Annexation and ETJ

2019 Proposed Annexation

House Bill 347, currently working its way through the Texas legislature, will eliminate most unilateral annexation efforts by any home rule city, thus eliminating Boerne’s ability to expand its city limits and extra territorial jurisdiction. It also limits the City’s ability to grow and regulate development. 

Due to this pending legislation in Austin, the Boerne City Council approved a resolution containing a list of properties being considered for annexation. In addition to the properties originally identified on the Annexation Strategy map, city staff also recommended annexation of additional properties around Boerne Lake to ensure development protections in the area.

Annexation is the process of bringing property into the City limits. It is one of the primary means by which cities grow. Cities annex territory to provide urbanizing areas with municipal services and to exercise regulatory authority necessary to protect public health and safety. Annexation is also a means of ensuring that current and future residents and businesses outside a city's corporate limits who benefit from access to the city's facilities and services share the tax burden associated with constructing and maintaining those facilities and services. 

The Process of Annexing

Prior to annexing a property, a municipality must give notice to the property owner. The municipality is required to hold two public hearings for the purpose of taking public comment on the annexation. See a process flowchart (PDF) here.

An ordinance, which must be approved by the City Council, is required to make an annexation effective. The State of Texas grants authority to cities to annex territory in two different manners: Annexation can be requested by a property owner (voluntary process) or the city can annex a property without the consent of the owner (involuntary process).  All annexations must be carried out according to State law and the City Charter.

 As a home rule City of more than 5,000 people, Boerne has the authority to annex property contiguous with, and within one mile of its current city limits following procedures consistent with Chapter 43 of the Texas Local Government Code.  City staff will monitor changes in state law and periodically recommend changes to applicable ordinances, the City’s annexation policy and internal procedures consistent with any changes in the law. 

Notification letters have been sent to the property owners included on the list of proposed annexations.  The notices contain a complete explanation of the annexation process so the property owners have sufficient time to ask questions and attend the required public hearings. The public hearings will take place on Tuesday, May 28th and Tuesday, June 11th at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at the Police and Municipal Court Complex at 124 Old San Antonio Road.  City Council will vote on the annexations on July 2nd and July 9th at 6 p.m.  See the May 28 public hearing notice (PDF) here.

Non-Annexation Agreements

This provision of the Texas Local Government Code prohibits a city from annexing an area that is appraised for ad valorem tax purposes as agricultural, wildlife management, or timber management unless the city offers a non-annexation agreement to the landowner that would: 

  • guarantee the continuation of the extraterritorial status of the area; and
  • authorize the enforcement of all regulations and planning authority of the city that does not interfere with the use of the area for agriculture, wildlife management, or timber.

A landowner may either: (1) accept the agreement as printed; (2) may request modifications to the agreement; or (3) decline the offer of a non-annexation agreement and be subject to annexation. The intent is to allow a landowner who truly intends to continue using his land for agriculture, wildlife management, or timber management, or in other unique situations, to remain outside of a city's limits.

A current example of a unique situation involves the property owners on Sharon Drive.  City staff is working with those owners on non-annexation agreements due to the higher density of this community.

What is the ETJ? (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction)

ETJ in Texas is the area around the city (defined by the type and size of the city) that surrounds the City. The state of Texas identified this area to allow cities to exercise some limited authority beyond its established boundaries.

A city may regulate very few issues within their ETJ. As development occurs with the City's ETJ, the City may determine to annex an area to control the development. Annexation must meet the statutory requirement and process. 

Under state law a City cannot enforce zoning, land use regulations or density in the ETJ. 

To view a list of properties (PDF) considered for annexation click here.  To view the PROPOSED Municipal Service Plan (PDF) for the 2019 annexations click here.

Annexation strategy 2019 Map