FREQUENTLY ASKED ANNEXATION QUESTIONS – City of Cibolo (2018)
Question 1: What is annexation?
Annexation is the process of bringing property into the City limits. It is one of the primary means by which cities grow. Cities annex territory to provide urbanizing areas with municipal services and to exercise regulatory authority necessary to protect public health and safety. Annexation is also a means of ensuring that current and future residents and businesses outside a city's corporate limits who benefit from access to the city's facilities and services share the tax burden associated with constructing and maintaining those facilities and services.
Question 2: What do I gain from being annexed into the City of Cibolo?
• Voting rights and representation
• Maintenance of public streets
• Regulation of land use and density through zoning
• Notifications of zoning/land use, density, or variance requests (as determined by distance).
• Code Enforcement
• Building quality standards and enforcement through inspections, especially for new houses and businesses
• Health code enforcement through restaurant inspections and employee food handler training
• Protection of natural resources from uncontrolled growth and development; regulation of development in the floodplain, and the effects of development on downstream flooding
Question 3: Will being in the city limits affect my property values?
No, annexation does not affect property value. As improvements are made to properties, there may be a reevaluation and appraisal done at that point. Specific questions about your property valuation may be addressed to the Guadalupe County Appraisal District
Question 4: What zoning is placed on my property upon annexation? How does the city rezone property?
When property is annexed into the City, a temporary Agricultural zoning classification is placed upon it until permanent zoning is applied. After annexation, a property owner may request a rezoning of their property. The rezoning process takes about two months and involves a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission and final action by the City Council. Additional information concerning the rezoning process is available from the Planning & Engineering Department.
Question 5: How will implementing zoning allow the city to protect and defend property values?
Being in the city limits, your properties would be subject to land use controls, buffer zones and standards for development with oversight from city staff. Without these protections, anyone can build anything, anyway they like. This typically results in areas adjacent to high volume roadways, and high growth areas (such as most of the target areas for annexation), being targeted for projects that may not be desirable. These undesirable projects could include sexually oriented businesses, heavy industry or low quality housing projects.
Question 6: How does the annexation process work?
The City Council will hold two public hearings on the proposed annexation. The City also develops a service plan for the area proposed for annexation that the public is allowed to review at the first public hearing. After the public hearings are conducted, the City Council holds another meeting where it passes an ordinance that completes the annexation process.
Question 7: What services will I receive for my City tax dollars?
Police and fire protection, emergency medical services (Cibolo contracts with the City of Schertz EMS), solid waste disposal (through City franchise provider – Republic Services approximately 50% less than other refuse collection providers), water and wastewater (for properties within the Cibolo service area), street maintenance and lighting, code enforcement, animal control, municipal court, parks and recreation, capital improvements, and general administration.
Question 8: Will I lose my agriculture exemptions?
No, as long as your property continues to qualify for an agricultural exemption.
Note: City property taxes assessed will be levied in accordance with the standard process for agricultural exemptions for other jurisdictions property taxes. The City also honors all other county exemptions and tax freezes.
Question 9: What will my taxes be now that I am in the City?
Taxes are calculated on property valuation. The City’s current tax rate (FY-2019) is $0.4674 per $100 of property valuation. Based on the City’s current tax rate, tax on a sample property valuation of $100,000 would be calculated as follows:
$100,000÷100 = $1,000 x .4674 = $467.40 City tax. It should be noted that the City tax rate is adopted annually and is subject to change.
Note: Properties with an Agricultural exemption will only be taxed on the taxable value – i.e. a property with an exemption may have a market value of $100,000, with a taxable assessed value of $1,500 after the qualifying agricultural exemption. The tax calculation will be as follows: $1,500 ÷ 100 = $15 x .4674 = $7.01 due in your annual taxes.
Question 10: When will I have to pay City taxes?
Property is appraised as of January 1st. Taxes are assessed in October and considered delinquent as of February of the following year. Note: The delay in property tax assessments and collections are related to State taxation laws and property appraisal processes.
Question 11: Might the landowners’ taxes be “frozen” as is, for a period of time to allow them to budget for any increase in taxes if it becomes necessary?
State statute only allows tax abatements through a development agreement for economic development purposes or agricultural uses.
Question 12: For those retired or on fixed income, what options are there to avoid expense in the form of city property tax?
All existing exemptions on the property will remain on the property. These include qualifying agricultural exemption, homestead exemption, disabled veterans exemption, and tax freeze for persons over 65. If there is a qualifying exemption that has not been applied to the property, you may contact the Guadalupe County Appraisal District for assistance with the application process.
Question 13: I have a well and septic system; I do not want City water or sewer service right now!
You are not required to access City water or sewer until such circumstances require you to make improvements to your well or septic system or until a water and/or wastewater connection is within reach of your property.
Question 14: What will the City do about my “road”?
Upon annexation, the City will assume maintenance responsibility for all non‐private roads, where property on both sides of the road are or will be within the City Limits. In the long‐term, Cibolo will assume responsibility for upgrade or reconstruction of your road.
Question 15: When would residents see improvement in roads that are annexed? Are all roads, in or adjacent to an area, annexed into the City or are some left in the County?
Right-of-Way maintenance priorities are determined on a city-wide basis taking into consideration factors such as street width, volume of traffic, street conditions, and public safety hazards. Roads and streets are annexed if they fall within the area to be annexed. Roads and streets running along the perimeter of an annexation area are generally annexed.
