Organization and Government of Cities

ORS 221.031
Petition to incorporate

  • filing
  • form
  • contents
  • approval by boundary commission


Before circulating a petition to incorporate unincorporated territory as a city, the petitioners shall file a petition for incorporation in a form prescribed by rule of the Secretary of State with:


The county clerk of the county in which the proposed city lies; or


If the proposed city lies in more than one county, the county clerk of the county in which the largest part of its territory lies.


The county clerk shall immediately date and time stamp the prospective petition and shall authorize the circulation of the petition when the economic feasibility statement required by ORS 221.035 (Economic feasibility statement) is filed with the county clerk. The county clerk shall retain the prospective petition and economic feasibility statement and shall immediately send two copies of the prospective petition to the appropriate county court.


(a) A petition for incorporation filed with the county clerk under subsection (1) of this section shall designate the name and residence address of not more than three persons as chief petitioners, who shall be electors registered within the boundaries of the proposed city.


The petition shall contain the name of the proposed city.


The petition shall include a proposed permanent rate limit for operating taxes that would generate operating tax revenues sufficient to support an adequate level of municipal services. The tax rate limit shall be expressed in dollars per thousand dollars of assessed value. The tax rate limit shall be calculated for the latest tax year for which the assessed value of the proposed city is available.


There shall be attached to the cover sheet of the petition a map indicating the exterior boundaries of the proposed city. The map shall not exceed 14 inches by 17 inches in size and shall be used in lieu of a metes and bounds or legal description of the proposed city.


If the territory proposed to be incorporated is within the jurisdiction of a local government boundary commission, the petition shall be accompanied by the economic feasibility analysis required under ORS 199.476 (When petition for major boundary change required) (1). Notwithstanding subsection (2) of this section, unless the economic feasibility analysis is approved by the local government boundary commission as provided in ORS 199.522 (Economic feasibility analysis for proposed city), the county clerk shall not authorize the circulation of the petition.


If the petitioners propose not to extinguish a special district pursuant to ORS 222.510 (Annexation of entire district) (2) or a county service district pursuant to ORS 451.585 (Duty of city when all or part of district incorporated or annexed) (1), the petition shall include a statement of this proposal.


Each sheet of signatures shall be attached to a full and correct copy of the petition for incorporation. Not more than 20 signatures on each sheet of the petition for incorporation shall be counted. The circulator shall certify on each signature sheet that the circulator witnessed the signing of the signature sheet by each individual whose signature appears on the signature sheet and that the circulator believes each individual is an elector registered in the county. If the territory proposed to be incorporated is within the jurisdiction of a local government boundary commission, each signature sheet shall contain a statement that the economic feasibility analysis for the proposed city was approved by the boundary commission, that the analysis is available for inspection at the offices of the boundary commission and that subsequent to the gathering of the petitions the boundary commission must review and finally approve the proposal prior to submission at an election. [1981 c.890 §3 (enacted in lieu of 221.030); 1983 c.83 §17; 1987 c.882 §12; 1989 c.92 §29; 1997 c.541 §351; 1999 c.318 §22; 2005 c.396 §1; 2007 c.669 §3; 2007 c.848 §21; 2010 c.41 §2]


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021