1. How does the annexation process work?
There are State laws that guide the annexation process. To succeed, petition signatures must represent more than half the property owners and more than half the assessed value in the area to be annexed.
In considering applications for annexation, the Town Council reviews the following criteria to establish the interest in bringing the property into the Town:
- Financial: Analysis of fiscal impact to the Town including one-time and reoccurring revenues and expenses.
- Economic Development: Potential for desired growth; job creation in targeted clusters and opportunities identified in the Town’s Economic Development Strategic Plan.
- Civic: Growth of our political subdivision, civic pride, and sense of community.
- Planning and Building: Impacts to the Town land use program; parks, trails and open space program; surrounding properties; extent of compliant/non-compliant structures.
- Public Safety: Impacts to existing program; demand for new services.
- Legal: Considerations for successful annexation; identification of required process and procedures.
2. What area is the Town interested in annexing?
The Town identifies a planning area, or growth area, in the voter-approved General Plan, last updated in 2008. The planning area identifies areas located outside of the Town boundaries that plan to be located within the Town in future years. Planning areas help developers determine where they want to build, with the expectation that if they build in the Town’s planning area, they will be in the Town at some point. Established jurisdictions work with one another to ensure their planning areas are coordinated.
The Town will only annex properties in unincorporated areas of Maricopa and Pinal counties; annexation does not change the county in which the property is located.
3. What are the boundaries of each annexation?
Once the Town receives a petition with signatures representing more than half the property owners and more than half the assessed value in the area to be annex, all property owners in an annexation area will receive a map and details about the proposed annexation once it is recorded. There will also be a public hearing on the annexation.
4. What are the benefits of annexation?
The Town offers many benefits for property owners, ranging from public safety and a high quality water supply to consistency and stability with regard to taxes, zoning regulations, etc. Residents and businesses particularly appreciate having a local Town Council to go to with questions and problems. Services are provided through Town Hall rather than requiring trips to Phoenix or Florence. The quality of development required by the Town leads to improved property values and long-term benefits.
5. What about taxes?
In May 2007, Queen Creek voters approved a primary property tax for public safety of $1.95 per $100 of assessed value. The Town also has a 2.25 percent sales tax, which is collected on sales in the Town.
The construction transaction privilege tax (sales tax) rate increased by 0.25 percent in October 2007, for a total sales tax of 4.25 percent.
6. What will the Town do about roads?
Any public roads in the annexation area would become the responsibility of the Town. Concerns about roads would then be made to Town Hall, and the Town Council would decide on any improvement projects. Private roads and easements would not change; even after annexation they remain the responsibility of property owners.
7. What school district would my children attend?
Annexation by the Town of Queen Creek does not change school district boundaries. School district boards are separate governmental bodies from the Town Council.
8. What about voting?
All residents of Maricopa County or Pinal County who are eligible and registered to vote may vote for the members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and the Pinal County Board of Supervisors, depending upon their county of residence. Only those who live within the of Queen Creek’s incorporated limits are eligible to also vote for the Mayor and Town Council of Queen Creek.
9. How would the Town handle the zoning of my property?
State law requires that upon annexation, the Town must keep the zoning on property as close to the same zoning designation as existed before annexation occurred.
Once an area is annexed into Queen Creek, the Town Council decides all planning and zoning issues. The Town’s award-winning General Plan and Subdivision Ordinance guides all land uses. According to Arizona law, cities and towns can adopt ordinances that have greater powers to regulate matters than counties can. This means that the Town’s Subdivision Ordinance and codes can require higher quality subdivision development with more parks, open space, trail systems, landscaping, etc., which can increase and enhance property values.
10. Which law enforcement agency serves the Town of Queen Creek?
The Town of Queen Creek contracts with Maricopa County for all law enforcement services. This means that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) - Queen Creek District is the Town’s police department, and all parts of the Town are served by the MCSO.
11. How does the Town provide fire protection services?
Town of Queen Creek has its own Fire and Medical Department. More information is available on the Fire Department page. Additionally, the Queen Creek Fire and Medical Department is a member of the automatic aid response system.
12. How does the Town handle code enforcement?
Once a property is annexed into the Town, it becomes subject to the Town’s laws, and the Town becomes responsible for any building permits, inspections, and code enforcement. However, any properties or uses that have been granted permits through the County will be “grandfathered” and will continue to be legal after annexation. People who need new permits or inspections come to Queen Creek Town Hall for those services if their property is inside Town limits, instead of having to go to Phoenix or Florence. Also, people with complaints about local services call Town Hall instead of making the call to Maricopa County offices in Phoenix or Pinal County offices in Florence.
According to Arizona law, cities and towns can adopt ordinances that convey more ways and greater powers to regulate matters than counties can. This is why cities and towns have more authority to clean up graffiti, prohibit the keeping of junk and debris, or order weed removal. These enforcement activities are important to improving property values as well as community appearance.
If you have other questions, please contact Queen Creek Town Hall at 480-358-3000.