Question 16: Does annexation affect existing easements along public roads and does it affect deed restrictions?
No. Easements acquired by the county and/or the state will remain in effect. Deed restrictions are not impacted by annexation and would continue to apply in the same manner as they currently apply to property. The city typically does not have the authority to enforce deed restrictions unless the city owns property that is subject to the same deed restrictions.
Question 17: Is there a legal time limit within which a city is required to provide services to annexed areas?
Yes, under Chapter 43.056 of the Texas Local Government Code, the City is required to provide most city services (police protection, fire protection, solid waste collection, operation and maintenance of roads and streets, and access to city-owned recreation facilities and parks) immediately upon annexation. The City is also required to prepare a service plan to provide for the extension of municipal services to the area being annexed. The City will strive to provide services at a level of service similar to that which the City currently extends to any other similarly situated areas already within the City (based generally on characteristics of topography, land use, and population density).
Question 18: Can I still keep my animals and livestock?
You may keep animals and livestock that comply with animal control ordinance guidelines.
Question 19: Will I have to remove my barns, pens, and other non‐conforming structures?
No. Non‐conforming uses are allowed to remain unless they are partially destroyed (> 50% of the value of the building) or abandoned. If non‐conforming uses are destroyed or abandoned, any subsequent uses must conform to all applicable zoning regulations.
Question 20: Will I have to request building permits for a new home, fence, deck, etc.?
Permits are generally required for all new construction, remodels, renovations or enlargements. Permits are also required for repairs or replacement of the parts of a building related to maintenance of structural integrity and systems related to mechanical, electrical, or plumbing. General maintenance projects such as painting, carpeting, wallpapering, replacing or adding cabinets, and trim work are considered cosmetic and do not require a permit. After annexation, the Building Permits & Inspections team with the City is a good resource for this question as they have FAQ’s online
Question 21: Can the owner have a grace period before being subject to the city codes once annexation occurs?
Yes and no. Land use codes will be grandfathered while properties maintain their existing uses. Building codes and other city ordinances will go into effect immediately.
Question 22: I already have a building permit from the County. Can I still move forward with a project if annexed?
Yes. If you have obtained a building permit from the County and you start construction prior to the expiration of the permit, you may proceed with your project as long as the permit is still valid.
Question 23: If annexed will my address change?
No. The City does not anticipate address changes at this time.
Question 24: What are you going to do about the flooding and drainage problems in my area?
When an area develops, the City requires a developer to design and construct a drainage system that cannot release more water from the new development than was released before the construction. In order to satisfy this requirement, most developers construct detention ponds that hold water and allow it to release slowly and/or absorb into the soil. With all development, commercial and residential, the City will enforce FEMA and the City Floodplain Regulations. Improvements to drainage ditches in the public right-of-way may also be required of a developer to accommodate drainage
Question 25: Where can I find the law as to the landowners’ rights and the city’s obligations for annexation?
Texas Local Government Code, Chapter 43.
Question 26: What is the Public Protection Classification (PPC) system?
The Insurance Services Office (ISO) uses the Public Protection Classification (PPC) system to reflect a community's local fire protection for property insurance rating purposes. ISO classifies communities from 1 (the best) to 10 (the worst) based on how well they score on the ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, which grades such features as water distribution, fire department equipment and manpower and fire alarm facilities. The score that is determined from applying the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule is translated into a public protection classification. In some communities, a split classification is developed. An example of the split classification is 4/4x or 4/4y. The first number refers to the classification of properties within five road miles of a fire station and within 1000 feet of a creditable water supply. The second number, with either the "x" or "y" designation, applies to properties within five road miles of a fire station but beyond 1000 feet of a creditable water supply.
Question 27: What is Cibolo Fire Department’s ISO Rating?
Insurance Services Office (ISO) changed the City’s classification to a Class 4, with an effective date of 02/01/2015. With a single class rating of 4 all class-rated properties will use Class 4. Insurance Services Office changed the Public Protection Classification for the OPA (Outside Protected Area) to a split Class 4/9 with an effective date of 02/01/2015. With a split Class 4/9, all class-rated properties located within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant or water supply suction point and within 5 miles of a fire station will use Class 4. All class- rated properties located farther than 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant or water supply suction point and within 5 miles of a fire station will use Class 9.
Question 28: Does Cibolo Fire Department have an agreement to provide fire services in Guadalupe County?
Yes, an Interlocal Agreement for Fire Protection Services in Guadalupe County between the City of Cibolo, the City of Schertz and the City of Seguin was approved and signed for a period beginning October 1, 2017 and ending September 30, 2020. This agreement includes a stipend for each city which is appropriated through County taxes from all tax payers.
Question 29: Can I burn brush or tree limbs? Is there a burn ban? (Annexed property only)
This is called a “controlled burn” and yes you may as long as the county has not issued a “burn ban”. There are control burn rules which is general for everyone (Outdoor Burning Rule, Title 30, Texas Administrative Code, Sections 111.201-221 for the general public.) You may obtain a free of charge permit for the on-site burning of residential and agricultural yard brush and tree limbs, garden debris, and waste plant growth only. You can apply for the permit by calling or stopping by Station #1 204 Loop 539 West 210- 858- 3296 or Fire Station #2 3864 Cibolo Valley Drive 210-858-3290. A site inspection is performed before permits are issued to ensure the proposed burn is in a safe location with a source of water. To check the latest burn ban information, call the Guadalupe County Fire Marshal’s office at 830-303-8856.