Annexation Process, Land Development Code
The City considers annexation requests for property outside the current municipal limits if certain eligibility requirements are satisfied, based on State of Colorado Statutes and City ordinances. In general, the property must be within the Longmont Planning Area, and comply with the Longmont Area Comprehensive
Plan (LACP). One-sixth of the perimeter of the area proposed to be annexed must be contiguous with the existing City limits. Property owners who wish to annex their land to the City must submit a request for City Council to refer an annexation application through the review process.
If referred by City Council, an annexation application must include a concept plan. Zoning of the property will occur concurrently with annexation, consistent with the City's comprehensive plan. Annexations also require an annexation agreement which outlines the obligations of the property owner for development
of the property. Public hearings are held before the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. Final approval of an annexation is at the discretion of City Council.
Annexations and Exceptional Benefit Document:
A Tool for City Council
(March 30, 1999)
Annexation is a discretionary act. Based on City Council's intention to "raise
the bar" for what the City of Longmont will require of new annexations, annexation petitions are referred to City Council to evaluate their exceptional
benefit to the City. This document is a tool to assist City Council in its
discussions of what might constitute exceptional benefit on a case-by-case
basis. It does not limit Council's discretion in any matters relating to annexation.
City Council's referral of an annexation petition that claims exceptional
benefit to the City does not require City Council to approve the annexation
application. In general terms, the concept of exceptional benefit to the City
might encompass the following:
- Meeting community needs that land already annexed
to the City can't possibly meet.
- Providing more than minimum requirements.
- Providing community benefits that may be off-site
(such as open space).
- Maximizing existing investments in public improvements
- Minimizing changes to existing delivery of services
- Conforming to the City's phasing requirements for
public improvements and service delivery.
- Incorporating innovative and quality site design.
These general concepts of what might contribute to exceptional benefit are
not mutually exclusive nor are they comprehensive. They also may not be sufficient.
They provide City Council a way to think about the different approaches one
might take in considering exceptional benefit. In considering proposed annexations
that claim exceptional benefit, City Council might consider how the benefit
package is creative, innovative, and demonstrates thinking "outside the
box." The Longmont Area Comprehensive Plan (LACP) provides considerable
guidance about aspects that contribute to Longmont's quality of life. The
LACP is a source for ideas of ways annexations might be able to provide exceptional
benefit to the City.
In addition to the general concepts listed, City Council might wish to use
the following generals statements in framing its discussions about proposed
annexations that claim exceptional benefit to the City of Longmont:
- Addresses land use balance concerns.
- Meets specific community needs that can not be met
by existing development and/or can't be met by planned development in existing
- Provides more than the minimum amount of affordable
housing units (residential).
- Assists in providing housing units affordable to
potential employees (non-residential).
- Provides economic benefits to the community over
and above what a comparable use or business would provide.
- Preserves additional wildlife habitat and/or environmental
resources and preserves areas that can contribute to their greater protection.
- Preserves additional areas along the St. Vrain River
Corridor over and above what is normally required.
- Dedicates additional land (may be off-site) to the
public beyond the City's current requirements, i.e., more than right-of-way,
school sites, park sites, primary greenways, etc.
- Gives development rights to the City for property
(may be off-site) shown as open space on the Longmont Area Comprehensive
Plan (LACP) or for property that can contribute to Longmont's remaining
a free-standing community.
- Located in neighborhoods where urban development
already is occurring.
- Located adjacent to already developed land or adjacent
to land with recorded final plats and improvement agreements (MOAPIs).
- Promotes infill and redevelops areas by encouraging
more appropriate urban development.
- Conforms to the City's phasing requirements for
constructing public improvements and the delivery of services.
- Maximizes existing investments in public improvements
- Minimizes changes to the existing delivery of services
- Preserves structures or settings that embody a sense
of time and place unique to the City and/or preserves significant aspects
that contribute to the City's heritage.
- Incorporates quality and innovative design that
will that will enhance and benefit the community.
- Incorporates site design to encourage transit usage.
- Implements traffic demand management.
- Integrates site with the surrounding transportation
network and does not include cul-de-sacs.
- Phases residential development as needed to meet
the City's purposes (such as voluntarily offering to limit the number of
dwelling units during a specific time period).
As mentioned earlier, annexation is a discretionary act. This document is
a tool to assist City Council in its discussions. It does not limit Council's
discretion in any matters concerning annexation. City Council may consider
different or additional standards of exceptional benefit on a case-by-case
basis. Council also may modify this document to make it a more useful tool.