Bothell talks annexation

  • Written by Don Mann
At its September 18 city council meeting, Bothell conducted a study session regarding the status of its proposed annexation of potential annexation areas in currently unincorporated King County.

The intent of the session, delivered by Community Development Director Bill Wiselogle, was to update the council on the proposed nine areas that comprise about 1.5 square miles (about 1,000 acres) and range in size from 1.8 to 660 acres with an estimated combined population of about 6,500.

It will bring in tax dollars.

The areas considered are located on the Kenmore border known as North Westhill, Maywood Island, Westhill Island North, Westhill Island South, Westhill Island East and Magnolia Dairy/South Westhill.

On the Woodinville border they’re known as North Bloomberg Hill, Hillside Estates and South Norway Hill.

All are within the Northshore School District, Wiselogle said, and 95 percent have Bothell addresses.

In February 2010 the council adopted Resolution 1254 which formally invited King County, Fire District 16 (Northshore Fire Department) and Fire district 36 (Woodinville Fire & Rescue) to enter into negotiations toward an interlocal agreement providing for annexation for all nine of Bothell’s PAAs, under a statute which allows the city to approve annexation where no election is held.

The statute allows the process to commence if, within 45 days of its passage, the affected county and districts either agree to participate in negotiations or do not respond to the invitation.

In this case FD 16 agreed to participate, and FD 36 and King County did not respond within 45 days — although the county later sent a letter agreeing to participate, leaving Woodinville as the lone naysayer.

Since then, Bothell staff has been meeting regularly with representatives of the county and both fire districts.

The city and FD 16 staff reached agreement early on, each jurisdiction agreeing to obligations concerning transfer of employees, should that opportunity result from annexation.

District 16 staff awaits completion of the remainder of the interlocal agreement with the county and FD 36 before taking it to district commissioners for ratification.

Bothell and FD 36 (Woodinville) remain in negotiations. At the Sep. 18 meeting, Wiselogle told Bothell council there was a strong possibility negotiations there would not be successful.

Later asked by this reporter why, he would not comment, saying it was under legal negotiations.

He did say whether or not negotiations with FD 36 were ultimately successful, Bothell anticipates bringing the interlocal agreement back to council in October or November for adoption.

If the city, the county and both fire districts approve it, the council would hold a hearing and adopt an annexation ordinance and the nine annexations would go into effect automatically on a set date.

If one or both of the districts does not approve the interlocal, the city and county may still proceed to execution of the agreement, Wiselogle said. Under that scenario there would follow a 45-day waiting period during which a referendum petition could be submitted seeking an election in any of the annexation areas. A valid petition for this purpose would need to be signed by voters representing at least 10 percent of the votes cast in the last election within the particular annexation being opposed, Wiselogle said.

A special election would be scheduled in each annexation area for which a valid petition is received.

The particular annexations would be overturned if a majority of votes cast in the election were against annexation.

Said Woodinville Fire Commissioner Tim Osgood, asked informally at Friday’s Woodinville-Inglemoor football game in Bothell: “Our number one concern is that our current coverage areas remain covered. As of now, we’re not convinced of that. Until that happens, I don’t believe we’ll sign off on the interlocal agreement as proposed.”

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