North Phoenix Blog

Phoenix may maintain the center of the desert, but you might be surprised to learn that we DO have islands here! Not the type with sand and a palm tree – I’m discussing county islands. In this post I will talk about county islands for those who are not familiar with them. Exactly what is a county island? If you have recently moved to Arizona from the East Coast or the Mid-Western United States or are considering moving here, the idea of a region island may be international of to you completely.

Let’s start with a description: A region island can be an part of unincorporated land which is totally encircled by an included city or town. That is right, even if you buy a true home within the town of Phoenix and have a Phoenix address, you may be on state land and not officially part of Phoenix! How will you find county islands? In the example below, all I did so was to perform a search for “Phoenix, Arizona” on Google Maps. Google outlines the populous city boundaries, but you can easily see that there are some irregular designs that are not part of Phoenix, even though they might be surrounded on all edges by Phoenix – hence the name, islands.

Many other Phoenix-area metropolitan areas including Glendale, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, yet others have state islands as well. In the example below, you can see that the populous city of Chandler, AZ is filled with them, particularly in the southern portion of the city. The actual boundaries of the town of Chandler are unusual quiet! What are the cons and pros of living in a county island?

There are some benefits and drawbacks of living in a state island, which I will explore below. Residents of county islands generally don’t need to pay residential property tax on the home, because the property tax is levied by cities. Federal, Condition, and State laws and regulations apply still, but city laws and regulations might not apply.

Therefore residents might be able to store and work on vehicles, own chickens, goats, horses, or other livestock not allowed by residential city ordinances or rules. County Island residents are not governed by PROPERTY OWNERS Associations (HOAs). This is why you will oftenfind equine properties, commercial vehicle storage, and other activities occurring within region islands which are typically not permitted within most metropolitan areas and towns. An example will be a one who stores a huge motorhome, boat, or other recreational vehicle on their property.

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Within city limitations, the homeowner is likely to get problems from neighbors about the large vehicle parked on their property – that could lead to a city code violation. A person living on county land will typically not have such limitations, which are often part of a city’s code or charter. Another example would be, who owns a company. It really is a construction company Perhaps, plumbing, electrical, roofing, HVAC, or other home services company – or simply a commercial towing operator, etc. Within many metropolitan areas, homeowners cannot store a fleet of commercial vehicles at their residence. Within a region island however, this is permitted often. Homes are typically not connected to city services such as sewer and water services.

Residents may rely on a shared well and, or septic system for their home. In some instances they might be served by a private drinking water company. Homes in county islands also do not receive solid waste collection services from the surrounding city. Residents must deal with an exclusive company for residential trash collection and do not receive bulk trash pickup without an additional charge.

County Islands may or might not have paved roads, streetlights and sidewalks. If they actually, they aren’t preserved or serviced by the populous city. Demands police assistance will be taken care of immediately by the County Sheriff, which may lead to a longer response time than the local municipal police force.

Fire and Emergency/Medical services are not usually provided to residents in a County Island. In some instances there could be a special Fire District to provide services, or residents might subscribe to services from the encompassing city for an annual fee. Residents of the county island aren’t permitted to vote in city elections, such as for the mayor.