Regarding any annexation proposal, Oregon land use law has criteria for the approval of land use proposals or what are called “planning actions.” In the case of annexations, applicants must prove that at current “building out rates” or growth rates there is not a 20-year supply of a given type of land that is being requested to be annexed to a city. If there is a 20-year supply or more, the annexation request must be denied.
And if no land inventory exists for the type of land being requested for annexation, the applicant cannot prove there is a deficiency in a given zoning type. Thus, the request must be. denied. In any land inventory, not just purely vacant parcels should be counted, but also under-developed parcels should be included.
For example, if there is several acre parcel with one building on it where the underlying zoning allows for further partitioning or development, the acreage that can be further developed should be included in the land inventory.
The purpose of annexation requirements is to retard sprawl. Sprawl is the continual use of more land than necessary to achieve development goals. As most know, sprawl results in the loss of wildlife habitat, open space, farm land and forest land,. Sprawl results in exponential traffic increases and great increases in municipal costs as city services are spread out. Any city is best off accommodating growth with infill rather than adding people on city fringes. Sprawl is too environmentally damaging and expensive.