EDITORIAL: Some vocal residents not happy at idea of Seattle annexation


by Jack Mayne

The northern half of the North Highline Unincorporated Area is being sought for annexation to Seattle. But judging from a preliminary meeting Thursday night, at least some vocal residents are not happy at the idea. When Seattle city representative Kenny Pittman came to tell people about Seattle’s proposal, many instead listed a range of faults they found in the way Seattle runs its city.

The proposal would not happen until at least 2019 or maybe even 2020. In the meantime Pittman pledged many meetings with White Center and Top Hat residents seeking to know what that means for their taxes and their lifestyle

Seattle will get nearly $8 million a year from state sales tax revenues for annexing the area, thanks to a measure just passed by the Washington Legislature.

Property taxes will not go up if the area becomes part of Seattle. The Highline Schools will remain as is. Businesses and property will be grandfathered so property owners will not have to immediately upgrade to Seattle standards.

Remember, the area will not be annexed to Seattle unless residents vote to become part of Seattle. Under state law, the area will not and cannot be forced to annex.

Area residents need to know, however, that the county wants the area annexed by one of the neighboring cities. It can remain unincorporated but likely support from the county will deteriorate over time.


3 Responses to “EDITORIAL: Some vocal residents not happy at idea of Seattle annexation”
  1. Mark J says:

    re: “Under state law, the area will not and cannot be forced to annex”

    That’s not entirely true. A recent provision in state law allows annexation by agreement between the annexing city, the county and the local fire district. Under that sort of agreement (which is not being sought by the City of Seattle in this case) citizens must raise enough signatures to force a vote; otherwise the annexation is consummated without a vote of the people.

  2. jack mayne says:

    RCW 35.13.238
    ?Annexation of territory served by fire districts, interlocal agreement process—Annexation of fire districts, transfer of employees.
    (1)(a) An annexation by a city or town that is proposing to annex territory served by one or more fire protection districts may be accomplished by ordinance after entering into an interlocal agreement as provided in chapter 39.34 RCW with the county and the fire protection district or districts that have jurisdiction over the territory proposed for annexation.”
    Not likely here.

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