A voluntary annexation is when a person or entity asks the City to bring property into the City in order to receive City of Durham services. The most common example is when a property owner wants to connect to City water or sewer for a development project. Land owners outside the City limits with well and septic tank problems may also seek to connect to public water and sewer.

Types of Annexation Petitions

There are two types of voluntary annexations applications: contiguous annexation and non-contiguous annexation:

  1. Contiguous Annexation Petition” is required for annexation of property that abuts the city’s primary corporate limits.
  2. Non-Contiguous Annexation Petition,” sometimes referred to as a satellite annexation, is required for annexation of a property that does not abut the city’s primary corporate limits. Property that abuts satellite areas annexed into the City of Durham, that are not themselves contiguous, are also deemed non-contiguous annexations by state statutes.   


Presubmittal Meeting

The first step is to request a Presubmittal Meeting with the Growth Management Team. Please note that presubmittal meetings are only good for 6 months from the time they are held until application submittal. Please upload any relevant presubmittal documents ahead of your meeting to allow staff to look over your project. Please add the project name, or some type of unique identifier, to each file (ex: 888 Main Street Apartments - Site Plan).

Neighborhood Meeting

Once this meeting has been held, the next step is to hold a virtual Neighborhood Meeting following the Neighborhood Meeting Guidelines

Application Submittal

Once these requirements have been met, a formal Annexation Petition can be formally submitted to the customer portal. To ensure timeliness and accuracy, please use the most current applications and forms found on this website. Once the application is submitted, and staff have deemed the application complete, Planning will initiate the review of the annexation petition with other departments. During this time, a Fiscal Impact Analysis (FIA) will be conducted by various City departments. The City Clerk’s office will determine whether the annexation is sufficient for certification. Public Works will work on a Utility Extension Agreement (UEA) contract on extending utilities to the site.

Public Hearings

After the proposal has been reviewed, and all staff comments are satisfied, the case will be scheduled for a Planning Commission Public Hearing. Public notification is required prior to the hearing for all zoning map change requests. Mail out notification is sent to all parcel owners located within 1,000 feet of the parcels requesting a zoning map change. Signs are posted on all street frontages of the parcels to be rezoned, and the application request is posted in the local newspaper. In addition, staff includes notifications of public hearings in the Planning Weekly Newsletter. The Planning Commission makes an advisory recommendation to the governing boards on approval.

After the proposal has gone to the Planning Commission, the case will be scheduled for a City Council Public Hearing. The governing body makes the final determination on approval or denial of the annexation petition request. When City Council approves an annexation request, the adoption date becomes effective quarterly after the date of approval (for example on March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31).

Submission Process

1. Schedule a Pre-submittal Meeting

2. Schedule a Neighborhood Meeting 

3. Complete Application Materials


Payment Portal

  • Payment Portal
    1. Please be sure to submit separate payments using payment type 4-Planning for the Annexation and 9-Water Management for the SUDS fee. 
    2. The Utility Extension Agreement (UEA) fee must be paid separately in the Public Works payment portal using type 4-UEA application fee.
    3. Use the DSC Fees and Payment Menu, section 1. Annexation, Consolidated (page 3) for fees and guidelines.

Submittal Portal

Use the portal below to complete your request. Fill out the fields in the list below and submit signed and completed documents at the end of the form. If the online form is not working, please use the direct Submit Annexation Petition Application or Re-submittal link. 

Do not use this portal to submit another application type, such as a zoning map change, even if associated with this project. The associated application type and separate fees should be submitted in the related submittal portal.