City of San Carlos - Annex Into the City of San Carlos



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  • Chapter 18.38 “Prezoning and Annexation Procedure" of the City of San Carlos Zoning Ordinance outlines the procedure and criteria for parcels proposed for annexation into the City. The City’s General Plan has numerous land use policies that potential annexation/prezonings must demonstrate consistency with. For more information, review the City of San Carlos General Plan Goal LU-4 (beginning on page 44) and its underlying policies.

The following are some tips to help determine a parcel's potential eligibility for annexing/prezoning into the City:

  • Determine if parcel(s) is/are in the San Carlos Sphere of Influence (SOI). If the parcel is not in the SOI, the annexation may still be possible but coordination with the San Mateo County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) office will be necessary.
  • Determine if the parcel location is contiguous to the City of San Carlos by viewing the City’s adopted Zoning Map (2.26MB PDF and determining the parcel's location relative to the Zoning Map. The City’s Public Works Department can be contacted for preliminary information on City streets at (650) 802-4204.
  • Chapter 18.38 “Prezoning and Annexation Procedure” requires contiguity to the City boundary and a City road. Specifically:

    1. “The parcels proposed for annexation shall be contiguous to parcels located in the City” and

    2. “…contiguous to or provisions have been made to become contiguous to City streets or to improved private streets where the maintenance of the private street is provided by an owners’ association or other acceptable method as determined satisfactory to the Public Works Director.”
  • The eligibility criteria for annexations/prezoning of sites that are developed (i.e. have an existing constructed structure/residence) versus undeveloped (i.e. vacant) are different. Undeveloped lots need to meet the minimum size and density standards of the City’s Subdivision Ordinance. Review Chapter 17.16 “Design Requirements” of the Subdivision Ordinance. Developed sites also need to meet the minimum size and density standards of the City’s Subdivision Ordinance, however single developed sites may waive minimum lot size requirements provided an agreement is recorded against the site prohibiting further subdivision. See complete eligibility criteria in Chapter 18.38 “Prezoning and Annexation Procedure."
  • Any annexation/prezoning request will require both a fiscal impact analysis and environmental review as applicable.
  • Developed parcel(s) that are requesting connectivity to the City’s sewer system should review Chapter 13.10 “Outside Sewer Connections” of the Public Services Ordinance. Properties without certified failing septic systems are required to annex/prezone at the same time of request for outside sewer connection. Properties with certified failing septic systems may request outside sewer connection but are required to annex within 5 years.

    If it is found that the parcel(s) potentially meet or could meet all of the applicable requirements for annexation/prezoning, please contact the Planning Department at (650) 802-4263 to discuss further and prior to a formal submittal.