A publication of the Cedar Mill Business Association

Cedar Mill
Community Website

Cedar Mill News
Volume 2, Issue 12


December 2004

Beaverton annexes!

City of Beaverton annexation policies

State of Oregon laws regarding annexation

The City of Beaverton held a hearing on Monday, December 6 to consider the annexation of several large areas near the intersection of Cedar Hills Boulevard and Barnes Road (see map). A second hearing will occur Monday December 13. Written testimony will be accepted until 5 pm on that day.

Several years ago, the city annexed parts of Cedar Hills Boulevard, Cornell, and Barnes, in what is called a “cherry stem” annexation. State law allows land in a “public way” to be annexed if it connects to a parcel the city wants to annex. And because Beaverton now owns the roads, they can to annex these parcels without a vote of property owners and residents because they are “surrounded by city property.”

Most of Cedar Mill lies in unincorporated Washington County. Both the state and county have expressed their desire eventually to “get counties out of the business of providing city-type services.” To this end the county has been encouraging Beaverton, Tigard and Hillsboro to annex places like Cedar Mill, which are inside the Urban Growth Boundary.

However at the December 7, 2004 CPO meeting, our Washington County commissioner John Leeper said that the commission has decided not to continue to allow the cherry-stem road annexations that Beaverton has been pursuing. It’s not clear at this time what the county can do about it—state law seems to endorse the procedure. [Relevant Oregon State statutes are on the website version of this month’s News, cedarmill.org/news]
We asked Joe Grillo, Beaverton Community Development Director, to clarify the City’s plans and our options for remaining a unique community.

The City remains committed to annexing its urban services area over time, but the City will be selective regarding the methods of annexation it chooses to use. The City of Beaverton prefers to avoid use of annexation methods that may force annexation against the will of a majority of voters in larger unincorporated residential neighborhoods. The City is, however, open to annexation of these areas by other means where support for annexation is expressed, pursuant to a process specified by State law, by a majority of area voters and/or property owners. The City is open to pursuing infrastructure/service planning for the purposes of determining the current and future needs of such areas and how such areas might best fit into the City of Beaverton provided such unincorporated residents pursue an interest of annexing into the City.

The City of Beaverton is committed to annexing those unincorporated areas that generally exist inside the City’s corporate limits. Most of these areas, known as “islands,” generally receive either direct or indirect benefit from City services. The Washington County 2000 Policy, adopted in the mid-1980s, recognizes that the County should not be a long-term provider of municipal services and that urban unincorporated areas including unincorporated islands should eventually be annexed to cities. As such, primarily through the use of the ‘island annexation method’, the City’s objectives in annexing such areas are to:

  • Minimize the confusion about the location of City boundaries for the provision of services;

  • Improve the efficiency of city service provision, particularly police patrols;

  • Control the development/redevelopment of properties that will eventually be within the City’s boundaries;

  • Create complete neighborhoods and thereby eliminate small pockets of unincorporated land; and

  • Increase the City’s tax base and minimize increasing the City’s mill rate.

In order to achieve these stated objectives, the City chooses to generally pursue the following areas for ‘island annexation’ into the City of Beaverton:

  • Undeveloped property zoned for industrial, commercial uses or mixed uses;

  • Developed or redevelopable property zoned for industrial, commercial or mixed uses;

  • Undeveloped or redevelopable property zoned for residential use;

  • Smaller developed property zoned residential (within a neighborhood that is largely incorporated within the City of Beaverton).

It appears that Beaverton is working to annex as much land to the north as it can through “cherry stem” road annexation and other means. Is the city’s ultimate goal to annex everything north within the UGB?

The official City plan policy is to eventually over time annex everything within its assumed urban service area, which is shown on a map in the City Comprehensive Plan as including land within Washington County and the urban growth boundary generally east of 185th Avenue and north of the City of Tigard, except a few properties along the county line that are in the City of Portland.

Are there any long-term plans for annexation of Cedar Mill that will involve voting, or will it all be piece-at-a-time opportunistic annexation?

Recently the City Council adopted a resolution setting City policies regarding annexation in different situations. The policies distinguish between annexations of areas presently surrounded by City territory, known as “islands,” and areas that are not islands. The policy on island annexations further prioritizes properties in islanded areas for annexations, and explains why their annexation is important to the City. {These policy documents are also available at the online version of The News: cedarmill.org/news]

What rules govern annexation?

