Urban Service Area


Urban Service Area Map with link to full map

The Urban Service Area defines areas outside the City of Columbia that reasonably could be provided with City services.  

Some of these services, such as water and sewer, may already be available beyond the City limits but are subject to out-of-city rates.  Other services are only available to properties within the City of Columbia.  

While all properties adjacent to the City limits are eligible for annexation, the location and staffing of existing or proposed City services, such as police stations, fire stations, and solid waste routes, means that the City can more readily serve some adjacent areas than others.


Recognizing the importance of providing high quality services to all of its current and future residents, City Council adopted the Urban Service Area plan in 2009,  to provide guidance to the public and staff in establishing priorities for annexation.  Location of a property within the Urban Service Area does not mean that annexation of the property is imminent; rather the four sub-areas within the Urban Service Area reflect a general ranking of the City of Columbia’s ability to provide municipal services to the areas.  Ultimately, whether or not to annex a particular property is a legislative decision of City Council.  


The four sub-areas within the Urban Service Area are:  

Image of Donut Hole (illustrated in red)

Donut Hole

Unincorporated area surrounded by municipality

Will generally be annexed when petitioned

Image of Primary Areas (illustrated in yellow)

Primary Areas

Contiguous or nearby parcels with adequate service availability

Will generally be annexed when petitioned

Image of Secondary Area (illustrated in green)

Secondary Areas

Contiguous or nearby parcels that have some service concerns

May require additional review to determine ability to service prior to annexation.

Illustration of Long Range Area (illustrated in grey)

Long Range Areas

Areas beyond Primary and Secondary areas or that have more service concerns.

May require additional review to determine ability to service prior to annexation.


When a request for a new or expanded water or sewer service is received or the property is redeveloped, the City of Columbia will require a petition for annexation for contiguous properties within Donut Holes and Primary Areas, or a Declaration of Covenant for non-contiguous properties in these areas.  When a request for a new or expanded water or sewer service is received or the property is redeveloped within Secondary or Long Range Areas, either a petition or Declaration of Covenant may be required, at the discretion of the City.


Urban Service Area Map

Annexation Urban Service Area Plan (2009)