privileges in all mayoral, council, bond and charter amendment elections.
When are elections held to elect the Mayor and Members of City Council?
The Mayor and all ten (10) City Council Offices are up for election every odd year in May. However, not all Members of the City Council are eligible for re-election as the City of San Antonio has term limits. For more information regarding terms of offices and limits: http://bit.ly/1Jut8rZ
SCHOOL DISTRICT, POST OFFICE, AND OTHER ENTITIES AND SERVICES
Will the annexation affect my school district boundaries, post office address, and other services?
No, annexation will not affect your status in relation to, or taxes or fees owed to the following entities:
US Post Office
Community college district
County road and flood
WATER AND SEWER
Will the City require me to hook up to City water and sewer, or cap my well?
No. The City will not require any changes in existing utility services.
Will my rates be different?
Upon full purpose annexation, your SAWS rates will be lower in the City of San Antonio. For more information on rates: http://www.saws.org/service/rates/
If I own a business, will I be required to collect a City sales tax?
Yes. City sales taxes are collected upon Full Purpose Annexation .
Will I be able to continue to operate my business upon annexation?
Property owners are encouraged to register existing, legal, non-conforming uses with the City (Development Services Department). No fee is required during the first 90 days following annexation to register your business as non conforming. See: http://sanantonio.gov/DSD/Resources.aspx
Is there a permit or license I need to get from the City for my business after annexation?
Yes. You are required to apply for a Certificate of Occupancy to operate your business. See: http://bit.ly/1HsdFGC
I do not currently have a water utility serving my business. If I want to expand my building, will I need to provide the water supply normally required in the City?
Individuals developing property, for example those adding to existing structures are required to provide sufficient water supply for their development. It is not the water utility’s responsibility to provide the water supply required for expanded development. In some instances the Fire Department may be able to provide an alternative arrangement other than providing the normally required volume of water.
When I apply for a Certificate of Occupancy will the Fire Inspector order me to make changes to how I operate?
For the most part, businesses will be allowed to continue to operate without changes. In some cases, a business may present a distinct hazard to life or property and will need to comply retroactively with the International Fire Code and Code amendments. For example, to prevent a fire hazard a business that can hold more than 50 people must provide two adequate means of exiting a building. Similarly, in some instances, the storage and use of hazardous materials, including flammable and combustible liquids may require owners to provide additional safeguards and obtain a permit to store and use them.
What inspections and permits are required by the Fire Department?
Detailed instructions for initiating fire-related inspections and permits can be found on the San Antonio Fire Department's website. Unless noted otherwise, permit activities follow the general points located here: http://bit.ly/1Lk7OXm
SINGLE FAMILY AND MANUFACTURED HOMES
If I am required to get permits to finish construction of my house, will the City impose any changes to the portion of the house that was not permitted?
The building inspector may require some alterations and impose certain requirements to the existing main structure if they conclude that failure to make those changes would result in a safety hazard.
I’m currently building my house and may not complete it before the City annexes. Will I be required to get a building permit to complete my home?
Yes. You will be required to obtain a building permit to complete the remaining improvements.
I have a second house on my property, but no one lives there. If the house is not livable and in need of repair, is the City going to tear it down?
If the house is structurally sound and is not a health hazard, the City will not take any action. If the structure possesses a safety hazard and is beyond repair, the City will recommend the structure be removed from the premises.
May I place a manufactured home on my property?
Only those properties zoned “MH” Manufactured District or zoned for a conditional use are permitted to have a manufactured home. Manufactured homes must meet Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Code.
AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL USES
Will a property that has appraisal district valuation as an agricultural use be annexed?
Prior to limited purpose annexation, the City of San Antonio offered a development agreement which allows properties that are appraised for agricultural or wildlife management use or as timber land to postpone annexation until such time that the development plat or other document is filed. Property owners with these appraised uses received a letter and development agreement from the City. (Texas Local Government Code 43.035.)
Will I be allowed to keep my cattle, horses, and poultry?
If you are annexed for full purposes, the City’s livestock ordinances will apply. The City ordinances allow for the keeping of livestock provided that you have sufficient acreage for the number of livestock and that you purchase a yearly permit. If you have an agricultural “operation”, and you believe that you are exempt from City ordinances based on state law, you will need to consult with the Animal Care Department. http://www.sanantonio.gov/AnimalCare/Home.aspx
What about pigs?
If annexed for full purposes you will not be allowed to keep swine. The exception is if you are keeping swine for a 4-H project. If so, you must show proper affiliation with a 4-H program and school sponsor.
Can I keep exotic animals like wolves, tigers, snakes, and monkeys?
If you are annexed for full purposes, the City prohibits the keeping of exotic animals like tigers, wolves, lions, venomous snakes and monkeys.
I own primarily vacant agricultural farmland. What restrictions will the Fire Marshal impose on my property if we get annexed?
The Fire Code does not permit unauthorized burning. Anyone seeking to burn must obtain a burning permit or the permission of the Fire Department when using an incinerator or other container approved by the Fire Department. It will be possible for some persons in the limited purpose annexation area to obtain a burning permit to burn their fields. Before a permit is issued an investigation of the area will allow the Fire Inspector to determine if there is a fire hazard or danger to adjoining or nearby property, or a violation of air pollution standards.
Will I be able to use fireworks on my property?
No. Possession and use of fireworks within the corporate limits of the City are prohibited.
Will I be allowed to discharge firearms on my property and continue to hunt as before, after we are annexed?
Citizens may continue to use firearms for gaming and hunting (Texas Local Government Code § 229.001). A municipality may not apply a regulation relating to the discharge of firearms or other weapons in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the municipality or in an area annexed by the municipality after September 1, 1981, if the firearm or other weapon is:
- a shotgun, air rifle or pistol, BB gun or bow and arrow discharged on a tract of land of 10 acres or more and more than 150 feet from a residence or occupied building located on another property; and in a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile to cross the boundary of the tract; or
- a center fire or rim fire rifle or pistol of any caliber discharged on a tract of land of 50 acres or more and more than 300 feet from a residence or occupied building located on another property; and in a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile to cross the boundary of the tract.
For questions about full purpose annexation contact:
Annexation Hotline: 207-PLAN (7526)