Last updated Jun. 13, 2019 - 5:19 pm

State laws allow cities to annex property so they can provide essential services to urbanized areas in an orderly and efficient way. Municipalities must provide annexed areas with services such as police and fire protection, water and sewer lines, recreation, solid waste collection and street maintenance.

Annexations by the City of Raleigh are voluntary and result from petitions by landowners who want City water and sewer services. City policy (Resolution 1993-208) requires owners of property outside the Raleigh City limits to submit annexation petitions before they can connect to City utilities. This applies to property that is already developed or proposed for development. The petitioners and successive property owners are responsible for the costs of utilities extended to and within the annexed area. 

To determine if your property is outside of Raleigh City Limits, search the iMAPS website by searching for your address with the Parcel, Jurisdictions, and Corporate Limits layers activated.

City policy (Resolution 2008-460 and Resolution 2009-22) is not to accept annexation petitions for property outside the City’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ, except in limited circumstances. The ETJ is an area outside the City limits where the City has jurisdiction over planning and zoning regulations.

The City generally does not annex areas beyond its ETJ to avoid having parts of the City that are separate from other areas where it provides services. A petitioner seeking annexation of property outside the ETJ must simultaneously file a Rezoning Application.

Annexation Petitions

Annexation petitions can be requested by landowners who want city water and sewer services. To start the annexation process petitioners must fill out an Annexation Petition Application and submit it to the Department of City Planning.

Beginning July 8, 2019, petitioners will be able to track the progress of their annexation case through the Permit and Development Portal. The Portal will allow petitioners to track the progress of their annexation petition and the subsequent steps for their case from initial filing to Public Hearing decision by City Council. Applicants will need to create an account to access information on their annexation petition and to follow along in the process. Future phases will allow petitioners to file annexation case completely online.

Annexation Process
Annexation Petition Application
New Permit and Development Portal

Approvals or Permits Issued

Approval of annexation by ordinance.

Key Steps in the Process

  1. A property owner submits an Annexation Petition Application and other required documents to the Department of City Planning.
  2. City staff reviews petition and notifies the petitioner of any deficiencies. If the petition is sufficient, staff submits it to City Council with recommendations for proceeding with annexation consideration.
  3. City Council reviews staff recommendations and schedules a public hearing on the proposed annexation or defers action. The petitioner is notified of Council’s decision.
  4. At the Public Hearing, the petitioner and other members of the public may speak. Council then approves or denies the annexation.
  5. If the Council approves the annexation, the petitioner receives notification of the decision, a copy of the ordinance with the effective date of the annexation and a resolution showing the Council Districts that represent the property.

Submittal Requirements

Required for Submittal
  • Annexation Petition Application (All property owners having an interest in the property must sign the petition. Signatures should replicate those on the property deed and should include the spouse’s signature if the property is jointly owned through marriage. If the property owner is a corporation, include a corporate seal on the petition signature page.)
  • All documents shown on Submittal Checklist attached to the petition.
  • If property is outside City ETJ, a Rezoning Application must be filed simultaneously and a copy must be submitted with the petition

Expected Processing Time

  • Approximately 40 to 60 business days from submittal of petition to approval of annexation
  • More time required for requests involving notification of other municipalities and/or rezoning


  • There is no fee to submit an annexation petition
  • Property owners are subject to City property taxes upon annexation. Property is taxed on a fiscal year basis (July 1 to June 30). City tax rates are set annually. If necessary, arrange with your mortgage company to establish proper escrow accounts for local tax liability.
  • If applicable, you may be required to pay annual motor vehicle license fees (collected by the county).
  • You may be charged monthly solid waste fees and stormwater fees.
  • Developers or property owners are responsible for utility extensions or installations.
  • Fee-in-lieu assessments for street or sidewalk construction projects previously undertaken by the City are due upon annexation.

Next Steps

Services received upon annexation:

Residents of newly-annexed areas receive City services, including:

  • Police Department | Emergency assistance, crime prevention, traffic enforcement, investigations, animal control, etc.
  • Fire Department | First emergency responder, medical and rescue assistance, fire code inspections, fire prevention education, etc.
  • Transportation Department | Street maintenance, resurfacing and cleaning, sidewalk repair, pothole repair, curb and gutter repair, storm drainage maintenance, transportation services, street lighting.
  • Solid Waste Services | Collection of garbage, yard waste, recycling, bulky items, special loads, leaves, etc.
  • Stormwater Management | Maintenance of storm drains, water quality monitoring, soil/erosion/illicit discharge investigation, etc.
  • Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources | Art centers, parks, lakes, greenways, community centers, leisure activities, summer camps, aquatics, adult and senior activities, etc.
  • Public Utilities | Water and sewer service.
  • Services from other City departments, including City Planning, Housing & Neighborhoods, and Communications.

Was this page helpful?

WalletHub named Raleigh

Second Best Metro Area to Work for a Small Business

View our accolades >>