Maltby community looking at options for local control
by Jeff Switzer
MALTBY--Roughly 30 people turned out last week to hear Rep. Dave Schmidt (R, 44th District) recount his experience and give his advice on the growing incorporation effort in the area.
With pressures from the City of Woodinville, which is eyeing the Grace industrial and Maltby employment areas for annexation, and a feeling from business owners that Snohomish County may not be serving their best interests when they want to expand or get building permits, some members of the community have begun to coalesce into a group that wants to explore gaining more "control over their destiny."
The group of citizens, loosely referred to as Citizens for Maltby, will be approaching the Snohomish County Council on Oct. 14 to oppose Woodinville's goal of an urban designation for the Grace industrial area and Maltby Employment area. Without an urban designation, Woodinville cannot annex, though with sufficient support, Maltby residents could incorporate the rural and industrial lands.
"I'm an absolute believer that if you want to control the destiny of your community, become your own city," Rep. Schmidt said. "If you stay in the county, you're treated the same as all of the unincorporated areas, and you probably won't be able to keep the flavor of the area called Maltby."
Schmidt said there was no comparison between county and city government because of the increased local control and better return for tax dollars in a city.
An audience member asked what the organizers were looking for at this point and where the next step was, and what values were associated with the Maltby area.
"There's been almost a unanimous feeling that, 'yes, we want to control our own destiny, tell us how,'" Hal Quinby, an organizer for the meetings, told the audience. "We want to help business grow within the business area and become conforming and allow expansion. Also, we want to help growth where it makes sense and confine it."
Quinby also cited environmental issues and greater control over the rural character of the area. "We're defining a direction and actually making some progress. We've had a lot of good input," he added.
The next meeting will be Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fire District 7 headquarters.