County to decide on Grace, Maltby
by Jeff Switzer
The rural designation of the Maltby Employment area, which includes the Township of Grace, must be changed by Sept. 6 either to an urban growth area (UGA) or some other designation consistant with the Growth Management Act (GMA).
The Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board issued its remand order on Mar. 12, giving Snohomish County six months to delete the Maltby Employment area from the rural area.
The City of Woodinville had appealed the designation last fall because it effectively blocked the city's future plans to annex the area. The Revised Code of Washington states that any designation other than urban prevents a city from annexing that area.
At the Jan. 16 GMA appeals hearing, Snohomish County agreed that their "urban reserve" designation of the Grace Urban and Maltby Industrial area did not meet the requirements of the Growth Management Act and requested the designation be remanded for reworking.
The city's goal is to have the urban designation before May when the council is expected to adopt Woodinville's Comprehensive Plan. Planning Director Ray Sturtz indicated that the city is continuing its dialogue with the county and considering its options in light of the September deadline.
Snohomish County has several options under the remand: designate the area urban; designate it rural, which would leave them open for another appeal from the City of Woodinville; or use some other "innovative technique" to describe the area, as they did when designating it "urban reserve."
If Snohomish County declares the area urban, Grace would not automatically be annexed to Woodinville, as annexation is a separate process requiring the city council to adopt or accept an application for annexation.
The Grace urban area includes approximately 490 acres located generally along SR-9 and SR-522, some of which is zoned for and developed with industrial uses.