On May 19, 1998, the voters of the City of West Linn passed Ballot Measure 3-8 to amend the City’s Charter and require voter approval prior to the City annexing territory. The Charter was amended to read as follows:
Unless mandated by state law, the City of West Linn shall not annex any territory, by delayed annexation or otherwise, without the approval of a majority vote among the City’s electorate.
The City adopted an ordinance implementing requirements for annexation of lands to the City of West Linn pursuant to Ballot Measure 3-8. The Metro Regional Government, which serves jurisdictions within the Portland metropolitan area, also adopted an ordinance relating to local government boundary changes. The City of West Linn is required to meet Metro’s ordinance (Chapter 3.09 of the Metro Code), as well as Oregon Revised Statutes.
Application: A petition to annex to the City of West Linn may be initiated by a property owner(s) of the land to be annexed or by the City. The fee for an annexation is $15,000, plus $1,000 per acre, up to a maximum of $20,000.
The City has a two-step annexation process that begins after an annexation petition is submitted and deemed complete.
Step 1: Staff evaluates whether the annexation request conforms to the provisions of the City’s Municipal Code, Community Development Code (CDC) Chapter 81, Metro Code Chapter 3.09, and the Oregon Revised Statutes. Annexation petitions in the Step 1 process will be considered by the City Council at a public hearing. Petitions to annex that do not receive Step 1 approval by the City Council will not proceed to Step 2. As a result, the annexation request will not be submitted to the voters. The City Council decision may be appealed by a necessary party (i.e., a city, county, or district serving the area) to the Metro Boundary Appeals Commission. An appeal by any other person proceeds to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA).
Step 2: This step involves consideration of referral to voters and policy issues by the City Council. The City Council will hold at least one public hearing on the annexation request, at which time any interested person may appear and be heard on the question of whether the annexation request should be presented to the voters. Within 45 days following the public hearing(s), unless a continuance is announced, the City Council will render a decision that the application be approved and submitted to the voters at the next appropriate election as determined by the Council, or that it be denied. The City Council may deny an annexation even though the annexation has received approval through the Step 1 process. The City Council’s decision in the Step 2 process cannot be appealed.
Ballot Measure: All annexation requests that have received final approval through the Step 1 and Step 2 process will be referred to the voters. Up to four elections can be held per year in March, May, September, and November. The Council prefers annexations to be placed on a single ballot each year. The applicant shall be responsible for all costs incurred by the City in processing the application, including election costs, with the following exceptions:
- If there are other City items in the same election, the applicant shall be responsible only for a pro-rata portion of any shared costs.
- If the election is concurrent with the May primary or November general election of an even-numbered year, the applicant is not responsible for any election costs.