Annexations

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1. How does the annexation process work?

Historically, the Town of Queen Creek’s philosophy for residential and commercial annexations has been for the property owners to initiate discussions.

There are State laws that guide the annexation process; a majority of the property owners in the defined area must be in favor of annexation, in addition to a majority of property value, for an area to be annexed by the Town.

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 recurring 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's planning area identified in the voter-approved General Plan, last updated in 2018, is the best indicator of areas the Town is interested in annexing. The planning area identifies areas located outside of the Town’s incorporated 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? 

The boundaries of an annexation are determined by a map that is submitted by the interested property owner(s) with the annexation application. All property owners in an annexation area will receive the map and details about the proposed annexation once it is recorded. There will also be a public hearing on the annexation. Signatures representing more than half the property owners and more than half the assessed value in the area to be annexed must be received before the Town Council can vote on the annexation.

4. What are the benefits of annexation? 

Annexing into an existing municipality provides access to local representation. Queen Creek’s Town Council, comprised of seven locally elected officials, make decisions on rate structures, fees and building policies. These local elected officials are accountable to the voters of the Town of Queen Creek and provide opportunities for resident input. All Town Council meetings are publicly available. Residents will continue to also be represented by their respective board supervisor in the county they reside.

In addition to the quality public safety services funded through the Town’s property tax, the Town’s sales tax supports roadway improvements, parks and trails and other community amenities.

Additionally, services are provided through Queen Creek’s 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?

Becoming a part of a municipality increases the level of services that are provided, which are paid for with 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. Queen Creek’s property tax is based on the assessed valuation of your home, determined by the county assessor.

To calculate how much you will pay for Queen Creek’s property tax, download the calculator below, select the "enable edit" button highlighted in yellow and follow the instructions. Queen Creek’s property tax for public safety would replace any current subscription you may be paying for Rural Metro.

Calculate Property Tax (properties in Pinal County)

Calculate Property Tax (properties in Maricopa County)

The construction transaction privilege tax (sales tax) is 4.25 percent.

6. What will the Town do about roads? 

State law requires cities and towns to annex the full road right-of-way when annexing lands adjacent to public 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.

The Queen Creek Town Council continues to make transportation improvements a priority. They recently approved a $195 million infrastructure improvement plan (IIP) that will add 91 new lane miles through 41 projects over the next 10 years. Projects within the IIP are prioritized based on traffic volume and availability of alternate routes. For more information about roadway improvements in Queen Creek, visit QueenCreek.org/BetterRoadsAhead.

7. Which law enforcement agency serves the Town of Queen Creek?

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) serves as Queen Creek’s police provider. Through the Town’s contract with MCSO, there is a substation (police station) in Town with 41 deputies assigned to serve Queen Creek. The substation has a dedicated MCSO captain that serves as Queen Creek’s police chief.

Queen Creek enjoys a low crime rate with community policing being the highest call for service, followed by traffic collisions and patrol watch/welfare checks.

While the Town’s dedicated substation is located in Town Center, MCSO District 6 follows a proactive or community policing model, meaning deputies are working in locations strategically placed throughout the community when they are not on a call, increasing partnerships and community engagement. As a result, the response time can be substantially lower.

To learn more about MCSO District 6 and the programs they offer, visit QueenCreek.org/MCSO.

8. How does the Town provide fire protection services?

Queen Creek began providing fire service in 2008. There are currently three fire stations in Queen Creek:

Fire Station 1: 20678 E. Civic Parkway
Fire Station 2: 24787 S. Sossaman Road
Fire Station 3: 19159 E. Queen Creek Road

QCFMD plans to open a fire station at 980 W. Combs Road in early 2019 and an additional fire station at Queen Creek and Signal Butte roads in early 2020. The Town’s projections for a 5-fire station system do not include any increase in taxes.

QCFMD is a member of the automatic aid system, which is an interagency agreement that allows the closest engine to respond regardless of jurisdiction. QCFMD, Gilbert, Mesa, Superstition and other East Valley providers are part of the automatic aid system. Additionally, QCFMD has a signed agreement with Rural Metro to provide mutual aid when necessary.

To learn more about QCFMD, visit QueenCreek.org/Fire.

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 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. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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. 

PDF version of Annexation Facts

If you have other questions, please contact Queen Creek Town Hall at 480-358-3000.

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