TIGARD - Tigard is known around the state for its attempted annexation of Bull Mountain several years ago, and the issue resulted in new annexation laws passed by the Oregon Legislature two years ago.

Now the Tigard City Council has taken a pro-active step by approving a new annexation policy for the city. The council voted 4-0 at its March 13 meeting to approve the policy after discussing it in January 2006 and again on Feb. 13 this year.

The upshot of the resolution is that 'the city wishes to promote the benefits of being part of the city and wishes to encourage voluntary annexation.'

As part of the process, the city plans to 'work directly with those (who) express voluntary interest in annexation' to facilitate the process.

This includes waiving the annexation application fee until July 1, 2008, and phasing in property taxes with newly annexed properties paying 33 percent the first year, 67 percent the second year and the full amount the third year.

The city also plans to invite owners of unincorporated properties to voluntarily join the city, and it will be proactive in promoting the benefits of being incorporated into Tigard.

Tigard further plans to work with other cities, Washington County, Metro and the state to promote regional and statewide policies and actions that recognize 'that logical, efficient and economically sustainable urban development can best occur in existing incorporated cities.'

The resolution notes that Washington County and the city have an intergovernmental agreement that determines that Tigard will be the ultimate provider of urban services in the Tigard Urban Services Area and that 'these lands shall be eventually part of the city of Tigard.'

Furthermore, 'annexation is a necessary means to ensure delivery of complete urban services to the TUSA and guarantee the cost of services are more equitably shared among those (who) use them.'

According to the resolution, 'parts of Tigard's municipal boundary are irregular and confusing, and there exists unincorporated lands (islands) completely surrounded by the city, and this situation is incongruous with the city's responsibility to promote the effective and efficient provision of urban services.'

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