The CEDS Approach

Most Victories Are Political; Not Legal

The Annexation Process

Annexation Should Enhance Your Quality of Life

Protest Petitions - A Vital Option

A Word About CEDS

Some of the Issues We Can Help You Win
(Anywhere in the USA)

Air Pollution & Sprawl


Apartments & Condominiums

Aquatic Resource Protection

Finding the Best for your Case


Brook Trout & Watershed Development

Convenience Stores, Gas & Service Stations


Cut-Thru Traffic

Environmental Impact Statements

Environmental Justice

Environmental Site Design

Equitable Solutions

ESP: Exposed Soil = Pollution

Fire & Rural Growth


Funding the Good Fight

Golf Course Preservation

Golf Courses & Water Quality

Growth Management
Comprehensive Plans, Master Plans & Quality of Life Growth Management

Historic Resource Threats

Transfer Stations, Incinerators, Recycling, Composting, Sewage Sludge & Other Waste Facilities

Land Preservation

Light Trespass

Making Neighborhood Waters More Child Safe & Friendly

Making Pollution Laws Work


Neighborhood Quality of Life



Planned Area & Planned Unit Development

Politically Oriented Advocacy

Property Value

Scenic View Preservation

Schools & Growth

Smart Legal Strategies

Special Exceptions & Conditional Uses

Strategy Analysis
For Protecting Your Neighborhood & Environment

Student Housing


Transmission Lines

Trucking Facilities

Watershed Audit

Zoning & Rezoning


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Winning Annexation Battles

If you're concerned about an annexation anywhere in the USA then contact CEDS at 410-654-3021 or for an initial no-cost discussion of strategy options.

Are you concerned about how a proposed annexation may affect your quality of life?  If yes, then contact CEDS at 410-654-3021 or  After learning the specifics of the annexation proposal we can usually offer initial strategy suggestions.  Advice by phone is available free to those seeking to prevent annexation from harming a community or the environment.

The CEDS Approach
Following is an introduction to the CEDS approach for winning annexation battles.  We urge you to take a few moments and click: PowerPoint presentation.  In this presentation we use annexations in our home state (Maryland) to illustrate how to win these battles. 

With regard to the CEDS approach, there are two options for applying it to your effort. 


Most Victories Are Political; Not Legal
Most folks who succeed in resolving their concerns about annexation do so through political action not lawyers.  We urge you to try talking with your local elected officials before hiring an annexation attorney.  You will find advice on working with these officials in Chapter 39 of our free 300-page book, How To Win Land Development Issues.

If elected officials fail to quickly and fully resolve your annexation concerns then we urge you to mount an aggressive political campaign.  Far too many citizens have lived to regret delaying action in hopes that a bad annexation would go away.  When in doubt, please contact us immediately.  We can give you an initial, no-cost opinion about whether its time to act.  For further detail on the first steps in launching an aggressive campaign see Chapter 35 in our book.  If you find you lack the time for this research then consider having CEDS conduct it for you through an Initial Strategy Analysis.

A more detailed description of how to win annexation battles is provided in our PowerPoint presentation and our factsheet: Annexation & Citizens: Assessing Quality of Life Impacts & Successful Strategies

Following is a bit more background on annexation. 


The Annexation Process
Annexation is a process used to expand the boundaries of a town, city or county.  Most annexations are motivated by an opportunity to develop land at higher densities or a desire to take land generating higher tax income into municipal boundaries. 

Most towns and cities have a system of pipes for delivering purified water to each home or business and then carrying away wastewater to a treatment plant.  Homes and businesses outside the municipal boundary must rely on wells and septic systems.  Frequently health regulations prohibit putting more than one or two housing units on an acre of land served only by well and septic.  But if connected to public water and sewer, 16 housing units or more might be developed on each acre. 

The land to be annexed must be physically connected to the town or city boundaries though the connection may be nothing more than a road owned by the municipality.  Depending upon which state you're in, anywhere from 51% of all the property owners or voters living within the proposed annexation area must agree to be annexed.  To see how annexation works in your state go to: State-By-State Annexation Summary.

More detail regarding the annexation process is provided in our PowerPoint presentation and our factsheet: Annexation & Citizens: Assessing Quality of Life Impacts & Successful Strategies.


Annexation Should Enhance Quality of Life
If annexation follows responsible growth management principles, then it should preserve and enhance quality of life for you and your neighbors.  However, poorly planned annexations can cause sprawl, traffic congestion, school overcrowding, environmental damage, higher taxes, and other impacts with few positive effects.

The CEDS Project Evaluation Checklist allows you to do a preliminary assessment of the quality of life effects of a proposed annexation.  Detail on these principles will be found in Chapters 2 to 26 of our free 300-page book How To Win Land Development Issues and in the other webpages listed to the right. 

If you live near a town, city, or county boundary and you fear that adjoining land may be proposed for annexation, then visit our Proactive Neighborhood Planning to learn how to prevent harm before the land is annexed.  If your area has been plagued by a series of poorly conceived annexations, then visit our Quality of Life Growth Management (QoLGM) webpage.  QoLGM employs annexation and other tools to manage growth to not only preserve, but enhance quality of life for existing and future residents; not merely to benefit a few property owners or development companies.

Further detail and examples of how annexation can enhance or degrade quality of life can be seen in our PowerPoint presentation and our factsheet: Annexation & Citizens: Assessing Quality of Life Impacts & Successful Strategies.

Protest Petitions - A Vital Option

A number of states and localities allow the filing of a protest petition by those concerned about annexation, rezoning, conditional use or special exception permits.  This action requires a super majority vote to approve the applicant's request.  In other words, to approve the application two-thirds or three-fourths of the members of the town board or county council must vote in favor.  Otherwise an application can be approved with a simple majority. 

Though the requirements vary, usually a minimum percentage of those owning property within a set distance of the site must sign a petition with a specific format then file it a set number of days prior to a hearing or other event.  So, your first step should be to determine if the protest petition option is available then make certain you meet all the requirements. 

Protest petitions are but one of many steps essential to protecting a neighborhood from poorly planned growth.  However, because it is frequently key to success we opted to bring it to your attention here.  Keep in mind though that a protest petition is but one of a number of steps to victory.  The other steps are described in our free 300-page book, How To Win Land Development Issues, and in the other webpages listed in the right column at the top of this page.  If you lack the time to read through all these materials then consider retaining CEDS to carry out an Initial Strategy Analysis, which frequently leads to success at a far lower cost than simply hiring an attorney.


A Word About CEDS
CEDS is a nationwide network of attorneys, planners, environmental scientists, traffic engineers, political strategists, fundraisers, and other professionals.  We help people with concerns about annexations from the very small to the very large.  To learn how we can help with the annexation of concern to you, contact CEDS at 410-654-3021 or  Advice by phone is always available free of charge to those seeking to preserve their home and neighborhood from harm.



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