Municipalities can use annexation to legally expand their boundaries by adding unincorporated territories. In Pinellas County, almost one-third of our population lives in unincorporated areas, while everyone else lives in one of our 24 cities and municipalities.
Annexation is governed by Chapter 171 of the Florida Statutes.
Have questions about annexation and how it affects you? Check out our some of our frequently asked questions (FAQs) below or contact the Pinellas County Housing and Community Development office at (727) 464-8200.
If I live in unincorporated Pinellas County, who is my local government?
Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners serves as your local government if you live in one of the unincorporated areas.
How does annexation work?
There are two main ways an unincorporated property can be annexed into a municipality: Voluntary Annexation or Referendum Annexation.
Voluntary Annexation occurs when a property owner (or owners) submits a petition to join a municipality. If the municipality agrees, it passes a municipal ordinance that annexes the area. In order to be eligible for voluntary annexation, the property has to be next to the annexing municipality.
Referendum Annexations are initiated by a municipality, which sets up a referendum after holding at least two public hearings. If a majority of voters pass the referendum, the area is annexed. If a majority of voters reject the referendum, the area remains unincorporated.
Who decides the outcome of an annexation referendum?
All registered voters in the proposed annexation area are eligible to vote. If you own property within the proposed annexation area, but are not a registered voter there, you are not eligible to vote on the referendum.
If a majority of voters choose annexation, the entire proposed area becomes part of the municipality.
Will my services change if I'm annexed into a city?
Pinellas County would continue to provide many of our countywide services, such as 9-1-1 Emergency Communications, Sunstar Ambulance and Mosquito Control. Cities contract for some municipal services through the County, such as law enforcement and utilities. View the full list of County services.