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Statewide task force ponders annexation fix

SALEM - Driven by annexation attempts of the cities of Beaverton and Tigard in the past two years, a state work group recommended Wednesday that lawmakers fix to Oregon's outdated and confusing annexation statutes.

The group was required by Senate Bill 887 to study existing annexation procedures and actions by Oregon cities. Its members included Washington County government officials and residents from Bull Mountain.

The group agreed that:

  • Annexation is intended to ensure sound urban development and the efficient provision of municipal services.
  • Annexation processes are out-dated. They were adopted prior to the requirements of Oregon's land use planning program in 1973, and there are duplications and inefficiencies of process that are confusing to citizens and time-consuming and expensive for local governments.
  • The largest conflict is the statewide requirement that cities are required to plan, adopt and maintain a 20-year supply of land for accommodating future growth at urban levels.

    Among the group's conclusions and recommendations were:

  • There is a need for uniform disclosure statements in deeds and earnest money agreements at property sale if the property is not in a city's limits, but is within the urban growth boundary.
  • That there be a 30-day notification to both affected property owners and owners adjacent to the right of way being annexed prior to annexation hearings or action.
  • That there be two public hearings for all annexation actions.
  • Double majority and triple majority consent annexations should be combined into one method, likely a modified double majority method.