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If the property to be developed is not incorporated into the City of Commerce City, the first step in the development process is annexation.  Generally, an annexation occurs when the owner of an unincorporated parcel of land petitions to have that land incorporated into the city.  The requirements and procedures for annexation are set forth in the Municipal Annexation Act, Colorado of 1965 (CRS 31-12-101, et. seq., as amended) and the requirements of the City of Commerce City Land Development Code.

In general, the proposed property must be within the Commerce City Urban Growth Boundary and comply with the Commerce City Comprehensive Plan.  At least one-sixth of the perimeter of the area proposed to be annexed must be contiguous with the existing city limits.

A Development Review application must be submitted with the annexation documents.

General Time Frame
The length of time to process an annexation request can vary depending on the complexity of the request, or if there are unique circumstances. However, annexations can generally be processed in the following timeframe:
  • Typical Annexations: 4 to 6 months
  • Annexations in Conjunction with large-scale PUDs: May take much longer, depending on the complexity of the project.
  • In order to maximize or efficiently process an application, it is in the applicant’s best interest to ensure that a complete and thorough application has been submitted and that any subsequent submittals adequately address all comments that were provided.
  • In accordance with CRS 31-12-115, a property must be zoned within ninety (90) days of its annexation.  Therefore, in conjunction with the annexation request, a zoning request also must be considered.  The zoning application is a separate request, subject to additional requirements Please see Zone Change FTK and Development Plan (PUD Development Permit FTK)..  The request for zoning is first heard before the Planning Commission at a public hearing.  Public notification also is required for the Planning Commission public hearing.  The Planning Commission will review the proposed zoning and will make a recommendation to City Council, which will make the final decision on the zoning request.

No building permit may be submitted for review until all land use applications have been approved.

General Notes
Prior to submitting an annexation for review, a Pre-Application meeting with staff should be scheduled to discuss the application and any additional requirements.

If proceeding with annexation, please contact the Community Development Department and a planner will be assigned to the case when a complete submittal is made.  The planner will verify the prepared submittal using the Annexation Submittal Checklist (contained within the
Annexation FTK document) to ensure that the application and fee requirements are met.  

The Annexation Petition and related application must proceed through the applicable review processes before City Council takes final action.  City staff will review the application to determine if the proposed annexation and zoning are in conformance with statutory and city requirements.  The City will determine if the petition substantially meets statutory requirements and will schedule a public hearing before City Council on the eligibility of the property for annexation will be scheduled within 30 to 60 days.  

There are notification requirements for the City Council public hearing for the annexation petition.  The notice of the hearing must be published once a week for four consecutive weeks in a local newspaper, with the first publication of such notice occurring at least thirty (30) days prior to the public hearing date.  These publication requirements are handled through the City Clerk’s office.

A written Pre-Annexation Agreement must be agreed to between the city and the landowner before the City Council will take action to annex the property. The agreement will contain all terms, conditions, and obligations of annexation, as well as any additional requirements determined by the city at the time of annexation.  The applicant may execute and submit the city’s standard Pre-Annexation Agreement.

Occasionally, the city may require a neighborhood meeting when it appears that an application may have impacts on the surrounding area.

Depending on the size of the property, the city may be required to prepare and publish an annexation impact report prior to any public hearing.

Depending on the location of the property, the applicant may also need to join one of the city’s General Improvement Districts (GIDs). If applicable, city staff will help to explain the process and associated fees with this concurrent request.

Annexation-Related Forms:

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