In almost every circumstance, an annexation must be approved by the voters of the City. There are various methods for annexation:
- The most common method is a double majority annexation. In a double majority annexation, the applicant obtains consent from the owners of more than half the land area being annexed, then will gain approval by the City Commission and finally from more then half the registered voters in the City. If not enough property owners choose to sign the petition, the City Commission does not approve the application or not enough voters approve the annexation, the land would not annex into the City.
- The City Commission may initiate annexation with approval of more than half the owners of the land area being annexed and from more then half the registered voters in the City. If not enough property owners choose to sign the petition, or not enough voters approve the annexation, the land would not annex into the City.
- Emergency annexations may occur without a vote of the people in the event of a failed septic system within a given distance of the City. The property would connect to the City sewer system rather than fixing the failed septic.
- The City may initiate an island annexation against the will of a property owner for land that is currently in the county, though is entirely surrounded by the City. Oregon City utilized this process in 2001 and does not foresee pursuing it again.
Annexation law is complex and you may want to check with an attorney if you have specific questions. Note that new legislation was passed allowing annexations which meet certain criteria to be approved by the City Commission without a vote.