What is Annexation?
Annexation is the methodical extension of a city's boundaries into adjacent
unincorporated areas, and the corresponding extension of that city's services
to the areas encompassed by the new boundaries. In North Carolina, annexation
is governed by state statutes that allow cities and towns to annex adjacent
areas under certain circumstances. There are two types of annexation:
city-initiated and voluntary. City-initiated annexations can occur when
an unincorporated area contains certain urban development characteristics
(population density, subdivision of land into smaller lots, development
intensity). Voluntary annexation can take place after the owner of
unincorporated property petitions City Council for annexation.
Annexation has enabled Charlotte's land area to more than double since 1980,
reaching almost 306 square miles as of July 1, 2013.
Historically, the City of Charlotte maintained a
policy of systematically undertaking City-initiated annexations every two
years, with an effective annexation date of June 30th of the odd-numbered
years. However, in 2011 and 2012 the NC General Assembly passed legislation
that significantly altered the way cities and towns are able to undertake
municipally-initiated annexations, making the two-year schedule for
City-initiated annexations impossible to maintain. This new legislation
however resulted in relatively minor changes to the voluntary annexation
More detail on this topic can be found with our
“Annexation – FAQ” document
Updated April 28, 2014