In 2014, the law on annexation was substantially revised. Public Chapter 707 made several significant changes to the methods used by municipalities to annex unincorporated territory. Under Public Chapter 707, municipalities may no longer annex by ordinance and may only annex by resolution pursuant to T.C.A. 6-51-104, which generally requires written consent of the affected property owners or approval by referendum. No annexations by resolution of property being used primarily for agriculture will be permitted unless written consent of the property owners is obtained. Municipalities may, by resolution, propose annexation of territory that does not adjoin the boundary of the main part of the municipality if the territory is within the urban growth boundary and is either to be used for industrial, commercial or residential purposes in the future or owned by a governmental entity. Such resolution can only be ratified with written consent of the property owners. T.C.A. § 6-51-104.
A municipality may expand its urban growth boundaries to annex a tract of land without reconvening the coordinating committee or receiving approval from the county or any other municipality if: (1) The tract is contiguous to a tract of land that has the same owner and has already been annexed by the municipality; (2) The tract is being provided water and sewer services; and (3) The owner of the tract, by notarized petition, consents to being included within the urban growth boundaries of the municipality. T.C.A. § 6-58-118.
Finally, counties having a metropolitan form of government will be permitted to expand their urban services districts using any method authorized by their charter. This includes methods in general law which are referenced in the charter and which were applicable at the time the charter or charter amendment was approved. T.C.A. § 6-51-123.