Framework for Burien City Council’s annexation discussion tomorrow

As first reported here in our coverage of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting earlier this month, the Burien City Council plans to discuss White Center/etc. annexation during its regular meeting tomorrow (Monday, June 20th) night. NOT a vote, nor an introduction of a resolution – the agenda item is listed as a “general discussion.”

From the supplementary “packet” (which you can find linked from this page) – it’s what Burien City Manager Mike Martin told NHUAC they planned to do – with some new information: A study on the financial viability is under way:

Staff would like direction regarding the best way to frame the future discussion of annexation.

The annexation of the so-called “area Y” in the North Highline, including White Center, has a long history that council is well aware of. In short, Burien and Seattle in 2009 agreed to bi-furcate the North Highline Area into areas; “X” in the south and “Y” in the north (see attached map). Each city agreed it could advance annexations in adjacent areas without opposition until January 2012. Burien successfully annexed area X in 2010 and that area is now part of Burien. In March 2011, Seattle declared it was not interested in advancing an annexation in area Y but adopted a resolution stating it might at a later date, perhaps February 2012. The resolution also allowed Burien to advance an annexation in area Y if it wished.

Council has long expressed interest in resolving the question of annexation in the North Highline area. Seattle’s recent decision not to annex now and perhaps not in the near future, along with peripheral issues regarding construction of library facilities in Burien or the North Highline area, make it timely for the council to take up that discussion again.

Staff has entered into a contract with Berk and Associates to conduct a study testing the financial viability of annexing area Y. That study is scheduled to be complete no later than August 1. Staff will bring council draft information prior to that date if it is accurate and reliable.

But while that financial data is central to the question of annexation, staff understands it is not the exclusive one. In an effort to anticipate additional areas of interest, staff is soliciting other lines of questioning council would like us to explore.

The annexation discussion will predictably be iterative and require information to be acquired as talks progress. The intent of this agenda item is simply to begin that discussion and ensure it progresses in as linear a fashion as possible.

OPTIONS (Including fiscal impacts): N/A
Administrative Recommendation: Discuss the general question of annexation and give staff direction on issues it wishes to have explored, along with a timeline.
Committee Recommendation: N/A
Advisory Board Recommendation: N/A
Suggested Motion: None required.

You can review the recent history of annexation in our coverage archive here. Among the key recent actions – the Seattle City Council decided in March to put off a final decision on “interested or not interested” until early next year, while saying that if Burien decided to proceed with annexation in the meantime, they wouldn’t object. Tomorrow night’s Burien Council meeting is at 7 pm, 400 SW 152nd; if you can’t be there, you can watch online here.

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