GENERAL PROVISIONS — GOVERNMENT — TERRITORY
50-222. Annexation by cities. (1) Legislative intent. The legislature hereby declares and determines that it is the policy of the state of Idaho that cities of the state should be able to annex lands which are reasonably necessary to assure the orderly development of Idaho’s cities in order to allow efficient and economically viable provision of tax-supported and fee-supported municipal services, to enable the orderly development of private lands which benefit from the cost-effective availability of municipal services in urbanizing areas and to equitably allocate the costs of public services in management of development on the urban fringe.
(2) General authority. Cities have the authority to annex land into a city upon compliance with the procedures required in this section. In any annexation proceeding, all portions of highways lying wholly or partially within an area to be annexed shall be included within the area annexed unless expressly agreed between the annexing city and the governing board of the highway agency providing road maintenance at the time of annexation. Provided further, that said city council shall not have the power to declare such land, lots or blocks a part of said city if they will be connected to such city only by a shoestring or strip of land which comprises a railroad or highway right-of-way.
(3) Annexation classifications. Annexations shall be classified and processed according to the standards for each respective category set forth herein. The three (3) categories of annexation are:
(a) Category A: Annexations wherein:
(i) All private landowners have consented to annexation. Annexation where all landowners have consented may extend beyond the city area of impact provided that the land is contiguous to the city and that the comprehensive plan includes the area of annexation;
(ii) Any residential enclaved lands of less than one hundred (100) privately owned parcels, irrespective of surface area, which are surrounded on all sides by land within a city or which are bounded on all sides by lands within a city and by the boundary of the city’s area of impact; or
(iii) The lands are those for which owner approval must be given pursuant to subsection (5)(b)(v) of this section.
(b) Category B: Annexations wherein:
(i) The subject lands contain less than one hundred (100) separate private ownerships and platted lots of record and where not all such landowners have consented to annexation; or
(ii) The subject lands contain more than one hundred (100) separate private ownerships and platted lots of record and where landowners owning more than fifty percent (50%) of the area of the subject private lands have consented to annexation prior to the commencement of the annexation process; or
(iii) The lands are the subject of a development moratorium or a water or sewer connection restriction imposed by state or local health or environmental agencies; provided such lands shall not be counted for purposes of determining the number of separate private ownerships and platted lots of record aggregated to determine the appropriate category.
(c) Category C: Annexations wherein the subject lands contain more than one hundred (100) separate private ownerships and platted lots of record and where landowners owning more than fifty percent (50%) of the area of the subject private lands have not consented to annexation prior to commencement of the annexation process.
(4) (a) Evidence of consent to annexation. For purposes of this section, and unless excepted in paragraph (b) of this subsection, consent to annex shall be valid only when evidenced by written instrument consenting to annexation executed by the owner or the owner’s authorized agent. Written consent to annex lands must be recorded in the county recorder’s office to be binding upon subsequent purchasers, heirs, or assigns of lands addressed in the consent. Lands need not be contiguous or adjacent to the city limits at the time the landowner consents to annexation for the property to be subject to a valid consent to annex; provided however, no annexation of lands shall occur, irrespective of consent, until such land becomes contiguous or adjacent to such city.
(b) Exceptions to the requirement of written consent to annexation. The following exceptions apply to the requirement of written consent to annexation provided for in paragraph (a) of this subsection:
(i) Enclaved lands: In category A annexations, no consent is necessary for enclaved lands meeting the requirements of subsection (3)(a)(ii) of this section;
(ii) Implied consent: In category B and C annexations, valid consent to annex is implied for the area of all lands connected to a water or wastewater collection system operated by the city if the connection was requested in writing by the owner, or the owner’s authorized agent, or completed before July 1, 2008.
(5) Annexation procedures. Annexation of lands into a city shall follow the procedures applicable to the category of lands as established by this section. The implementation of any annexation proposal wherein the city council determines that annexation is appropriate shall be concluded with the passage of an ordinance of annexation.
(a) Procedures for category A annexations: Lands lying contiguous or adjacent to any city in the state of Idaho may be annexed by the city if the proposed annexation meets the requirements of category A. Upon determining that a proposed annexation meets such requirements, a city may initiate the planning and zoning procedures set forth in chapter 65, title 67, Idaho Code, to establish the comprehensive planning policies, where necessary, and zoning classification of the lands to be annexed.
(b) Procedures for category B annexations: A city may annex lands that would qualify under the requirements of category B annexation if the following requirements are met:
(i) The lands are contiguous or adjacent to the city and lie within the city’s area of city impact;
(ii) The land is laid off into lots or blocks containing not more than five (5) acres of land each, whether the same shall have been or shall be laid off, subdivided or platted in accordance with any statute of this state or otherwise, or whenever the owner or proprietor or any person by or with his authority has sold or begun to sell off such contiguous or adjacent lands by metes and bounds in tracts not exceeding five (5) acres, or whenever the land is surrounded by the city. Splits of ownership which occurred prior to January 1, 1975, and which were the result of placement of public utilities, public roads or highways, or railroad lines through the property shall not be considered as evidence of an intent to develop such land and shall not be sufficient evidence that the land has been laid off or subdivided in lots or blocks. A single sale after January 1, 1975, of five (5) acres or less to a family member of the owner for the purpose of constructing a residence shall not constitute a sale within the meaning of this section. For purposes of this section, "family member" means a natural person or the spouse of a natural person who is related to the owner by blood, adoption or marriage within the first degree of consanguinity;
(iii) Preparation and publication of a written annexation plan, appropriate to the scale of the annexation contemplated, which includes, at a minimum, the following elements:
(A) The manner of providing tax-supported municipal services to the lands proposed to be annexed;
(B) The changes in taxation and other costs, using examples, which would result if the subject lands were to be annexed;
(C) The means of providing fee-supported municipal services, if any, to the lands proposed to be annexed;
(D) A brief analysis of the potential effects of annexation upon other units of local government which currently provide tax-supported or fee-supported services to the lands proposed to be annexed; and
(E) The proposed future land use plan and zoning designation or designations, subject to public hearing, for the lands proposed to be annexed;
(iv) Compliance with the notice and hearing procedures governing a zoning district boundary change as set forth in section 67-6511, Idaho Code, on the question of whether the property should be annexed and, if annexed, the zoning designation to be applied thereto; provided however, the initial notice of public hearing concerning the question of annexation and zoning shall be published in the official newspaper of the city and mailed by first class mail to every property owner with lands included in such annexation proposal not less than twenty-eight (28) days prior to the initial public hearing. All public hearing notices shall establish a time and procedure by which comments concerning the proposed annexation may be received in writing and heard and, additionally, public hearing notices delivered by mail shall include a one (1) page summary of the contents of the city’s proposed annexation plan and shall provide information regarding where the annexation plan may be obtained without charge by any property owner whose property would be subject to the annexation proposal.
