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Quietly, King County rejects Woodinville annexation

  • Written by Don Mann
There’s been much concern about the possible movement of King County’s urban growth boundary, as it relates to Woodinville’s development in the unincorporated Sammamish Valley, where some property owners have expressed an interest in annexation.

Some support the idea, others have been vociferous in opposition.

Evidently it was rejected by the county.

At its Sep. 18 meeting, the item was added at late notice to the agenda.

A “draft” of the county’s apparently vague yet thinly-veiled negative response said the following: “The King County Council acknowledges the beneficial economic and community impacts of the wine and agricultural industries in the City of Woodinville, in the surrounding unincorporated area, and in the Sammamish Valley Agricultural Production District (APD). The Council also acknowledges the longstanding development pressures in the unincorporated Sammamish Valley.In order to promote the long term success of these industries, to address development pressures, and to encourage interjurisdictional cooperation, the Council hereby directs the  Executive to work collaboratively with the City of Woodinville to develop joint recommendations for promoting the wine and agriculture industries without modifying the APD or urban growth area boundaries.”

King County Executive Dow Constantine has been on record, early on, for opposing the movement of the UGB.

The county’s draft was apparently sent to Woodinville Mayor Bernie Talmas via email, and was distributed to council members appropriately.

It was not received with major approval.

Councilmember Susan Boundy-Sanders said she was “so relieved” and “delighted” by the county’s response.

Councilmember Liz Aspen was opposed to the response, and said something about an elephant in the room.

Councilmember Les Rubstello agreed with Aspen, saying the county’s response was inadequate and “disingenuous.”

Paulette Bauman did not support it either, nor did Scott Hageman.

Said the mayor: “I think some of you are being foolish. It’s an attempt by the county staff to reach out for a compromise … Whether you agree with the boundary or not … it’s an attempt at a compromise.”

A vote was summarily taken to support the county’s decision, and support a “joint study” to pursue further endeavors regarding the matter.

The vote failed 4-3, with Rubstello, Aspen, Bauman and Hageman opposed.

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