Oregon Communities

For a Voice In Annexations

Promoting and Protecting Citizen Involvement in Land Use Issues

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Implementing Ordinances

What is an Implementing Ordinance?

An implementing ordinance (sometimes referred to as an "IO" for short) is a set of procedures that the City must follow when processing an application for annexation.

What are the attributes of a strong implementing ordinance?

A strong implementing ordinance would contain as many of the following as possible:

  • Require that the public be adequately informed about the subject property, including maps, zoning, and the allowed density.
  • Require that such information be posted and published in the Voter's Pamphlet.
  • Require that the applicant inform the public of the impact(s) of the proposed annexation on the community.
  • Require that annexations preserve any special or natural features important to the area or town.
  • Prohibit island, shoestring, or cherry-stem annexations.
  • Require that all expenses associated with an application, including election costs and staff time, be paid by the applicant.
  • Require that all expenses for additional required infrastructure be funded by the applicant or the development, so that existing residents do not fund new growth.  (Note that case law requires that such fees be in proportion to the development's impact. The city is responsible for proving that they are reasonable.  See Nollan v. California Commission 1987 and Dolan v. City of Tigard 1994.)

Examples of implementing ordinances

Examples of implementing ordinances, along with brief comments by OCVA, are listed below.  Click the city name to view the ordinance.  Note that OCVA has not reviewed these ordinances extensively, and has not necessarily reviewed the most recent version.

Sandy's ordinance is probably pretty good, since an OCVA member was on the City Council at the time it was drafted.  It doesn't include everything she would have liked, so there is room for improvement.  However, it includes provisions for disclosure, notification, and citizen involvement.  It attempts to preserve existing trees and avoid island annexations.  So it's probably a good starting point.
North Plains (PDF)
North Plains studied several other cities' ordinances as they prepared their ordinance.  It is not as comprehensive as Sandy's, and has only minimal notification requirements.  It prohibits island annexations.  It requires the applicant to disclose the costs for any new infrastructure that may be needed and requires that the applicant describe how such infrastructure will be funded.

How do I get a strong ordinance enacted in my town?

Implementing ordinances are usually developed by the Planning Commission and Staff, and are then approved by the City Council.  You will need to work extensively with these bodies to get your ideas into law.  Remember, the City has little or no incentive to create a strong ordinance, so you'll need to convince them.  Usually it will require having several like-minded individuals appointed or elected to these boards in order to prevail.

Additions to this page are welcomed.

If you know of an implementing ordinance that should be included on this page, or have thoughts about what a strong implementing ordinance should contain, please let us know.

This page last modified on 2008-08-02 13:20.