(v) In addition to the standards set forth elsewhere in this section, annexation of the following lands must meet the following requirements:
(A) Property owned by a county or any entity within the county that is used as a fairgrounds area under the provisions of chapter 8, title 31, Idaho Code, or chapter 2, title 22, Idaho Code, must have the consent of a majority of the board of county commissioners of the county in which the property lies;
(B) Property owned by a nongovernmental entity that is used to provide outdoor recreational activities to the public, and that has been designated as a planned unit development of fifty (50) acres or more and does not require or utilize any city services, must have the express written permission of the nongovernmental entity owner;
(C) Land, if five (5) acres or greater, actively devoted to agriculture, as defined in section 63-604(1), Idaho Code, regardless of whether it is surrounded or bounded on all sides by lands within a city, must have the express written permission of the owner; and
(D) Land, if five (5) acres or greater, actively devoted to forest land, as defined in section 63-1701, Idaho Code, regardless of whether it is surrounded or bounded on all sides by lands within a city, must have the express written permission of the owner.
(vi) After considering the written and oral comments of property owners whose land would be annexed and other affected persons, the city council may proceed with the enactment of an ordinance of annexation and zoning. In the course of the consideration of any such ordinance, the city must make express findings, to be set forth in the minutes of the city council meeting at which the annexation is approved, as follows:
(A) The land to be annexed meets the applicable requirements of this section and does not fall within the exceptions or conditional exceptions contained in this section;
(B) The annexation would be consistent with the public purposes addressed in the annexation plan prepared by the city;
(C) The annexation is reasonably necessary for the orderly development of the city;
(vii) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, railroad right-of-way property may be annexed pursuant to this section only when property within the city adjoins or will adjoin both sides of the right-of-way.
(c) Procedures for category C annexations: A city may annex lands that would qualify under the requirements of category C annexation if the following requirements are met:
(i) Compliance with the procedures governing category B annexations; and
(ii) Evidence of consent to annexation based upon the following procedures:
(A) Following completion of all procedures required for consideration of a category B annexation, but prior to enactment of an annexation ordinance and upon an affirmative action by the city council, the city shall mail notice to all private landowners owning lands within the area to be annexed, exclusive of the owners of lands that are subject to a consent to annex which complies with subsection (4)(a) of this section defining consent. Such notice shall invite property owners to give written consent to the annexation, include a description of how that consent can be made and where it can be filed, and inform the landowners where the entire record of the subject annexation may be examined. Such mailed notice shall also include a legal description of the lands proposed for annexation and a simple map depicting the location of the subject lands.
(B) Each landowner desiring to consent to the proposed annexation must submit the consent in writing to the city clerk by a date specified in the notice, which date shall not be later than forty-five (45) days after the date of the mailing of such notice.
(C) After the date specified in the notice for receipt of written consent, the city clerk shall compile and present to the city council a report setting forth: (i) the total physical area sought to be annexed, and (ii) the total physical area of the lands, as expressed in acres or square feet, whose owners have newly consented in writing to the annexation, plus the area of all lands subject to a prior consent to annex which complies with subsection (4)(a) of this section defining consent. The clerk shall immediately report the results to the city council.
(D) Upon receiving such report, the city council shall review the results and may thereafter confirm whether consent was received from the owners of a majority of the land. The results of the report shall be reflected in the minutes of the city council. If the report as accepted by the city council confirms that owners of a majority of the land area have consented to annexation, the city council may enact an ordinance of annexation, which thereafter shall be published and become effective according to the terms of the ordinance. If the report confirms that owners of a majority of the land area have not consented to the annexation, the category C annexation shall not be authorized.
(6) The decision of a city council to annex and zone lands as a category B or category C annexation shall be subject to judicial review in accordance with the procedures provided in chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code, and pursuant to the standards set forth in section 67-5279, Idaho Code. Any such appeal shall be filed by an affected person in the appropriate district court no later than twenty-eight (28) days after the date of publication of the annexation ordinance. All cases in which there may arise a question of the validity of any annexation under this section shall be advanced as a matter of immediate public interest and concern and shall be heard by the district court at the earliest practicable time.
(7) Annexation of noncontiguous municipal airfield. A city may annex land that is not contiguous to the city and is occupied by a municipally owned or operated airport or landing field. However, a city may not annex any other land adjacent to such noncontiguous facilities which is not otherwise annexable pursuant to this section.
[50-222, added 2002, ch. 333, sec. 2, p. 939; am. 2008, ch. 118, sec. 1, p. 327; am. 2009, ch. 53, sec. 1, p. 145; am. 2019, ch. 22, sec. 1, p. 22; am. 2020, ch. 240, sec. 1, p. 702.]