Northwest NEWS

August 16, 1999

Front Page

No Grace forthcoming from Snohomish County

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   GRACE--Judge French of the Snohomish County Superior Court has upheld the Snohomish County Boundary Review Board's (BRB) denial of an appeal by the City of Woodinville to annex Grace. Last Monday, Aug. 9, the Woodinville City Council decided against taking their appeal to the State Appellate Court, because it would not be cost-effective, according to Woodinville City Manager Pete Rose.

   "The denial and appeal process took so long that the year required between separate applications for the same annexation has almost expired," said Rose. "So our next step is to contact Grace property owners and residents to see how much interest they have in making another annexation application."

   Rose said the appeal process at least forced the Boundary Review Board to state the issues that led to their denial of the Grace annexation. That board listed complications involved in providing police services, fire response, solid waste service, and transportation issues.

   "At least the four corners of the playing field have now been defined," said Rose.

   The original petition for annexation was made by a strong majority of property owners and residents in Grace, said Rose. "They all have Woodinville addresses, and Grace is within the Woodinville Urban Growth Area, as listed in Woodinville's [state approved] Comprehensive Plan. That means no other town can annex that area. Our 20-year employment forecast includes jobs in the Grace area."

   As to the BRB's four areas of concern over whether King County or Snohomish County agencies will supply services to Grace, Rose said any arrangement is legally possible, as long as all sides agree to the arrangements. Grace "Mayor for Life" Terry Jarvis said he is disappointed in the Snohomish County decision, but that Grace citizens understand the situation and will work with Snohomish County to make the best out of the situation.

   "Snohomish County has become more responsive to the way Grace is developing, and we're developing a positive relationship with Snohomish County," said Jarvis. "But that doesn't mean the Grace Gazette will pull any punches in our commentaries about Snohomish County.

   "The Snohomish County Boundary Review Board (BRB) is appointed by their county executive, and they make their own rules to go by. The Snohomish County Superior Court judge said that as long as the BRB goes by their own rules, there's nothing he can do. How could Snohomish County fail?"

   Rose said that the annexation process requires BRB approval."The Snohomish County judge was not required to explain his ruling and he didn't. That follows a loosely defined precept that if the BRB has made a judgment based on facts presented, then it's decided that they've made a good judgment, until proven wrong."