Becoming part of Castle Rock
Annexation is the process by which a property within Douglas County becomes part of the Town of Castle Rock’s jurisdiction. But what does that mean for the annexed area and for current residents? Why could annexation be good for our Town?
Becoming part of the Town has benefits for both the annexed property and current residents. Current residents get a say in the new development that could come with that annexation. The new property then has access to (and helps fund) Town services, such as roads, water, parks, trails, recreation and more.
Ensuring Castle Rock’s character and service
Look at the Town’s map. There are some areas that might surprise you. Did you know that Douglas County High School is not located within Town limits, even though it is located in the very center of what we THINK of as Castle Rock?
There are many similar “holes” in our Castle Rock footprint. While most of those are undeveloped now, we know these areas are intended to be developed. In some cases, property owners are already legally entitled to do so, and the property zoning within Douglas County shows us it’s not a question of if, but when. If these areas aren’t annexed into our Town, we won’t have a say in the new projects, yet they could bring new neighbors who would likely use services and infrastructure we’ve already paid for, such as roads and public safety.
Through the public hearing development process, the Planning Commission and Town Council – and therefore our residents – get a say in the planned development plan, which includes important factors such as density, open space designations, transportation improvements, utilities, infrastructure and overall design.
Paying a fair share
Development fees (called impact fees) paid by the developer of new projects help fund parks, trails, road infrastructure, fire stations and more. If the area where the potential new development is under construction is not annexed, the Town does not get these revenues. Instead, more residents move into our overall area, but don’t help pay for the services they will likely use, such as our roads, parks and trails.
Take the homes being built north of the high school. If this area had not been annexed, the Town would not receive impact fees nor property tax from the development and its residents. Yet, residents there are highly likely to use the parks and trails nearby, such Metzler Ranch Community Park or Hangman’s Gulch Trail.
So, how do we welcome the new neighbors we know are coming, while maintaining our character and ensuring everyone who uses our wonderful amenities pays their fair share? When it benefits the Town and our residents, we allow annexation. Read on to learn more about that process and how you can be involved.
What’s the process?
All annexation proposals must follow a State-mandated process, which includes public hearings for each step and requires Town Council to make three specific decisions:
- Substantial Compliance: Does the annexation petition comply with State Code?
- Eligibility: Is the property eligible to be annexed in accordance with State Code?
- Annexation: Should the property be annexed?
Town experts evaluate applications
To aid in Council's decision-making, staff reviews the project and studies the potential impacts on Town roads, water and overall levels of service. This team of experts evaluates all aspects of the development and annexation proposals, including traffic and water impacts as well as design and aesthetic standards. Their goal is to ensure every application matches the community's vision and makes technical sense. They help dot I's and cross T's, so what is presented to the public is a vetted and complete plan.
Then, the applicant must go through a series of public hearings, including presentations to Planning Commission and Town Council.
Substantial compliance and eligibility hearings
If Council determines the annexation proposal complies with state requirements and is eligible to be considered, two hearings would take place. Substantial compliance and eligibility hearings are conducted at a regular Town Council meeting. Once scheduled, hearings will be posted on the Public Notice Calendar on the Town’s website.
After annexation occurs, the zoning process can take place.
Annexations currently in process
Some annexations have been in process for many years. Learn more about the applications that have been submitted to the Town and officially started the process by looking at the list to the left side of this page.