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What is An Annexation?

Annexation is the process by which cities extend their municipal services, regulations, voting privileges, and taxing authority to a new area. One of the primary reasons for annexation is so that the City can regulate growth and development in a manner consistent with the City’s vision. Annexation can preserve a growing urban area as a unified whole. It can also facilitate the full and efficient use of existing municipal resources. Annexation boundaries are typically determined through a variety of factors including the ease of service delivery, the relationship to the existing City, whether there will be support from the property owners, that it is a logical growth pattern for the City, etc. For any proposed annexation, the property must be in an adopted Urban Growth Area (UGA).

The intent of the Growth Management Act is the area identified in Poulsbo’s UGA be annexed to the city and be developed to urban densities. Procedures and requirements for annexing territory to the city are provided in Poulsbo Municipal Code 18.220 PMC.

Annexation Methods

Pursuant to RCW 35A.14, cities in the State of WA are given a number of mechanisms to annex unincorporated areas. Among those methods are the following:

  • Election Method. An annexation request may be initiated by the city council or by petition of property owners requesting the matter be put to a vote pursuant to RCW 35A.14.015 through 35A.14.110.
  • Direct Petition Method. An annexation request may be initiated by petition method by property owner initiation pursuant to RCW 35A.14.120 through 35A.14.150.
  • All other procedures in RCW 35A.14 also apply to annexations to the City.

Most annexations to Poulsbo utilize the Direct Petition Method. Below is a summary of the review process:

  1. Preliminary application meeting.
  2. Survey of Area Properties Owners.
  3. Letter of Intent to Annex (10%).
  4. Initial Meeting with Council.  If authorization is not granted for circulation of the petition (60% Petition), a substantially similar proposal may not be proposed for one year.
  5. Community Notification.
  6. Community Meeting.
  7. 60% Petition Circulation.
  8. Submittal of Petition.
  9. Determination of Sufficiency.
  10. Notice of Intent.
  11. City Council Public Hearing.
  12. Ordinance Adoption
  13. Paperwork Filed with State.

Annexation Process

The annexation process usually takes 6 months to 1 year to complete. Annexation is exempt from Poulsbo Municipal Code Title 19, Project Permit Application Procedures. Annexation is also exempt from State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review. Before filing submitting for an annexation, the applicant is required to schedule a pre-application conference. Pre-app conferences are intended to acquaint City staff and other agencies with a proposal and to generally advise the applicant of applicable regulations and policies impacting the proposal. See the Pre-Application Conference Handout and Application for more information.

Handouts and Additional Info

Active Annexation Petitions: