Annexation is the process of enlarging the corporate boundaries of the City of Hagerstown by adding an unincorporated area of Washington County into the City. Annexation is a priority of the City of Hagerstown's comprehensive plan. The goal is to channel growth into the City in order for Hagerstown to increase economic development, deliver urban services in an efficient manner, and promote fiscal stability. Annexation by the City is limited to geographic areas within Hagerstown's Medium Range Growth Area, as defined in the comprehensive plan. Per State law, only lands that are contiguous to the corporate boundary may be annexed. Properties that are annexed will receive urban services provided by the City and reduced water and wastewater rates if connected to City utilities. While annexed properties will pay City taxes, they will also pay reduced County taxes per the County's tax differential formula because the property will receive City services.
The first step in the process of annexation is the submittal of an annexation petition signed by the property owners, which includes the requested zoning, a metes and bounds description of the property, and a survey plan or plat of the property. The City will prepare the annexation resolution and the annexation plan for the property.
The Hagerstown Planning Commission will review the appropriateness of the requested zoning and the annexation plan and make a recommendation to the Mayor and City Council.
The applicant will present the annexation petition at the regular meeting of the Mayor and City Council. Typically at the same meeting, the Mayor and City Council will introduce the annexation resolution and approve the annexation plan.
After advertising a certain number of times in the newspaper (2-4 depending upon the acreage of the tract), a public hearing will be held by the Mayor and City Council. If the requested City zoning is substantially different than the existing County zoning, the County Commissioners must approve the zoning change or the annexed property would have to wait five years to use the City zoning.
At a subsequent regular meeting after the public hearing, the Mayor and City Council will vote on approval of the annexation resolution. If approved the annexation becomes effective in 45 days.
Requests for City Water Service Outside the City which Require Annexation
Per the City of Hagerstown's Comprehensive Plan, Policy 4-1, the City of Hagerstown will only provide new or expanded water services outside of Hagerstown's corporate boundaries to properties that annex into the City or that enter into pre-annexation agreements with the City, except as specifically exempted in the City's Annexation Policy. New or expanded service includes new construction, redevelopment of the site, new connections for existing buildings, uses in existing buildings that require expanded allocation or service, and re-subdivision of existing development.
Requests for City Water Service Outside the City's Medium Range Growth Area
Per the City of Hagerstown's Comprehensive Plan, Policy 4-4, the City of Hagerstown will not extend or expand water or wastewater services beyond the Hagerstown Medium Range Growth Area (MRGA) as defined in the City's Annexation Policy, and shall not allow new connections to the existing lines located outside the MRGA, unless one of the ten exceptions is granted as outlined in the City's Water & Wastewater Policy. Submittal of a pre-annexation agreement is also a requirement when one of the exceptions is granted for service beyond the MRGA.
Anyone with questions about annexation, please contact us at email@example.com and a staff member will get back to you.