There are several annexation procedures available to the City under State law and Metro Code, and the City will use the process that is most appropriate for a given situation. Until recently, the City only annexed a property where the owner agreed to sign a petition requesting annexation. Property owners petitioned for annexation for a variety of reasons ranging from their perception that City services were superior or less expensive in comparison to those that could be received in the unincorporated area, to the need to connect to City maintained utility lines to develop a property. Sometimes it was necessary to annex public right-of-way to connect to a property whose owner wished to annex, and that resulted in what is called a “cherry stem” annexation.

Can you outline the tax impacts on average homeowners and business owners after annexation?

If an unincorporated property in the Cedar Mill area is annexed into the City, at the present time (the 2004-2005 Fiscal Year) its property tax rate would increase by $2.72 per thousand dollars of assessed (not market) value, or $680/year for a house with a “maximum assessed value” (not market value) of $250,000. For a business such as the Thriftway store in Cedar Mill, this would mean about $2270 more in property tax payments for the year. This is the differential between what would be paid to the County Enhanced Sheriff’s Patrol District (ESPD) and the County Urban Road Maintenance District (URMD) and what is paid in City property taxes. (When a property annexes, it is removed from the ESPD and URMD, as well as any Street Lighting District it might be in.)

This $2.72 differential varies from year to year. In the future it could gradually decrease if higher value properties are annexed to the City and removed from the tax base for the ESPD and the URMD. [Ed note: of course it can increase as well if tax rates rise or if the city annexes areas that need increased services.}

What about water/sewage rates? Are Beaverton’s rates comparable with CWS/Tualatin Valley rates? Or would we continue with those services?

Pursuant to a 2002 intergovernmental agreement with the Tualatin Valley Water District, as the City annexes into Cedar Mill TVWD will continue to provide service and set water rates.

A 2004 agreement between Clean Water Services (CWS) and the City defines part of the Cedar Mill area, south of Cornell Road, as being in the City’s “Area of Future Maintenance Responsibility.” This means that after the City annexes this area, the City would assume maintenance of sanitary sewer pipes under 24 inches in diameter as well as the storm drainage system. Sewer rates will not change, but the City will assess a monthly charge of $5.75 per “equivalent dwelling unit” for maintenance of and improvements to the storm drainage system versus $4.00 now charged by CWS. The extra $1.75 per month goes to pay for more frequent system maintenance and improvements to reduce flooding in some areas.

Anything else that our readers should know about annexation?

The City is still negotiating with the County and other interested service providers to define the City’s urban service area—the area the City would likely annex over the long term. The City’s assumed urban service area may change when all the parties reach agreement. Under most proposals for defining the City’s urban service area, most if not all of Cedar Mill area would be included. That does not mean, however, that the City is interested in annexing all of Cedar Mill in the near future. The City would prefer to gradually annex a community the size of Cedar Mill so that adequate City service levels can be maintained for both current City residents/businesses and newly annexed residents and businesses when such annexation occurs.

Once an area is in the City, area residents and businesses will probably not notice a major change in service. The most significant change, which may not be apparent to most people, is that there will likely be a higher police presence in the community because the City provides more officers per thousand population than the ESPD, 1.5 versus 0.9. City fees for building permits and garbage collection will be slightly lower on average, and because there is no street lighting district in the City, there will be no fees for that service.

199.490 Procedure for minor boundary changes or transfers of territory. (2)(B)(c) For the purpose of this subsection, consent need not be obtained for any land in a public way included within or contiguous to the territory proposed to be annexed. However, land in such a public way shall, as determined by the commission, be considered annexed to the affected city or district if the minor boundary change is approved, regardless of the land’s ownership, size or assessed valuation.

 (d) For the purpose of this subsection, consent need not be obtained for any real property that is publicly owned, is the right of way for a public utility, telecommunications utility or railroad or is exempt from ad valorem taxation unless the owner of such property files a statement consenting to or opposing annexation with the legislative body of the annexing city or district on or before the date the city or district adopts the resolution required by paragraph (a) of this subsection.

222.750 Annexation of unincorporated territory surrounded by city. When territory not within a city is surrounded by the corporate boundaries of the city… it is within the power and authority of that city to annex such territory…Unless otherwise required by its charter, annexation by a city under this section shall be by ordinance or resolution subject to referendum, with or without the consent of any owner of property within the territory or resident in the territory.



Sign Up Now to receive
The Cedar Mill News by email each month

The Cedar Mill News
Published monthly by the Cedar Mill Business Association, Inc.,
P.O. Box 91177
Portland, OR 97291-0177

Advertising Information

Cedar Mill Business Association

email us

Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229