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Annexation considerations and procedures in Annapolis

Annexation is the process by which unincorporated land around Annapolis is acquired for development. The City Council considers petitions for annexation based on a number of factors. Petitions are generally looked upon favorably when granting them is likely to promote economic development and improve the quality of life of Annapolis residents. The council considers petitions for land that will be developed immediately as well as proposals for future development. While the council considers the benefits that a proposed project would bring to the city as a whole, a petition is unlikely to be granted if property values in the area are expected to suffer.

Economic factors are considered carefully when assessing the merits of proposed annexation, and petitions must be accompanied by details regarding the cost of providing municipal services to the area as well as the likely economic benefits of granting the petition. However, annexation proposed solely to increase municipal revenue is considered inappropriate. Petitions also contain a detailed description of the land in question and the names of all of the area's property owners.

A preliminary hearing is held by the City Council within 45 days of a petition being submitted. The council may ask for additional information or refer the petition to relevant government agencies or municipal authorities. A public hearing is then held to allow members of the community to voice their opinions for or against the measure. If the petition is granted, the city may require a monitory deposit to ensure that the proposed project conforms with approved restrictions and conditions.

The annexation process is an example of the complex land use and zoning process in Annapolis. An attorney with experience in this area may advise property developers about zoning laws, land use issues, subdivisions and variances. An attorney could also help developers working with tight budgets to avoid potentially costly project delays caused by the submission of incomplete documentation.

Source: Municode, "Chapter 2.52- Annexation Policy and Procedure", November 16, 2014

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