The Importance of Post Annexation Procedures

Planning Assistance in Action 

Municipal and county planners understand Maryland code requirements prior to and during an annexation. Their submissions to the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) make this clear. Local Government Article sections §4-401 through §4-416 outline procedures for annexation initiation, public notice and hearings, resolutions, and annexation plans.

The Local Government Article also describes areas that are eligible for annexation, which are those that are contiguous and adjoining to the municipality, won’t create an enclave or exclave, and are not within the boundaries of another municipality.

Specifically, §4-415 outlines the requirement that an annexation be consistent with the municipality’s municipal growth element. For those interested in learning more about annexation procedures and requirements, the Maryland Municipal League developed a Municipal Annexation Handbook and Planning’s website contains information about municipal planning and annexation submissions.  

However, annexation reporting requirements do not end when the resolution is adopted, and the municipality assumes planning and zoning authority over the annexed area. It is just as vital that the municipality officially notify the county Clerk of Court, the Census Bureau, and the Maryland Department of Legislative Services (DLS).

Ensuring that these organizations and agencies are notified facilitates the timely updating of land records and official maps. If the Census Bureau is not aware of an annexation, demographics and population estimates for a municipality may be inaccurate. If DLS is not aware of an annexation, state maps may remain outdated, potentially impacting designations such as Priority Funding Areas, which may in turn impede the provision of state growth related funding.

In fact, Local Government Article §4-414(a)(2) requires that the resolution be transmitted to DLS within 10 days after the resolution takes effect. As part of its 30-day review of annexations, Planning attaches guidance on post-annexation reporting responsibilities to every review letter sent to a municipality. This includes the Municipal Charter or Annexation Reposition Form, which towns and cities should complete and transmit to DLS along with the signed annexation resolution.

Planning is proud to support Maryland municipalities in their growth and annexation objectives and is available to help with pre- and post-annexation procedures to ensure every step is accounted for, and all parties are informed. The steps leading up to and during an annexation are important, but so are those that come afterward.

If you have any questions about annexations, please contact Joe Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager, at joseph.griffiths@maryland.gov

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