Annexation is a necessary and vitally important part of the future growth and health of Lincoln. The City of Lincoln has been successful with urban development occurring within its city limits. The City routinely annexes land at the request of a developer or landowner as part of the regular development process. This allows properties to be supplied with City services when they are needed, and the City benefits from the property taxes, utilities, and other fees that City residents pay.
Some properties along the City’s edge may not be interested in further development and thus will not request annexation. It makes sense for the City to initiate annexation of adjacent properties that are already developed and require a minimal public investment to serve.
Reasons for City-initiated annexation include:
- Equity for taxpayers. Properties on the urban edge already benefit from many City services, such as streets, parks, trails, libraries, and snow removal on adjacent streets, without paying City taxes and fees. Annexation balances the provision of appropriate and reliable services with the “fair share” payment for those services.
- Clarity of service areas for maintenance and emergency response.
- Allow for continued growth of Lincoln in an efficient and orderly fashion.
The character of existing residential areas should be respected as much as possible during the annexation process. When low density “acreage” areas are proposed for annexation due to the City’s annexation policy, additional steps should be taken to ease the transition as much as possible, such as public meetings, advance notice and written explanation of changes as a result of annexation. In general, many aspects of acreage life may remain unchanged, such as zoning or covenants. However, any annexation of existing residential areas will include some costs that are the responsibility of property owners.
Learn more about the City’s annexation policy in the Lincoln-Lancaster County 2050 Comprehensive Plan.