The extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) is the unincorporated land within five miles of Austin’s full purpose city limit that is not within the city limits or ETJ of another city. Austin’s ETJ currently extends into five counties including Williamson, Travis, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell and is the territory where Austin alone is authorized to annex land. Annexation is the process by which cities extend their municipal services, regulations, voting privileges and taxing authority to new territory.
The ETJ represents our City’s future tax base and municipal service area, and ensures our ability to capture our fair share of regional growth. The City has limited regulations in the ETJ where development is occurring at a rapid rate affecting the quality of life within the City. By expanding the territory subject to city ordinances, regulations and codes, annexation improves the city’s economic base and enables the city to manage growth and development.
In accordance with the City’s annexation policies described in the Imagine Austin comprehensive plan, the City should annex areas in order to:
- Apply zoning and development standards, including environmental protection
- Create efficiencies in service delivery, particularly for public safety services
- Maximize the return on the City’s investment in infrastructure and business incentives
- Protect and expand the tax base
- Provide municipal services beyond those available in rural areas
Municipal annexations must follow the procedures outlined by the Texas Local Government Code. For large home rule cities such as Austin, state law provides for two types of full purpose annexations: those areas subject to a three-year municipal annexation plan (Municipal Annexation Plan, or MAP areas) and areas that are considered exempt (commonly referred to as annual program areas). In addition, limited purpose annexation extends the City's ordinances and regulations pertaining to land development and the environment and, in some cases, health and safety.
Upcoming Annexation Hearings