Annexation Guidelines and Procedures

City Clerk Annexation StaffAbout annexation...

Annexation is a method by which a city or town extends and increases its corporate limits. The process is closely governed by Arizona State Law (A.R.S. 9-471).

Based on these laws, each property owner within a proposed annexation area is notified of the public hearing for the proposed annexation by mail, advertisement in the newspaper and posting of notices within the area to be annexed. To annex an area, the owners of one-half or more of the total assessed value and more than one-half of the owners must sign a petition in favor of annexation. This enables each property owner within the area to have a fair say in the annexation.

The benefits of...

There are many benefits of annexation and services that are provided to city of Phoenix residents.

Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Service – 
Residents of unincorporated areas generally must make their own arrangements for fire protection. In many areas this can be done through payment to a private fire protection company, such as Rural Metro, and in a few areas fire districts have been organized with the power to assess property taxes to pay the cost of fire protection. In some cases professional fire protection is not available at all. Even in areas where fire protection can be secured the level of service does not match that of the city of Phoenix Fire Department. Upon annexation all residents of the annexed area receive full Phoenix Fire Department service. The city of Phoenix Fire Department provides fire protection, assistance during medical emergencies and ambulance and rescue services. The Fire Department also offers many other services such as Urban Survival, Fire Safety and Prevention, Senior Programs, as well as investigations.

Police Protection
Non-city residents are receiving protection from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department. As a resident of the city of Phoenix, you will receive police protection from a well-trained force that includes patrol cars, traffic control, detective service and accident investigation service.

Water and Wastewater Services –
For information on water or sewer availability to your property, please contact the Water Services Department, Technical Services Division at 602-495-5601. If you already have city water service, you should know that city of Phoenix water customers, whose property is outside the city Limits of Phoenix, pay 50 percent more for water than properties within the city.  Upon annexation, outside water customers will automatically have their water rates reduced to the inside the city rate.

Residential Solid Waste, Trash Collection and Related Services –
Solid waste and recyclable materials are collected weekly, and bulk trash is picked up quarterly at a low in-city cost. Residents also can use the city landfill and transfer station. Many private sanitation companies charge more for their services as compared to the city of Phoenix.

Zoning and Building Protection –
The city of Phoenix provides protection to its residents through specific planning, zoning and building ordinances. These ordinances help protect property owner investments and encourage beautification and maintenance of Phoenix neighborhoods.

Street Cleaning and Maintenance –
All dedicated streets are maintained by the City of Phoenix and are swept four times per year in conjunction with bulk trash pickup. Major and collector streets are swept two times per month.

Participation in City Government –
As a resident of the city of Phoenix, you have a voice in the affairs of your government. This includes eligibility for a city office, the right to vote in city elections, the ability to serve on voluntary boards and commissions, and the right to have a say in the way the city is run.

Additional Benefits –
There are other benefits available to residents of the city: cultural events, recreational programs, parks, and library facilities.

Initiating the Process...

Any property owner whose property lies outside the current city limits and whose request meets the requirements as specified in the Arizona Revised Statutes 9–471, can request annexation.

1. The first step is to fill out an annexation request form. Information requested on the form includes:

• Contact information for the owner and the applicant (if different)
• The parcel numbers and addresses of the property for which annexation is being requested
• Current and proposed zoning uses
• Current and proposed property use
• Information of county zoning violations
• Number of people residing in the proposed annexation area.

The request for annexation also includes a Waiver of Claims for Diminution in Value of Property. This form requires you to waive your right to make any claim for diminution in value of your property as a result of the City granting your annexation request. Please complete the form and mail it to:

City Clerk
200 W. Washington St., 15th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003–1611

2. When the annexation request is received, annexation staff will prepare preliminary maps and ownerships of the property. The Planningand Development Services Department and the City Council Office will review the request.

3. If necessary, a meeting may be scheduled with the interested parties in order to answer questions and coordinate with other city departments regarding the service area.

4. Certain conditions must be met before the City Clerk can authorize the preliminary work to begin, and efforts must be made to determine if the request meets annexation requirements. The annexation process requires a substantial amount of time to complete. There is a 30-day waiting period at the beginning and at the end that is required by law. The amount of time in between can be directly related to the number of property owners in the proposed annexation area. An annexation is usually completed within six months.

Annexation boundaries established – 
No area can be legally annexed into the city unless it has a boundary in common with the established limits of the city of Phoenix.

Ownership and valuation – 
Annexation law requires that petition signatures be obtained from more than one-half of the property owners and the owners of one–half or more of the assessed value of the property in the area that is subject to taxation.

Council authorization requested – 
After review and approval by the City Clerk Department, City Council Office, Planning and Development Services Department and the City Manager’s Office, a request to file a blank (unsigned) petition is presented to the City Council.

Notification –
Within 30 days after a blank (unsigned) petition has been filed with the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, the Phoenix City Council will hold a public hearing to discuss the annexation proposal.

Petition circulation – 
Petition signatures cannot be obtained during the 30-day waiting period after the filing of the blank petition with the County Recorder. Only after the 30-day waiting period has elapsed can property owners be asked to sign the petition for annexation.

Adoption of ordinance – 
After the petition requirements for the annexation have been met, City Council will vote on the annexation ordinance at a formal council meeting.

Annexation effective date – 
The annexation will become final after the expiration of 30 days from the adoption of the ordinance.

Services extended – 
City services begin on the 31st day after the adoption of the ordinance.

Thank you for considering annexation into the city of Phoenix. We hope this will give you beneficial information as well as answer your questions regarding the process. We are very proud of our city because of its continued innovative ideas in public service and future economic development. We sincerely hope that you will choose to become part of the future with the city of Phoenix.


200 W. Washington St., 15th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003
602–534–2737 (TTY)
602–495–5080 (FAX)

Rev. 11/2008